Archive for August, 2008

999 for the Rockies

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Chase Headley got hit by a pitch yesterday, his 5th of the season for the Padres and the 27th this season by a batter named Chase, but more importantly it was the 999th plunk thrown by the Colorado Rockies in franchise history. Just one more for the Rockies to throw their 1000th in franchise history.

In other “guys named Chase” news, Chase Utley got hit for the 22nd time this season, leaving him 3 short of tying the Phillies single season record, which he already set last season (25).

88 Indians hit by pitches

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

The Cleveland Indians are on a roll, of late, and not just because they’ve won 10 consecutive games. They’ve been hit by 21 pitches in August, which brings their total to 88 for the season. That leaves them just 12 plunks away from being the first American League team to get hit 100 times in a season, and they’d be just the 2nd post-1900 major league team to reach triple digits in plunks. And they’ve got the entire month of September – another 30 games – still to play.

Prior to this week, the most any modern team had been hit before the beginning of September was 82 times, by the 2004 Pirates. They finished that season with 95 HBPs, which is the 21st century record. That team featured Craig Wilson getting hit 30 times, and Jason Kendall adding another 19. The 1997 Houston Astros, who are currently the only post-1900 team to get hit by 100 pitches, were led by Craig Biggio’s 34 HBPs. But at the 132 game mark, that team only had 68 HBPs – so the Indians are 20 plunks ahead of the pace set by a team that got hit 100 times. However, the Indians probably aren’t going to get hit 32 times in their final 30 games the way that Astros team did.

Perhaps most impressively, the Indians have a commanding lead for the most plunked team in the league this season. They’re 24 HBPs ahead of the 2nd place Yankees, despite the Yankees enormous payroll, and their 3 veteran batters with over 130 career hbps. The last time a team finished 24 plunks ahead of the next most battered team was 1978 when Don Baylor’s California Angels got hit a league leading 67 times, while the a trio of teams tied for 2nd at 42. If the Yankees are eliminated from playoff contention soon and have nothing left to get hit for, Cleveland could expand their lead and be the first team since 1898 to win the Plunk Pennant by 30+ HBPs.

Now for the bad news – September is the 9th month of the year, and so far this season, Cleveland has averaged 22 HBPs in even numbered months, and only 11 plunks in odd numbered month. They got hit 23 times in April, 12 in May, 22 times in June, 10 in July and 21 so far in September. So, unless they can break that trend in odd-numbered September, their three remaining August games could be the key to the Indians hopes of reaching 100 HBPs. If they don’t get hit this weekend, and only meet their odd-numbered-month average in September, they would only reach 99.

milestone shyness

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Any day now, the Colorado Rockies are going to throw their 1000th plunk in franchise history. However, now that they’re so close to the historic milestone, they’ve suddenly decided on a unilateral cease fire, and they’re stuck at 998. The Rockies are in the midst of their 7th slowest month ever, in terms of handing on HBPs per batter faced. They’ve hit just 5 batters this August. They’ve only had 3 full months in franchise history in which they hit fewer than 5 batters – two were in 1993, their first year in existence, and one was September of 2001 when they might have been feeling particularly pacifistic. They haven’t hit anyone since August 15th, and only the White Sox have gone longer without hitting an opposing batter.

If the Rockies can hold out another 7 years without hitting two more batters, they can avoid becoming the quickest expansion franchise to hit 1,000 batters, and probably the quickest ever. Previously, the quickest 1000 plunks among the post-1960 expansion teams was thrown by the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners hit their 1000th opponents on July 22, 1999 (John Jaha), in their 23rd season in existence, but the Rockies will make it in just 16 seasons – again, assuming they can’t make it the rest of the year without hitting 2 batters. Even without Craig Biggio’s help (34 hbps vs the Rockies), they would have probably done it in 17 seasons. Of the senior citizen franchises, the quickest was the Detroit Tigers, who reached 1000 plunks thrown in 1919 – their 19th season. It’s probably no coincidence that all-time HBP king Hughie Jennings managed the Tigers from 1907 to 1920. HBP stats for pitchers weren’t kept very accurately back then, but they’re probably close enough to go with 1919 as the season the Tigers reached 1000. It’s a little more difficult with the NL teams that existed prior to HBPs being tracked at all, but particularly given the shorter schedules of the 19th century seasons, we can be pretty sure that the Rockies will be the first franchise to hit 1000 batters in their first 16 seasons.

The Rockies aren’t the only ones having trouble getting over an HBP hump though. The Astros are creeping slowly toward 2,000 HBPs collected by it’s batters in franchise history – but they’ve only been hit 39 times this year, and they’re stuck at 1,994 at the moment. They’ve actually picked up the pace a little, getting hit 13 times so far this month, after only 10 in June and July combined.
Kevin Kouzmanoff is one plunk away from tying the Padres single season HBP record, but he’s been one plunk away from tying the Padres single season record since July 8th. He has the longest active plunk drought of any player with 10 or more HBPs this season by 15 days. Jason Kendall, who’s supposed to be chasing the all time HBP record, has the second longest drought among those with double digit plunks, having been left un-plunked since July 23rd. He’s stuck at 229 HBPs, which is one short of tying Dan McGann for 6th place on the all time list.

Maybe they’ve all been waiting for the right time though. Starting Friday, the Rockies will be playing the Padres, so maybe the Rockies could cross the 1000 plunk mark by hitting Kouzmanoff twice, for the Padres record. Or, if the Rockies can hold out another week, and the Astros can make up some ground by September 5th, they could coordinate the Astros 2000th batter hit with the Rockies 1000th plunk thrown.

How many third basemen can Johnny Cueto plunk?

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

You probably already know that Johnny Cueto of the Reds is this year’s rookie leader in hitting batters, with 11, but what you probably didn’t know is that 6 of those batters he hit were third basemen. Nobody else in the league has hit 6 batters at the same position, and Cueto has hit 6 different third basemen – so it’s not like he’s just hitting Aramis Ramirez over and over. He only hit him once, along with Mark Derosa, Casey Blake, Ty Wigginton, Pete Orr, and Andy LaRoche. Only 4 pitchers in the last 20 years have hit 6 different batters at the same position in a single season, so if Cueto can find one more to plunk, he’d be in uncharted territory. (Kerry Wood hit 6 right fielders in 2003, Chan Ho Park hit 6 left fielders in 2001, Brian Bohanon hit 6 first basemen in 2000, and Jamey Wright hit 6 third basemen in 1999 – so this seems to only happen to corner fielders).

Cueto is also the only player in the league this year who has hit over ten batters and threw half of his plunks at batters who played one position. Gavin Floyd of the White Sox has hit 8 total batters, and 5 of them were center fielders, so that’s a 62.5% there. Roy Oswalt has spent 4 of his 7 plunks on catchers this season, and Jamie Moyer has hit 6 batters, and 4 of them were right fielders.

common names

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Obviously, the idea of a fantasy baseball league where the only players chosen were pitchers and the only stats tracked were hit batters while facing the New York Yankees is completely insane, and I don’t know anyone who would participate in such a league, much less run one… but… if you were in such a league, you’d be feeling pretty lucky right now if you drafted Daniel Cabrera. Daniel Cabrera has hit 5 Yankees – Hideki Matsui and Alex Rodriguez twice each, and Derek Jeter. You will note, however, that he has not plunked Melky Cabrera. Not just this season, but ever. He’s never plunked Orlando, Miguel or Asdrubel Cabrera either.

It’s not just the Cabreras either – pitchers seem to have some reluctance to plunk a batter with the same last name as the themselves. No pitcher in 2008 has hit a batter with the same last name as him, though a batter has faced a pitcher with the same last name in 93 plate appearances this year. No one did it in 2007 either, in 124 same-name plate appearances. The last time a pitcher plunked a batter with the same last name was just over 2 years ago, on August 22, 2006 when Josh Johnson hit Nick Johnson. In the past 20 seasons (1989 through 2008) There have been just 28 incidents of batters getting hit by pitches thrown by pitchers with the same last name, and one fourth of them were Johnsons plunking Johnsons. Randy and Josh Johnson combined to hit Nick and Reed Johnson 7 times. Brian, Mitch and Woody Williams plunked Matt and Gerald Willaims 4 times, and Pedro, Ramon and Dennis Martinez hit Edgar and Dave Martinez a total of 4 times as well.
Here’s the chart:

Last name Pitchers Batters Total HBP
Johnson Randy, Josh Reed, Nick 7
Williams Mitch, Woody, Brian Matt, Gerald 4
Martinez Pedro, Ramon, Dennis Edgar, Dave 4
Gonzalez Geremi Juan, Alex 3
Young Chris, Anthony Dmitri, Eric 2
Wilson Paul Craig 1
Lopez Aquilino Luis 1
Hamilton Joey Darryl 1
Finley Chuck Steve 1
Gibson Paul Kirk 1
Redman Mark Tike 1
Smith Bryn Lonnie 1
Soriano Rafael Alfonso 1

For batters, getting hit by a pitcher with the same first name as you is much more likely. That’s happened 231 times, including 6 this season. Pitchers named Mike seem to have taken particular pleasure in plunking batters named Mike with a total of 58 since 1989. That’s well ahead of the next closest names, Jeff (17) and Mark (16). In the past 20 seasons, 25.1% of incidents involving a batter getting plunked by a pitcher with the same first name have been Mikes hitting Mikes, and this started long before ESPN Radio began airing Mike and Mike in the Morning. However, no Mikes have plunked any other Mikes in 2008. Here’s the full list of first names that have plunked themselves since 1989: Mike – 58, Jeff – 17, Mark – 16, John – 13, Jason – 11, Jose – 7, Matt – 7, Kevin – 7, Brian – 7, Chris – 6, Scott – 6, Tim – 6, Ryan – 6, David – 5, Carlos – 4, Aaron – 4, Joe – 4, Brad – 3, Greg – 3, Todd – 3, Tom – 2, Steve – 2, Paul – 2, Miguel – 2, Chad – 2, Charlie – 2, Eric – 2, Dave – 2, A.J. – 1, Darren – 1, Felipe – 1, Frank – 1, Doug – 1, Brandon – 1, Bill – 1, Orlando – 1, Pat – 1, Larry – 1, Jorge – 1, Josh – 1, Juan – 1, Jay – 1, Jim – 1, Ramon – 1, Rick – 1, Ricky – 1, Shane – 1, Shawn – 1, Tony – 1, Travis – 1

Going back to 1960, there hasn’t been a pitcher who plunked a batter with the same first AND last name, though if Chris Young of the Padres could hit Chris Young of the Diamondbacks, we could take care of that. Unfortunately they don’t play each other again this season.

NOTE: For first names, we’re only working with the first names each player most commonly went by, or are the one they’re listed under on Baseball-reference.com or Retrosheet.org. Bobs hitting Roberts or Michaels hitting Mikes or Charlies hitting Chazs don’t count.

spectator sports

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

One of the great things about batters who get hit by a lot of pitches is that most of them don’t slow the game down by standing around at the plate and watching a lot of pitches go by. The average plate appearance that ends in an HBP takes just 3.13 pitches, while the average number of pitches in a non-HBP plate appearance is 3.80. For the plunk-ending plate appearances, those 3.13 pitches break down to 0.78 pitches that get swung at, 1.35 pitches that the batters watches go by, and 1 pitch that strikes the batter. By contrast, the non-HBP plate appearances include an average of 1.71 pitches that get swung at and 2.09 pitches that just get looked at by the batter and fans alike. So that means, on average, when a batter goes up to the plate and doesn’t get hit, he’s doing about 55% more of absolutely nothing than a batter who takes one for the team – and the fans. (In this case I refer to getting hit by a pitch as doing something, though at other times I may refer to it as standing still… but at least more is happening on those pitches than on a called strike or a ball.)

If you’re into that sort of thing, and like to watch batters who do nothing but stand there and watch pitches go by, you might want to check out the Boston Red Sox sometime. 259 times so far this season, a Red Sox batter has stood at the plate and watched at least four pitches go by without swinging at anything. And that DOES NOT include intentional walks. They lead the league in that category, just ahead of the Mets at 258 and the Cardinals at 253. For the Red Sox, that’s about 5% of their plate appearances where they just don’t do anything, although 2 of those 259 did end up with the batter getting hit by a pitch. The Red Sox are also dead last in swings per pitch, swinging at only 42.5% of all pitches. The major league average is 45%. Really, if they’re not going to use those bats they should donate some of them to a less fortunate team who will put them to good use – like the Royals – they swing at 47.4% of pitches thrown to them. They’re just happy to HAVE bats, and show their appreciation by swinging them.

Among the top pitch-watchers in the league, only one (Jason Giambi) has been hit by a decent number of pitches. Here’s the top 10 list, including ties, in order of excessive time wasting, which I define as plate appearance with 4 or more pitches and no swings, that are not intentional walks:

Batter EWT* HBPs swings per pitch
Nick Markakis 46 2 0.404
Bobby Abreu 45 1 0.353
Jason Giambi 44 16 0.389
B.J. Upton 43 0 0.397
Jason Bay 41 3 0.387
J.D. Drew 40 4 0.37
Joe Mauer 40 0 0.351
Carlos Beltran 40 0 0.402
Ryan Theriot 40 3 0.384
Troy Glaus 39 3 0.385
Pat Burrell 39 1 0.402
Adam Dunn 39 6 0.389
Lyle Overbay 39 3 0.393

*You didn’t read the paragraph above this chart did you? EWT stands for Excessive Wastes of Time, defined as plate appearances with 0 swings and at least 4 pitches, not including intentional walks.

As you can see, the Red Sox really had to make that Jason Bay deal to keep pace with the Yankees, since they have Abreu and Giambi at the top of the list of batters who like to watch the game go by from the batters box. If this trend continues the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry will just turn into a staring contest. Giambi is the odd case on the chart though, being hit by so many pitches and still finding time to stand around and watch a lot of other pitches. His average number of pitches per plate appearances when he gets hit is 3.25, but when he doesn’t get hit they last 4.29 pitches on average. He swings an average of 0.69 times and watches 1.56 pitches go by before getting hit, but when he doesn’t get hit by one he’s watched 2.59 and swung at 1.70 pitches.

On the other end of the spectrum, the guys who really like swinging a lot get hit slightly more often. Here are the players with the fewest excessively time wasting plate appearances, with a minimum of 300 total plate appearance.

Batter EWT* HBPs swings per pitch total plate appearances
Howie Kendrick 3 4 0.521 322
Jason Bartlett 4 5 0.469 368
Ivan Rodriguez 5 3 0.571 368
Kenji Johjima 5 6 0.490 322
Kevin Kouzmanoff 5 12 0.554 519
Alexei Ramirez 5 1 0.594 367
Alfonso Soriano 5 3 0.529 362
David Dellucci 5 8 0.462 321
Joe Crede 6 4 0.523 347
Freddy Sanchez 6 3 0.498 488
Rod Barajas 6 6 0.513 310
Vladimir Guerrero 6 4 0.570 495
Yuniesky Betancourt 6 2 0.522 444

* – see above if you got this far down the post without picking up what EWT has been defined as.

It will be interesting to see how Ivan Rodriguez fits in with the Yankees, since he’s averaging a league leading 2.1 swings per plate appearance.

Kevin Kouzmanoff is the leader in getting hit among this group, and interestingly when he gets hit by a pitch it seems to be because he’s been at the plate longer than normal. His HBP plate appearances average 4.0 pitches, while he only sees 3.57 pitches when he doesn’t get hit. In his non-plunk PAs, he averages 2
rips of the lumber, but only gets around to 1.25 when he gets hit. Before he gets hit he watches 1.75 pitches without swinging, while he only sees 1.57 pitches he doesn’t want to swing at in his non-plunk plate appearances.

The unplunkable gets plunked

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Juan Castro got hit by a pitch! Castro made his major league debut in 1995, and since then he’d step up to the plate 2,493 times for the Dodgers, Reds, Twins, Reds again, and this year the Orioles, without being hit by a single pitch. But the 2,494th, against the Red Sox Mike Timlin, blew the whole streak with a 5th inning HBP. Only Mark Lemke (3,664 PA) and Bill Bergen (3,228 PA) had more plate appearances in an unplunked career (not including a few players who started there careers before HBPs were an official stat). Only John Kruk and possible Mickey Mantle had more unplunked plate appearance before there first HBP.

With Castro off the list, that leaves Curt Schilling as the top unplunked player in the majors, with 901 plate appearances and no HBPs.

HBPs by weight class

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

With the Olympics going on, I thought it might be a good idea to see which batters get hit by the most pitches, and which pitchers hit the most batters, broken down by the weight classes used in the Greco-Roman and Freestyle wrestling events. Because hey, is it really fair to compare a target the size of Prince Fielder or Adam Dunn to the Eckstein’s and Pedroia’s of the world?

Here’s the top 5 batters and pitchers in HBP and hit batters, grouped by Olympic wrestling weight class:

Weight Class Batters Pitchers
66kg (no batters) Juan Cruz (ARI) – 3
Danny Herrera (CIN) – 0

74kg Willy Taveras (COL) – 3
Eugenio Velez (SF) – 1

Wandy Rodriguez (HOU) – 5
Saul Rivera (WSH) – 2
Casey Fossum (DET) – 2
Wesley Wright (HOU) – 2
Jesse Carlson (TOR) – 1
Freddy Dolsi (DET) – 1
Alberto Arias (COL) – 1

84kg

Chase Utley (PHI) – 19
Reed Johnson (CHC) – 11
Nate McLouth (PIT) – 10
David Eckstein (TOR) – 8
Augie Ojeda (ARI) – 7
Jamey Carroll (CLE) – 7
Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS) – 7
Aaron Laffey (CLE) – 9
Johnny Cueto (CIN) – 9
Roy Oswalt
(HOU) – 7
Shaun Marcum (TOR) – 7
Jamie Moyer (PHI) – 6
Carlos Marmol (CHC) – 6

96kg

Kevin Kouzmanoff (SD) – 12
Jason Kendall (MIL) – 11
Aaron Rowand (SF) – 11
Manny Ramirez (LAD) – 10
Lastings Milledge (WSH) – 10
Kyle Kendrick (PHI) – 12
Randy Wolf (HOU) – 11
Edinson Volquez (CIN) – 11
Justin Verlander (DET) – 10
Kenny Rogers (DET) – 9
Tim Wakefield (BOS) – 9
Dave Bush (MIL) – 9

120kg

Carlos Quentin (CWS) – 20
Jason Giambi (NYY) – 16
Rickie Weeks (MIL) – 13
Ryan Garko (CLE) – 13
Chris Iannetta (COL) – 11
Micah Owings (ARI) – 12
Roy Halladay (TOR) – 11
Oliver Perez (NYM) – 11
James Shields (TB) – 10
Vicente Padilla (TEX) – 9
Aaron Heilman (NYM) – 9
Brandon Webb (ARI) – 9
Dana Eveland (OAK) – 9
Mike Pelfrey (NYM) – 9
THFO* Prince Fielder (MIL) – 10
Carlos Delgado (NYM) – 6
Adam Dunn (ARI) – 6
Frank Thomas (OAK) – 2
Daniel Cabrera (BAL) – 17
C.C. Sabathia (MIL) – 5
Jonathan Broxton (LAD) – 2
Tyler Walker (SF) – 1
Bobby Jenks (CWS) – 1
Jeff Niemann (TB) – 1

* – To Heavy for the Olympics

Most of the getting hit by pitches in the major leagues, among batters, occurs in the 96 kilogram weight class, but the 331 batters who are above the 96kg get hit more frequently than the rest, at once per 100 plate appearances. Batters less than or equal to 96 kilograms get hit once per 121 PAs.

Weight Class HBP Total Batters PA HBP/PA
74kg 4 9 803 0.0050
84kg 201 153 22951 0.0088
96kg 540 412 67048 0.0081
120kg 512 322 51750 0.0099
THFO 24 9 1887 0.0127

And on the pit
ching side, it just looks like the 96 and 120 kg categories are where most of the action is:

Weight Class Hit batters Total Pitchers Batters Faced HB/Batters Faced
66kg 3 2 167 0.0180
74kg 14 7 1482 0.0094
84kg 149 73 16940 0.0088
96kg 544 241 60438 0.0090
120kg 544 262 62415 0.0087
THFO 27 9 2997 0.0090

Just in case you think this is a great idea and think all stats should be tracked by Olympic wrestling weight classes, here are the Major League leaders by weight class of a few other popular offensive stats:

Total Hits:
74kg – Willy Taveras (COL) – 103
84kg – Dustin Pedroia (BOS) – 165
96kg – Ian Kinsler (TEX) – 165
120kg – Raul Ibanez (SEA) – 147
THFO – Prince Fielder (MIL) – 124

Home Runs:
74kg – Willy Taveras (COL) – 1
84kg – Chase Utley (PHI) – 30
96kg – Ryan Braun (MIL) – 31
120kg – Carlos Quentin (CWS) – 35
THFO – Adam Dunn (ARI) – 32

Batting Average (300 AB minimum):
74kg – Willy Taveras (COL) – .261
84kg – Dustin Pedroia (BOS) – .320
96kg – Chipper Jones (ATL) – .363
120kg – Albert Pujols (STL) – .348
THFO – Prince Fielder (MIL) – .273

On-Base Percent (OBP) (300 AB minimum):
74kg – Willy Taveras (COL) – .313
84kg – Ryan Theriot (CHC) – .396
96kg – Chipper Jones (ATL) – .460
120kg – Albert Pujols (STL) – .459
THFO – Adam Dunn (ARI) – .378

Slugging Pct (300 AB minimum):
74kg – Willy Taveras (COL) – .312
84kg – Alfonso Soriano (CHC) – .561
96kg – Ryan Braun (MIL) – .589
120kg – Albert Pujols (STL) – .617
THFO – Adam Dunn (ARI) – .520

On-base plus Slugging (OPS) (300 AB minimum):
74kg – Willy Taveras (COL) – .625
84kg – Chase Utley (PHI) – .926
96kg – Chipper Jones (ATL) – 1.037
120kg – Albert Pujols (STL) – 1.076
THFO – Adam Dunn (ARI) – .898

Total foul balls hit:
74kg – Willy Taveras (COL) – 242
84kg – Akinori Iwamura (TB) – 409
96kg – Jorge Cantu (FLA) – 428
120kg – Josh Hamilton (TEX) – 437
THFO – Carlos Delgado (NYM) – 376

If Ichiro just lost 3.2 kilograms off his listed weight, he could dominate that 74kg weight class. Perhaps someone should talk to him about that in the off-season.

Note: weights listed for weight classes are the maximum allowable weight, so the 84 kilogram class is anyone over 74kg, but less than or equal to 84kg. Also, the Olympic Wrestling competition has 55 and 60kg weight classes, but nobody in Major League Baseball is that small, – at least not this season.

Daniel Cabrera and season pitching records

Monday, August 18th, 2008

It’s often been said around baseball that without pitchers nobody would get hit by pitches. Daniel Cabrera of the Orioles is one such pitcher. He’s hit 17 batters so far this season, leading the Major Leagues. Showing a tremendous sense of balance, he’s hit 9 right handed batters and 8 lefties. He has also plunked an impressive 6 members of the American League All-Star Team, including the entire starting infield. He’s been relatively efficient in hitting batters, with opposing batters seeing just 3.1 pitches when they get hit. That’s just a little bit below the league average. And, he’s still the only pitcher in the majors who has hit a batter on every day of the week this season. According to MLB Gameday’s pitch f/x data, Cabrera’s average start and end speeds on the pitches with which he hit’s batters are the fastest in the majors, among pitchers who have hit at least 10 batters. (Although data is only available for 13 of his 17 plunks). He hits lefties slightly harder than right handers, with plunks to lefties averaging 93.5 mph leaving his hand, and slowing to 85 mph at impact. Pitches Cabrera threw to hit right-handers have averaged 92.5 mph to start, and hitting at about 84.4 mph. Those plunks to right handers may be a bit slower, but they also tend to be higher – averaging 4’6″ off the ground, while lefties have been plunked down low by Cabrera – about 2’7″ off the ground. (The league wide average height of plunks thrown by right handed pitcher to right handed batters is about 3’8″, and 2’4″ when righties hit lefty batters).

If Cabrera can hit 4 more batters, he’ll break the Orioles single season franchise record. That record is 20, by Barney Pelty, who set the mark for the 1904 St. Louis Browns, which moved to Baltimore and took up the Orioles name in 1954. At just 3 hit batters behind his franchise record, Daniel Cabrera is the closest of any pitcher this year to breaking such a mark. The only other real contenders are Roy Halladay, who could break Chris Carpenter’s 2001 Blue Jays record of 16, and Oliver Perez who is similarly 5 plunks from tying the Mets record, set by Pedro Astacio in 2002. Back in July, Micah Owings was on pace to challenge Randy Johnson’s single season record with the Diamondbacks, but he has since been sent to the minors, and is rumored to be the player to be named later in the Adam Dunn deal, which would send him to the Reds. Owings could possibly still be brought back up to the majors before the end of the year, and hit 7 more batters to break Johnson’s record, but you have to wonder if Randy is pulling some GM strings to protect that record.

Here’s the full list of 2008 team leaders in hitting batters, along with the single season franchise records:

Team 2008 Leader Hit batters Franchise Record
Orioles Daniel Cabrera 17 20 by Barney Pelty in 1904
D-backs Micah Owings 12 18 by Randy Johnson in 2001
Mets Oliver Perez 11 16 by Pedro Astacio in 2002
Blue Jays Roy Halladay 11 16 by Chris Carpenter in 2001
White Sox Gavin Floyd 8 16 by Clark Griffith in 1902,
and Jim Scott in 1909
Royals Brian Bannister 6 13 by Jim Colborn in 1977,
Mike Boddicker in 1991,
and Zack Greinke in 2005
Padres Randy Wolf 8 16 by Matt Clement in 2000
Astros Roy Oswalt 7 16 by Jack Billingham in 1971,
and Darryl Kile in 1996
Rays James Shields 10 20 by Victor Zambrano in 2003
Rangers Vicente Padilla 9 19 by Charlie Hough in 1987
Red Sox Tim Wakefield 9 20 by Howard Ehmke in 1923,
and Bronson Arroyo in 2004
Rockies Jorge De La Rosa,
Ubaldo Jimenez
7 17 by Pedro Astacio in 1998
Braves Dave Bush 9 20 by Jamey Wright in 2001
Mariners Jarrod Washburn 7 18 by Randy Johnson in 1992
Tigers Justin Verlander 10 23 by Howard Ehmke in 1922
Nationals Odalis Perez,
John Lannan
6 18 by Ramon Ortiz in 2006
Twins Nick Blackburn 7 20 by Bill Carrick in 1901,
Case Patten in 1904,
and Walter Johnson in 1923
Angels John Lackey 7 21 by Tom Murphy in 1969
Indians Aaron Laffey 9 24 by Otto Hess in 1906
Phillies Kyle Kendrick 12 28 by JackTaylor in 1897
Marlins Ricky Nolasco,
Mark Hendrickson
5 19 by DontrelleWillis in 2006
Cubs Jason Marquis,
Kerry Wood
7 24 by NixeyCallahan in 1899
Cardinals Braden Looper 8 27 by WillieSudhoff in 1898
Yankees Mike Mussina,
Andy Pettitte
6 26 by JackWarhop in 1909
Pirates Paul Maholm 7 27 by PinkHawley in 1897
A’s Dana Eveland 9 32 by ChickFraser in 1901
Reds Edinson Volquez 11 35 by WillWhite in 1884
Braves Jeff Bennett 6 30 by Vic Willis in 1898 and 1899
Giants Keiichi Yabu 6 37 by Ed Doheny in 1899
Dodgers Chad Billingsley 6 41 by Joe McGinnity in 1900

Plunk streak ends

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Carlos Quentin played in a baseball game last night, and he didn’t get hit by a pitch – for the first time since August 6th. But, the White Sox began a short road trip in Oakland last night, and all 6 plunks of Quentin’s streak were in home games, so he could still continue his home-game plunk streak when the White Sox return to US Cellular Field on Monday.

But since Quentin didn’t get hit by a pitch, that leaves the longest active streak of getting hit by pitches at 1… by Jose Guillen, Austin Kearns, Jorge Cantu, Josh Willingham, Shin-Soo Choo and Nick Swisher.

In other important news, Jorge De La Rosa of the Rockies hit Austin Kearns of the Nationals with a pitch last night, bringing the Rockies all time franchise total for plunks thrown to 998. I’m sure everyone in Colorado is excited about seeing the team pass such a major milestone in the near future.