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Chase Headley & Huston Street: What in the Wide World of Sports Happened?

July 19th, 2013 at 9:00 AM
By Wayne Staich

Join me, everyone, in a rousing new rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," Padre style:

Take me out to the ballgame,

Take me out to Pet-co,

I wanna see Headley drive in some runs,

Hit me a homer, we'll have lots of fun,

And then call, call, call on our closer,

If Street can't do it who can?

But it's not-click-ing this season

For those two, fine men

 

'Chase Headley' photo (c) 2012, SD Dirk - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

There is no arguing with the facts–Chase Headley and Huston Street are all but no-shows so far this season compared to their excellent 2012 campaigns. What happened? Was 2012 an anomaly, an exceptionally good season in otherwise mediocre careers? Is there any reason to believe they can return to 2012 form in the second half? Let's take a look at each player.

Chase Headley–Slumping Silver Slugger

You remember Headley, the guy who slugged 31 home runs in 2012 and drove in a NL-leading 115 runs. The Silver Slugger Award winner with a .498 slugging percentage. Fifth in NL MVP voting. That Chase Headley.

How was his first half? Seven round-trippers, 31 RBI's, .229, .359 slugging pct. Excuses could be offered, though to his credit, Headley isn't offering any. He injured his thumb in Spring Training, causing him to miss the first few weeks of the season. There was that contract distraction, which ended with Headley announcing he wouldn't negotiate during the season. 

To say that 2012 was a breakout season for Chase is like saying 70 degrees Fahrenheit is a bit warm for a winter day in Alaska. His previous highs in home runs and RBI's were 12 and 64, respectively, and in slugging, .399. But there is something extremely noteworthy about his 2012 season: the majority of his production came in the second half.

'Chase Headley' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Check out his pre-All-Star break numbers from last season: eight long balls, 42 runs driven in, .267 average, and a .413 slugging pct. Those stats are considerably better than his current numbers, but the point is, he had a decent first half in 2012 and a remarkable second half.

Might he do the same thing in 2013? We're about to find out. In the meantime, we would be wise to not expect too much of a man who has only performed at an extremely high level for half a season of his career.

Huston Street–Beleaguered Closer 

Ok, he has only blown one save all season, but he's clearly not the same pitcher that we saw in 2012. It's true that many of his poor outings have come in tie games–witness his 0-4 record–but we won't pin that on Street. After all, it's questionable whether a closer should be brought into a tie game, and most are not. Nothing against Bud Black, but that falls under his jurisdiction. 

How far has Street fallen? His current numbers: 0-4, 4.15, 15 of 16 saves, 10 HR's allowed, .259  opponents' average, 18 K's in 30 1/3 innings.

Compare that to 2012's first half: 2-0, 1.13, 13 of 13 saves, 0 HR's, .125 average, 32 strikeouts in 24 innings. National League All-Star. 

  

'Huston Street' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

And it wasn't just a lucky first-half, he continued strong in the second-half and finished with some eye-popping numbers. Only one loss all season, one blown save, 1.85 ERA, and a .130 average. 

In other words, opponents are currently hitting 129 points higher against him than last season. On top of that, the most home runs he has ever allowed in an entire season is 10 (in 2011), and he has already surrendered that many in half a season.   

Was 2012 indicative of his career numbers? Not really. The only other season that can match it is 2005, his rookie season with the Oakland A's. In that year, he posted a 1.72 ERA, still his career best, saved 23 of 27 games, and was named AL Rookie of the Year. 

His career numbers, including this season: 3.08 ERA, .217 average, 506 strikeouts in 505 2/3 innings. All in all, last season his numbers were way better, while this season they're much worse. Which Huston Street will we see in the second half?

One thing is for sure–if the Padres can manage to hang around at only 8.5 games out of first with Headley and Street not contributing much, they have a fighting chance if these two bring their A-games to the table. 

What do you think, Padre fans? What do you expect from Headley and Street in the second half, and what's been the problem so far? Log in and sound off, we want to hear from you! And be sure to vote in the fan poll here at Padres 101, and like us on Facebook.

Tags: Baseball, Bud Black, Chase Headley, Huston Street, MLB, Oakland A's, San Diego, San Diego Padres, Silver Slugger Award

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2 Responses to “Chase Headley & Huston Street: What in the Wide World of Sports Happened?”

  1.  Wayne Staich says:

    We’re going to need these two to pick it up a notch, if not two. I don’t think we stand a chance if they don’t!

    •  Jerry says:

      Padre version of Take me out to the ballgame, not bad! I think its time to send Street packing while they can still get something for him.

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