Archive for March, 2009

Braves Preview

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

The Braves have a demographic problem. There are too many of them that are just too old or too young to get hit by a lot of pitches, and that’s why they only had 42 plunks in 2008 (5th from the bottom in HBP per plate appearance), and why they might not be much better in 2009 (at getting hit by pitches).

From 1986 to 2008, 38% of all HBPs have been recorded by players in a narrow band of ages from 26 to 29. 19.9% of HBPs in that span landed on players past their 27th birthday but before their 29th. The record breaking 2008 Indians, for example, got 52 out of their 103 plunks out of guys aged 26, 27 and 28. But the 2008 Braves only had 4 guys in that age range at any point last season – Mark Teixeira turned 28 last April but got traded in July, Omar Infante was 26 for the whole season, as was Kelly Johnson, and Josh Anderson turned 26 in August. So the Braves batters in the core age group for HBP production produced a total of 7 plunks for the team in 2008.

For 2009, they have a few more players moving into that prime age range. Josh Anderson is 26, and turns 27 (the most popular age for getting plunked) in August. Maybe he can beat his career season high of two HBPs now, but the people over at the Talking Chop blog seem to think he’ll be playing a backup role to the younger Jordan Schafer (Schafer turns 23 in September and got hit once in winter ball this year). Kelly Johnson is 27 for the whole season, and he should be able to beat his career high of 4 plunks. Omar Infante will also be 27 for the whole season, but he’s never been plunked more than 3 times in a year. The 26 year olds are a little better with Yunel Escobar‘s 5 HBPs last year, and Casey Kotchman showing potential with 9 HBPs in 2008. If Kotchman continues to improve into his prime HBP years, he could do well. The same goes for Jeff Francouer, who is still just 25 but got hit 10 times last year at age 24.

The question remains, though, if the younger players will form a core who embrace the HBP, or if they’ll follow the team’s veteran leaders, who are among the best at not getting hit by pitches. Chipper Jones is not going to inspire anyone to get hit by a pitch. He’s been hit just 16 times in 8,677 plate appearance. Only 12 players in major league history have had over 8,000 plate appearances and been plunked less than Chipper Jones, and only one of them is still in the league – Garrett Anderson. It’s as if the Braves saw a specific need for another guy who will turn 37 this season and has less than 20 career HBPs. Because Greg Norton and Chipper Jones weren’t enough to fill that role. Garrett Anderson has only been hit 6 times in 8,480 plate appearance. There is nobody in major league history with over 8,000 plate appearances who got hit fewer times than Garrett Anderson.

On the pitching side, the Braves threw 42 plunks last season, exactly matching the number of HBPs on the batting side. That number should increase this year just because of the addition of Javier Vazquez. Vazquez, Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe are all capable of double digit hit-batters in a season, even though none of them has done that recently. And, if Jeff Bennett doesn’t get gut, he’s a guy who can come in and hit batters out of the bullpen.

UPDATE: The Braves traded Josh Anderson to Detroit on March 30th, so that’s one less player in the most popular “target demographic”.

WBC Final Wrap-up

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Japan won it’s second consecutive WBC championship last night beating Korea 5 to 3 in 10 innings, but the real victory of the tournament goes to Korea’s Shin-Soo Choo, who also plays for the Cleveland Indians, who lead the WBC in total HBPs with 3. Congratulations Shin-Soo Choo!

Choo collected his third plunk of the tournament in the semi-finals game against Venezuala, on a pitch thrown by Carlos Vasquez. In the finals, Japan was the only team to get plunked – Hiroyuki Nakajima got hit by Chang Young Lim in the 10th inning, but that was after Japan had scored their two runs, so the plunk didn’t contribute to the final score. Through the course of the tournament, 42 batters got hit by pitches, but they only scored 7 runs as a result of those plunks. None of those plunks occured with the bases loaded.

Also, Korea led the tournament in total HBPs on the batting side with 7. Australia got 6 plunks and 5 baseballs hit Mexico. Japan and USA got hit 4 times, Venezuela and Cuba took 3 plunks, and the Netherlands, Panama, Puerto Rico and Italy all got hit twice. The Domincan Republic and Canada only got hit once a piece, and every baseball missed China, Taiwan and South Africa.

21 of the 42 WBC plunks were recorded by players who are not on Major League 40-man rosters, and American League players slightly edged the National Leaguers in the HBP category 11 to 10. The Phillies and Indians tied with 4 plunks each by their players.

On the pitching side, Ismel Jimenez of Cuba led the tournament with 3 batters hit, and helped his Cuban team to a total of 8 to lead the tournament. Mexico and Venezuela hit 5 batters, and the Dominican Republic managed to hit 4 batters without making it out of the first round. The Netherlands and China hit 3 batters, and the US, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Italy, Japan and Korea threw 2 plunks each. Taiwan only hit one batter as did Australia. Canada and Panama were the tournament pacifists with no batters hit. This leads to the possibility that there is an inverse relationship between the number of plunks a WBC team throws and the number of occurrences of the letter A in the country’s name.

Here’s the final totals for pitchcounts for Major Leaguers (some may be non-roster invitees):

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MLB Team Pitcher WBC Team Pitches IPOuts Rough Outings*
ARI Travis Blackley AUS 74 17 0
ARI Tony Pena DOM 22 6 0
ATL Jorge Campillo MEX 135 26 0
ATL Javier Vazquez PUR 127 28 0
BAL Jeremy Guthrie USA 106 11 1
BOS Fernando Cabrera PUR 34 6 0
BOS Enrique Gonzalez VEN 152 29 0
BOS Javier Lopez PUR 35 7 0
BOS Daisuke Matsuzaka JPN 249 44 0
CHA Matt Thornton USA 61 14 1
CHN Ted Lilly USA 98 19 0
CHN Carlos Marmol DOM 42 5 1
CIN Johnny Cueto DOM 71 14 0
CIN Ramon Ramirez VEN 103 16 0
CIN Pedro Viola DOM 13 3 0
CIN Edinson Volquez DOM 58 9 0
CLE Rafael Perez DOM 35 9 0
COL Manny Corpas PAN 31 6 0
COL Jason Grilli ITA 62 11 0
COL Ubaldo Jimenez DOM 65 12 0
DET Armando Galarraga VEN 143 22 0
DET Fu-Te Ni TPE 26 4 0
FLA Christopher Leroux CAN 34 5 0
FLA Matt Lindstrom USA 33 6 0
FLA Rick VandenHurk NED 127 16 1
HOU LaTroy Hawkins USA 47 11 1
HOU Roy Oswalt USA 201 34 0
KCA Lenny DiNardo ITA 14 0 0
KCA Joakim Soria MEX 20 6 0
LAA Francisco Rodriguez MEX 32 6 0
LAA Scot Shields USA 75 13 1
LAA Rich Thompson AUS 48 9 0
LAN Jonathan Broxton USA 71 12 1
MIL Mark DiFelice ITA 45 12 0
MIN Luis Ayala MEX 68 10 1
MIN Jesse Crain CAN 18 4 0
NYA Damaso Marte DOM 26 6 0
NYN Elmer Dessens MEX 81 20 0
NYN Pedro Feliciano PUR 42 9 0
NYN Nelson Figueroa PUR 110 22 0
NYN Oliver Perez MEX 149 20 1
NYN J.J. Putz USA 45 9 1
NYN Francisco Rodriguez VEN 98 17 1
OAK Brad Ziegler USA 76 10 2
PHI Drew Naylor AUS 20 1 1
PHI J.C. Romero PUR 51 8 0
PIT David Davidson CAN 17 3 0
PIT John Grabow USA 68 13 1
PIT Ian Snell PUR 122 24 0
SDN Heath Bell USA 82 11 2
SDN Jake Peavy USA 110 15 1
SEA Felix Hernandez VEN 147 26 0
SEA Carlos Silva VEN 177 37 1
SFN Jonathan Sanchez PUR 119 20 1
SLN Adam Ottavino ITA 50 9 0
SLN Dennys Reyes MEX 43 5 1
TBA J.P. Howell USA 44 10 0
WAS Joel Hanrahan USA 80 15 0
WAS Saul Rivera PUR 48 11 0

*-Outings with more than 20 pitches per inning

Cardinals Spring Preview

Friday, March 20th, 2009

The St. Louis Cardinals got hit by 42 pitches last season, which tied them for 25th place in the Major League HBP standings. But, Baltimore and Atlanta got their 42 HBPs in slightly fewer plate appearances, so the Cardinals had the 4th worst plunks per plate appearance in the majors, at 0.0066. That means they got hit just once every 151.67 trips to the plate. 42 HBPs is the Cardinals lowest total since 1998, but the team has made some changes and should see improvement in the 2009 plunk total.

Ryan Ludwick led the team with 8 HBPs last season, which was a career high for him and something he should be able to build upon in ’09. Rick Ankiel also had a career high with 5 plunks last year, but maybe he’d like to get hit by as many pitches as he thrown in a single season, which would be 6. Jason LaRue and Albert Pujols got hit by 5 pitches last year, but that’s probably right at the level you can expect for them in ’09. LaRue passed the 100 plunk milestone for his career last season, so there’s always the chance of a post-milestone let-down. They lost Cesar Izturis at shortstop, who overachieved with 6 HBPs last season, but they’ve replaced him with Khalil Greene, who got hit 5 times for the Padres last year, before getting all mad about his inability to hit the ball and breaking his own hand in an altercation with a dugout wall. Greene is someone who can get hit by a fair number of pitches – his career high is 8, and he’s got 32 in his career.

The biggest week link in the Cardinals HBP offense was the 2nd base position. The Cardinals 2nd basemen only got hit once in 694 plate appearances, which as you might have guessed, puts them dead last in the Major Leagues. Based on the pitchers they faced, and the number of plate appearances they had against each of them, the Cardinals 2nd basemen should have gotten hit about 6 times last year, so they underachieved by 5 hbps. “Should have” doesn’t mean they deserved to get plunked that many times, just that would have been the expected value based on the season HBP rates of the pitchers faced by Cardinals 2nd basemen. There expected plunks was still only 25th in the league, which means that the pitchers they faced didn’t give up a lot of plunks on average, but they still should have been able to do better than 1 HBP on the whole season. The only pitcher to plunk a Cardinals 2nd baseman in 2008 was Randy Wolf of the Astros (now with the Dodgers).

The Cardinals 2nd basemen were so bad at getting hit by pitches last season, that they’ve taken the radical approach of not having any 2nd basemen on their roster this year. Skip Schumaker is listed on the depth chart as the starting 2nd basemen, but he’s still listed as a left-fielder because they’ve developed a new kind of defensive shift where they play two left fielders and have one of them playing really shallow and shifted around to the right side of the field. And that guy has to cover 2nd base in all the situations where a 2nd baseman would, but he’s a 4th outfielder, not an infielder. This is the kind of creativity Tony La Russa is known for.

The other big underachievers in the HBP category were the pitchers. We can’t really expect pitchers to take a lot of plunks, but the Cardinals should have had about 3 but didn’t get plunked at all. Maybe they could at least chip in with 1 this year? On the other hand though, the Cardinals were best in the National League and tied for best in the Majors in pinch-hit plunks, with 5. Hopefully they can keep that up.

On the pitching side, the Cards hit 51 opposing batters last season, which is their lowest total since 1996 when they hit just 35. But, 51 hit batters put the Cardinals in a tie for 17th in the Major League standings, so that’s just a little bit below the median. They can probably be expected to be right around that area again in 2009 – unless someone makes them angry.

WBC Plunks – 3/19/09

Friday, March 20th, 2009

They wrapped up the 2nd round of the WBC last night, with the game to determine if Korea or Japan was the winner of their pool, but they also determined that Korea can get hit by as many pitches as Australia – though it’s taken Korea 4 more games. Korean right field Yong-Kyu Les got plunked by Japan’s Tetsuya Utsumi, and unfortunately had to leave the game because of it. But, it put Korea in a tie with Australia for the most HBPs in the tournament, with 6 each.

Of the teams moving on to the semi-finals, Korea has been plunked 6 times, the US has 4 HBPS, and Japan and Venezuela have been hit 3 times each. Through the first 2 rounds, players from the Phillies 40-man roster have been hit the most with 4 HBPs, and the Cleveland Indians WBC representatives have been plunked 3 times. Baltimore, the Yankees, the Mets, and the Twins have all had their players get hit twice in the WBC. That could be a good sign for the Mets and Twins who were the worst teams in their respective leagues in the category of getting hit by pitches.

WBC Plunks – 3/18/09

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Team Cuba was eliminated from WBC competition last night, but they hit one more batter on their way out – a 9th inning plunking of Japan’s Hiroyuki Nakajima on a pitch from Vladimir Garcia. That brings Cuba’s total plunks thrown to a tournament leading 8. It’ll take some work for any of the semi-finalists to match that number in only 2 remaining games, at most. Venezuela is the leader among the remaining teams with 4 hit batters, the US has two, and Japan and Korea have each hit just one batter.

WBC Plunks – 3/17/09

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

In WBC 2nd round action yesterday Shuichi Murata of Japan got plunked by Jung Keun Bong of Korea, but it was Korea that won the game, earning a spot in the semi-finals and sending Japan to an elimination game again Cuba – a re-match of the 2006 WBC. Murata has now been plunked twice in the WBC. In the other game yesterday, Adam Dunn and Jimmy Rollins helped team USA earn a spot in the semi-finals by getting plunked by Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Sanchez and Nelson Figueroa. Figueroa is listed as a non-roster invitee to Mets training camp, and maybe showing the ability to plunk Phillie Jimmy Rollins will earn him a spot on the Mets roster. Either that or Rollins has developed an interest in being hit by baseballs after filming his recent TV ad for Dick’s Sporting Goods. (They couldn’t get Chase Utley for that role?)

Here’s the pitchcounts for WBC pitchers on major league rosters (or at least with invites to major league spring training camps).

MLB Team Pitcher WBC Team Pitches IPOuts Rough Outings*
ARI Travis Blackley AUS 74 17 0
ARI Tony Pena DOM 22 6 0
ATL Jorge Campillo MEX 135 26 0
ATL Javier Vazquez PUR 127 28 0
BAL Jeremy Guthrie USA 54 6 0
BOS Fernando Cabrera PUR 34 6 0
BOS Enrique Gonzalez VEN 84 18 0
BOS Javier Lopez PUR 35 7 0
BOS Daisuke Matsuzaka JPN 151 30 0
CHA Matt Thornton USA 49 11 1
CHN Ted Lilly USA 98 19 0
CHN Carlos Marmol DOM 42 5 1
CIN Johnny Cueto DOM 71 14 0
CIN Ramon Ramirez VEN 74 11 0
CIN Pedro Viola DOM 13 3 0
CIN Edinson Volquez DOM 58 9 0
CLE Rafael Perez DOM 35 9 0
COL Manny Corpas PAN 31 6 0
COL Jason Grilli ITA 62 11 0
COL Ubaldo Jimenez DOM 65 12 0
DET Armando Galarraga VEN 64 12 0
DET Fu-Te Ni TPE 26 4 0
FLA Christopher Leroux CAN 34 5 0
FLA Matt Lindstrom USA 33 6 0
FLA Rick VandenHurk NED 127 16 1
HOU LaTroy Hawkins USA 26 8 0
HOU Roy Oswalt USA 135 23 0
KCA Lenny DiNardo ITA 14 0 0
KCA Joakim Soria MEX 20 6 0
LAA Francisco Rodriguez MEX 32 6 0
LAA Scot Shields USA 65 12 1
LAA Rich Thompson AUS 48 9 0
LAN Jonathan Broxton USA 71 12 1
MIL Mark DiFelice ITA 45 12 0
MIN Luis Ayala MEX 68 10 1
MIN Jesse Crain CAN 18 4 0
NYA Damaso Marte DOM 26 6 0
NYN Elmer Dessens MEX 81 20 0
NYN Pedro Feliciano PUR 42 9 0
NYN Nelson Figueroa PUR 110 22 0
NYN Oliver Perez MEX 149 20 1
NYN J.J. Putz USA 45 9 1
NYN Francisco Rodriguez VEN 77 14 0
OAK Brad Ziegler USA 60 7 2
PHI Drew Naylor AUS 20 1 1
PHI J.C. Romero PUR 51 8 0
PIT David Davidson CAN 17 3 0
PIT John Grabow USA 25 6 0
PIT Ian Snell PUR 122 24 0
SDN Heath Bell USA 59 8 1
SDN Jake Peavy USA 110 15 1
SEA Felix Hernandez VEN 147 26 0
SEA Carlos Silva VEN 137 33 0
SFN Jonathan Sanchez PUR 119 20 1
SLN Adam Ottavino ITA 50 9 0
SLN Dennys Reyes MEX 43 5 1
TBA J.P. Howell USA 10 3 0
WAS Joel Hanrahan USA 50 10 0
WAS Saul Rivera PUR 48 11 0

WBC Plunks – 3/16/09

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Mexico was eliminated from the WBC by the Cubans last night, but at least they got hit by a couple of pitches on their way out. Marlins 3rd-baseman Jorge Cantu, playing for Mexico, was plunked in the 4th inning by Cuban pitcher Norge Vera. In the 7th inning, Mexcio’s Christhian Presichi was plunked by Pedro Luis Lazo. But, Mexico couldn’t capitalize on either of those free base runners to score a run. Cuba has thrown 20% of the 35 WBC plunks so far, with a total of 7. Mexico has thrown the 2nd most with 5, but they missed their last chance to add to that total. If you picked Australia in the always popular “office pool to pick which WBC team will get plunked the most”, you have the lead so far. Australia got plunked 6 times before their elimination, but Korea is right behind them with 5 and still alive in the tournament.

For those of you more worried about how many pitches are thrown, rather than how many pitches hit people, the New York Mets pitchers are leading the tournament with 439 pitches thrown. Seattle is a distant 2nd with 284, and Red Sox pitchers have thrown 279 for third place.

MLB Team Pitcher WBC Team Pitches IPOuts Rough Outings*
ARI Travis Blackley AUS 74 17 0
ARI Tony Pena DOM 22 6 0
ATL Jorge Campillo MEX 135 26 0
ATL Javier Vazquez PUR 127 28 0
BAL Jeremy Guthrie USA 54 6 0
BOS Fernando Cabrera PUR 25 6 0
BOS Enrique Gonzalez VEN 84 18 0
BOS Javier Lopez PUR 19 4 0
BOS Daisuke Matsuzaka JPN 151 30 0
CHA Matt Thornton USA 35 8 1
CHN Ted Lilly USA 36 9 0
CHN Carlos Marmol DOM 42 5 1
CIN Johnny Cueto DOM 71 14 0
CIN Ramon Ramirez VEN 74 11 0
CIN Pedro Viola DOM 13 3 0
CIN Edinson Volquez DOM 58 9 0
CLE Rafael Perez DOM 35 9 0
COL Manny Corpas PAN 31 6 0
COL Jason Grilli ITA 62 11 0
COL Ubaldo Jimenez DOM 65 12 0
DET Armando Galarraga VEN 64 12 0
DET Fu-Te Ni TPE 26 4 0
FLA Christopher Leroux CAN 34 5 0
FLA Matt Lindstrom USA 33 6 0
FLA Rick VandenHurk NED 127 16 1
HOU LaTroy Hawkins USA 26 8 0
HOU Roy Oswalt USA 135 23 0
KCA Lenny DiNardo ITA 14 0 0
KCA Joakim Soria MEX 20 6 0
LAA Francisco Rodriguez MEX 32 6 0
LAA Scot Shields USA 53 8 1
LAA Rich Thompson AUS 48 9 0
LAN Jonathan Broxton USA 42 9 0
MIL Mark DiFelice ITA 45 12 0
MIN Luis Ayala MEX 68 10 1
MIN Jesse Crain CAN 18 4 0
NYA Damaso Marte DOM 26 6 0
NYN Elmer Dessens MEX 81 20 0
NYN Pedro Feliciano PUR 29 7 0
NYN Nelson Figueroa PUR 69 15 0
NYN Oliver Perez MEX 149 20 1
NYN J.J. Putz USA 34 6 1
NYN Francisco Rodriguez VEN 77 14 0
OAK Brad Ziegler USA 60 7 2
PHI Drew Naylor AUS 20 1 1
PHI J.C. Romero PUR 28 6 0
PIT David Davidson CAN 17 3 0
PIT John Grabow USA 25 6 0
PIT Ian Snell PUR 122 24 0
SDN Heath Bell USA 36 6 0
SDN Jake Peavy USA 110 15 1
SEA Felix Hernandez VEN 147 26 0
SEA Carlos Silva VEN 137 33 0
SFN Jonathan Sanchez PUR 56 12 0
SLN Adam Ottavino ITA 50 9 0
SLN Dennys Reyes MEX 43 5 1
TBA J.P. Howell USA 10 3 0
WAS Joel Hanrahan USA 37 8 0
WAS Saul Rivera PUR 27 8 0

*- Rough outings are appearances with 20 or more pitches thrown per inning worked.

WBC Plunks – 3/15/09

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Shuichi Murata became the first batter plunked in round 2 of the WBC when he took an 80mph 5th inning plunking yesterday for Japan. His plunk resulted in one of Japan’s 5 runs, when Murata scored on a Seiichi Uchikawa single. Murata’s plunk was thrown by Cuban pitcher Ismel Jimenez, who has now thrown a tournamnet high 3 HBPs.

Daisuke Matsuzaka started that game for Japan yesterday, and became the first pitcher to pass 150 pitches in the WBC. But, he cruised through 6 innings on 86 pitches, with no walks.

MLB Team Pitcher WBC Team Pitches IPOuts Rough Outings*
ARI Travis Blackley AUS 74 17 0
ARI Tony Pena DOM 22 6 0
ATL Jorge Campillo MEX 65 14 0
ATL Javier Vazquez PUR 127 28 0
BAL Jeremy Guthrie USA 54 6 0
BOS Fernando Cabrera PUR 13 5 0
BOS Enrique Gonzalez VEN 61 12 0
BOS Javier Lopez PUR 19 4 0
BOS Daisuke Matsuzaka JPN 151 30 0
CHA Matt Thornton USA 35 8 1
CHN Ted Lilly USA 36 9 0
CHN Carlos Marmol DOM 42 5 1
CIN Johnny Cueto DOM 71 14 0
CIN Ramon Ramirez VEN 59 9 0
CIN Pedro Viola DOM 13 3 0
CIN Edinson Volquez DOM 58 9 0
CLE Rafael Perez DOM 35 9 0
COL Manny Corpas PAN 31 6 0
COL Jason Grilli ITA 62 11 0
COL Ubaldo Jimenez DOM 65 12 0
DET Armando Galarraga VEN 64 12 0
DET Fu-Te Ni TPE 26 4 0
FLA Christopher Leroux CAN 34 5 0
FLA Matt Lindstrom USA 33 6 0
FLA Rick VandenHurk NED 127 16 1
HOU LaTroy Hawkins USA 26 8 0
HOU Roy Oswalt USA 135 23 0
KCA Lenny DiNardo ITA 14 0 0
KCA Joakim Soria MEX 20 6 0
LAA Francisco Rodriguez MEX 15 2 0
LAA Scot Shields USA 53 8 1
LAA Rich Thompson AUS 48 9 0
LAN Jonathan Broxton USA 42 9 0
MIL Mark DiFelice ITA 45 12 0
MIN Luis Ayala MEX 61 7 1
MIN Jesse Crain CAN 18 4 0
NYA Damaso Marte DOM 26 6 0
NYN Elmer Dessens MEX 81 20 0
NYN Pedro Feliciano PUR 25 5 0
NYN Nelson Figueroa PUR 69 15 0
NYN Oliver Perez MEX 149 20 1
NYN J.J. Putz USA 34 6 1
NYN Francisco Rodriguez VEN 54 10 0
OAK Brad Ziegler USA 60 7 2
PHI Drew Naylor AUS 20 1 1
PHI J.C. Romero PUR 16 4 0
PIT David Davidson CAN 17 3 0
PIT John Grabow USA 25 6 0
PIT Ian Snell PUR 50 12 0
SDN Heath Bell USA 36 6 0
SDN Jake Peavy USA 110 15 1
SEA Felix Hernandez VEN 61 12 0
SEA Carlos Silva VEN 137 33 0
SFN Jonathan Sanchez PUR 56 12 0
SLN Adam Ottavino ITA 50 9 0
SLN Dennys Reyes MEX 43 5 1
TBA J.P. Howell USA 10 3 0
WAS Joel Hanrahan USA 37 8 0
WAS Saul Rivera PUR 19 5 0

WBC Plunks – 3/12/09

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Mexicon and Cuba played the final game of the first round of the WBC last night, and once again there were plenty of international HBPs. Mexican starting pitcher Pablo Ortega through his 2nd HBP of the tournament, hitting Michel Enriquez of Cuba in the first inning, and Mexican reliever Dennys Reyes hit Leonys Martin. Cuban starting pitcher Luis Rodriguez hit Mexico batter Agustin Murillo in the 2nd inning.

After the first round of the WBC, Cesar Izturis of Venezuela, Brad Harman of Australia and Shin-Soo Cho of Korea are all tied for the WBC lead with 2 HBPs each. Australia, however, will not be moving on to round 2. On the pitching side, Johnny Cueto of the Domincan Republic, Pablo Ortega of Mexico and Ismel Jimenez of Cuba are leading the tournament with 2 plunks each.

WBC Plunks – 3/11/09

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

There were just 3 WBC games yesterday, and people only got hit by pitches in two of them. Derek Jeter got hit by Orber Moreno of Venezuela, which will probably earn him a contract with the Red Sox, but American pitcher Brad Ziegler (of the A’s) returned the favor by hitting Cesar Izturis in the following inning. That’s the 2nd of the tournament for Izturis. In the Mexico vs Australia game, Australian pitcher Brendan Wise hit Jorge Alberto Vazguez. There’s one last 1st round game today, between Mexico and Cuba, and then round 2 starts Saturday.

So far, Travis Blackley has led the WBC in pitches thrown, among pitchers who are on Major League spring training rosters, but if fans are concerned about WBC pitch counts, you should also be worried about Miguel Cabrera, who is wearing out his arms swinging his bat 34 times so far. Jorge Cantu has swung 32 times and Luke Hughes 31 times. But, here’s the pitch counts of the Major League-ish pitchers in the WBC:

MLB Team Pitcher WBC Team Pitches IPOuts Rough Outings*
ARI Travis Blackley AUS 74 17 0
ARI Tony Pena DOM 22 6 0
ATL Jorge Campillo MEX 65 14 0
ATL Javier Vazquez PUR 60 13 0
BAL Jeremy Guthrie USA 54 6 0
BOS Fernando Cabrera PUR 13 5 0
BOS Enrique Gonzalez VEN 61 12 0
BOS Javier Lopez PUR 14 3 0
BOS Daisuke Matsuzaka JPN 65 12 0
CHA Matt Thornton USA 11 6 0
CHN Ted Lilly USA 36 9 0
CHN Carlos Marmol DOM 42 5 1
CIN Johnny Cueto DOM 71 14 0
CIN Ramon Ramirez VEN 59 9 0
CIN Pedro Viola DOM 13 3 0
CIN Edinson Volquez DOM 58 9 0
CLE Rafael Perez DOM 35 9 0
COL Manny Corpas PAN 30 6 0
COL Jason Grilli ITA 62 11 0
COL Ubaldo Jimenez DOM 65 12 0
DET Armando Galarraga VEN 64 12 0
DET Fu-Te Ni TPE 26 4 0
FLA Christopher Leroux CAN 34 5 0
FLA Matt Lindstrom USA 21 4 0
FLA Rick VandenHurk NED 72 10 0
HOU LaTroy Hawkins USA 18 5 0
HOU Roy Oswalt USA 65 11 0
KCA Lenny DiNardo ITA 14 0 0
KCA Joakim Soria MEX 11 3 0
LAA Francisco Rodriguez MEX 15 2 0
LAA Scot Shields USA 42 5 1
LAA Rich Thompson AUS 48 9 0
LAN Jonathan Broxton USA 31 6 0
MIL Mark DiFelice ITA 45 12 0
MIN Luis Ayala MEX 29 4 0
MIN Jesse Crain CAN 18 4 0
NYA Damaso Marte DOM 26 6 0
NYN Elmer Dessens MEX 68 18 0
NYN Pedro Feliciano PUR 25 5 0
NYN Nelson Figueroa PUR 46 11 0
NYN Oliver Perez MEX 63 6 1
NYN J.J. Putz USA 21 3 1
NYN Francisco Rodriguez VEN 32 6 0
OAK Brad Ziegler USA 27 4 1
PHI Drew Naylor AUS 20 1 1
PHI J.C. Romero PUR 16 4 0
PIT David Davidson CAN 17 3 0
PIT John Grabow USA 2 2 0
PIT Ian Snell PUR 50 12 0
SDN Heath Bell USA 19 3 0
SDN Jake Peavy USA 58 9 0
SEA Felix Hernandez VEN 61 12 0
SEA Carlos Silva VEN 58 12 0
SFN Jonathan Sanchez PUR 56 12 0
SLN Adam Ottavino ITA 50 9 0
SLN Dennys Reyes MEX 21 4 0
TBA J.P. Howell USA 10 3 0
WAS Joel Hanrahan USA 29 5 0
WAS Saul Rivera PUR 14 4 0

*- Rough Outings are games with 20 or more pitches per inning. This is not a metric anybody has proven to mean anything, as far as I know. Basically, I made it up, but pitchers throwing over 20 pitches per inning are probably working harder than normal.