Archive for April, 2009

Tim Wakefield reaches 10 plunked Twins

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

HBPs of Note: April 22, 2009

Tim Wakefield threw two plunks against the Twins yesterday, hitting Alexei Casilla and Denard Span. That brings Wakefield’s career total to 166, and his total against the Twins to 10. The Twins are the 7th team Wakefield has reached double figures in hit batsmen against. Wake’s 2nd plunk was also his 80th thrown at Fenway Park.

Yesterday was the first day since July 28, 1989 on which the Twins got hit by a pitch at least once in both games of a double-header.

Adrian Gonzalez
got hit by a pitch for the Padres yesterday, which means that all 30 teams now have at least 1 HBP. The Padres were a stubborn holdout from the 2009 HBP stats column, avoiding all plunks for their first 14 games, despite having David Eckstein and Kevin Kouzmanoff on the team. But, they didn’t last as long as last year’s Braves, who made it to their 26th game before getting a plunking. Gonzalez got plunked by Barry Zito, who despite that plunk pitched 7 shutout innings. Really. Barry Zito.

And, Jamey Wright threw the 128th plunk of his career, but only his 2nd against Cleveland. That’s still 12 short of Justin Verlander‘s plunk total against the Indians.

Prince Fielder gets to 40 before 25

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

HBPs of Note: April 21, 2009

Jamie Moyer hit Prince Fielder twice in yesterdays game, which brought Moyer’s career total up to 130, and Fielder’s total to 40. Moyer passed Frank Tanana and Dave Stieb on the all time hit batsmen list, and moved into a tie with Jesse Tannehill for 23rd place (give or take a few guys with unclear totals from the 19th century).
Fielder is the youngest active player with 40 career HBPs (he turns 25 next month) and is the first batter to reach 40 HBPs before turning 25 since Grady Sizemore got his 40th plunk on August 23, 2006, 21 days after his 24th birthday.
Moyer also hit Fielder once in their previous matchup, on September 11, 2008. Moyer has also plunked David Ortiz and Mo Vaughn twice in the same game, so he may have something against large-sized power-hitting lefties. (Then again, the other two players he’s plunked twice in a game are Damion Easley and Mark Ellis). Moyer never hit Prince Fielders father Cecil though, in 39 plate appearances.

Also in HBP action yesterday, Brad Bergeson threw the first plunk of his career, and Robinson Tejada threw his 20th.

Ryan Freel

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Orioles utility-man Ryan Freel has been hit by 42 pitches in his career, and hasn’t been plunked yet in 2009, but he’s the only active player who has been plunked twice by pitchers born in the State of Maine. Matt Kinney was born in Bangor, Maine and plunked Ryan Freel on April 28, 2004. Tim Stauffer was born in Portland, Maine and hit Freel with a pitch on May 11, 2005.

This information will come in handy one of these days… you’ll see.

Nick Green chases Red Sox record

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

HBPs of Note: April 20, 2009

Nick Green got hit by a pitch for the Red Sox yesterday. That’s his 2nd of the season, which leads the team. He only needs to get hit 34 more times this year to break Don Baylor‘s single season record with Boston. That could be just the piece of information the Red Sox need to keep Green in the lineup when Julio Lugo returns from his injury. Green got plunked by Radhames Liz, who also threw David Ortiz his 25th career plunk later in that same inning.

Also yesterday, Rafael Soriano of the Braves threw his 10th career hit batsmen, plunking Washington’s Josh Willingham. And Houston’s LaTroy Hawkins plunked Paul Janish of the Reds, but it is not yet clear what significance that might have had. Yet.

HBPs of note – April 19, 2009

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Jason Kendall got hit by a pitch for the first time in his 2009 season yesterday, making a total of 232 for his career. Nelson Figueroa became the 182nd pitcher to hit Jason Kendall with a pitch. Kendall needs 11 more to tie Ron Hunt for fifth on the all time list.

Johnny Damon got hit by Carl Pavano pitch, bringing Damon’s career total to 40, and bringing the Yankees franchise total to 4,100. Damon needs 203 more to tie Ron Hunt for fifth on the all time list. But unlike Kendall, he doesn’t have a very good chance of doing that this year.

Chipper Jones got hit by a pitch, which was the 17th of his career, which means you’ve probably missed your one chance to see Chipper Jones get and HBP, if you wanted to do so this season.

Carlos Quentin moved into a tie for the league lead, getting his 3rd of the season.

Kelly Shoppach got plunked for the Indians, which gives the team a major league leading 9 HBPs, and puts them on pace for 112 this year, which would break the record they set last year. But, last year they had 10 HBPs after an equal number of games (13).

Overall, HBPs per plate appearance are up 0.6% from their rate in April of 2008.

HBPs of note – April 17, 2009

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Kevin Youkilis got hit by a pitch thrown by Danys Baez in last night’s Red Sox-Orioles game – which makes a nice round 40 hit batsmen in Baez’s career. Youk’s plunk was his 43rd career HBP, but it was also the 3,900th in Red Sox franchise history.

Also, Atlanta’s Brian McCann felt the impact of piracy as Pittsburgh’s Paul Maholm hit him with two pitches yesterday. He’s the first batter this season to get plunked twice in one game by the same pitcher. Maholm is the first Pirate’s pitcher to hit the same batter twice in a game since Dan Serafini plunked Fernando Vina twice on August 22, 2000.

Active Leaders

Friday, April 17th, 2009

You’ve probably been sitting around wondering since the retirement of Jeff Kent, who is the active leader in HBPs as second basemen? And for that matter, who leads all the other positions in getting hit by pitches while playing at those positions?

Well, okay. I’ll look into it.

Designated Hitters:
Jason Giambi passed Frank Thomas last season, to become the active leader in being plunked as a Designated Hitter, which puts into question the title of “Big Hurt”. Thomas wasn’t that active last season anyway, and now he’s technically listed as a free agent, so he could contend for the active lead if someone actually signs him. But Giambi has already been hit twice as a DH this year, so Thomas better hurry up if he wants to get back in that race. Travis Hafner is the next closest with 48 DH plunkings.

Player HBP at DH Status
Jason Giambi 59 Active
Frank Thomas 57 Free Agent
Travis Hafner 47 Active
Mike Sweeney 32 Active
Josh Phelps 29 Minors (SF)
Jonny Gomes 24 Minors (CIN)
Manny Ramirez 21 Active
David Ortiz 19 Active
Jim Thome 19 Active

Right Field:
Jose Guillen has had the active lead in getting hit as a right fielder since he passed Gary Sheffield on May 12, 2007. There does not appear to be another right fielder who is likely to catch Guillen, so he should hold this lead until he leaves the game.

Player HBP at RF Status
Jose Guillen 99 Active
Gary Sheffield 80 Active
Vladimir Guerrero 76 Active
Jermaine Dye 55 Active
Magglio Ordonez 43 Active
Austin Kearns 43 Active
Manny Ramirez 36 Active

Center Field:
Aaron Rowand has been hit 91 times while playing center field (or at least while he was batting in between playing center field… you get the point). He passed Andruw Jones for that lead on May 28, 2008.

Player HBP at CF Status
Aaron Rowand 91 Active
Andruw Jones 82 Active
Mike Cameron 75 Active
Ken Griffey 72 Active
Juan Pierre 55 Active
Grady Sizemore 52 Active
Torii Hunter 51 Active
David DeJesus 49 Active

Left Field:
Luis Gonzalez hasn’t officially announced his retirement yet, but the 30 major league teams seem to be pretty sure he’s retired. He’s still calling himself a free agent, but since he’s not playing at the moment, the active lead among left fielders falls to Cliff Floyd. Floyd is on the DL for San Diego, which limits his activity, so if you want an active leader who has actually played left field this season, it’s Matt Holliday.

Player HBP at LF Status
Luis Gonzalez 111 Free Agent
Cliff Floyd 70 Active
Shannon Stewart 64 Free Agent
Geoff Jenkins 64 Free Agent
Matt Holliday 47 Active
Reed Johnson 46 Active
Adam Dunn 45 Active
Josh Willingham 40 Active
Manny Ramirez 39 Active

Short Stop:
Derek Jeter has been hit by a lot of pitches as a Short Stop, with 136 so far, and he’s been the active leader since taking his 51st plunk at Short on August 2, 2001. That put him ahead of Pat Meares among active shortstops. David Eckstein has been close behind Jeter for a long time, but since the Yankees will keep playing Jeter at short stop for the rest of time,
and Eckstein is playing 2nd base this year, Jeter will probably hold this lead until he retires.

Player HBP at SS Status
Derek Jeter 136 Active
David Eckstein 120 Active
Miguel Tejada 96 Active
Alex Rodriguez 72 Active
Alex Gonzalez 64 Active

Third Base:
Scott Rolen has what you’d call a commanding lead among active third basemen. He’s been the active leader since July 17th, 2002 when he passed Matt Williams.

Player HBP at 3B Status
Scott Rolen 106 Active
Alex Rodriguez 67 Active
Aramis Ramirez 65 Active
Aaron Boone 64 Retired
Mike Lowell 52 Active

Second Base:
Jeff Kent retired after last year, with 113 plunks at 2nd Base, and Damion Easley doesn’t have a job this year, so that leaves Chase Utley as the active leader for second basemen. If he keeps up his rate of being hit by pitches from the last two years (leading the majors both years), he should hold onto this lead for a long time.

Player HBP at 2B Status
Jeff Kent 113 Retired
Damion Easley 103 Free Agent
Chase Utley 83 Active
Ray Durham 68 Free Agent
Rickie Weeks 62 Active
Adam Kennedy 59 Minors (TB)
Mark Grudzielanek 59 Free Agent
Placido Polanco 55 Active
Alfonso Soriano 46 Active
Jerry Hairston 45 Active

First Base
Carlos Delgado has another one of those commanding leads at this position. He’s held the active lead since the beginning of the 2006 season – he finished 2005 in a tie with Jeff Bagwell for the active lead at first base, but Bagwell never played again. Delgado is 37, and Giambi is behind him at age 38, so Derrek Lee, Paul Konerko or Mark Teixeira could inherit this lead in the next couple of years.

Player HBP at 1B Status
Carlos Delgado 154 Active
Jason Giambi 93 Active
J.T. Snow 63 Retired
Sean Casey 59 Retired
Derrek Lee 57 Active
Paul Konerko 57 Active
Mark Teixeira 50 Active

This falls closer to the category of preposterously insurmountable leads. Jason Kendall has been the active HBP leader among catchers since May 5, 2000 when he got hit for the 91st time as a catcher, and passed Mike MacFarlane. Jason LaRue and AJ Pierzynski are pretty good at getting hit by pitches, but they don’t come close to Kendall, even added together.

Player HBP at C Status
Jason Kendall 227 Active
Jason LaRue 101 Active
A.J. Pierzynski 84 Active
Brad Ausmus 66 Active
Jorge Posada 60 Active

Mike Hampton is active? You might not have seen much of him recently, but he’s playing for the Astros this year, and he’s the sole owner of the active lead among pitchers getting hit by pitches, now the Greg Maddux has retired and Scott Elarton is still a free agent. But, a whole lot of pitchers could catch him without too much effort. Brad Penny and Jake Peavy have even been hit twice in the same season, so they could catch Hampton if they match their career highs – though Penny being in the American League would make that unlikely for him. Elarton and the recently retired Matt Clement were the only active pitchers with a 3 HBP season to their credit, but now no active pitcher has been hit more than twice in as season.

Player HBP at P Status
Greg Maddux 5 Retired
Mike Hampton 5 Active
Scott Elarton 5 Free Agent
Livan Hernandez 4 Active
Roy Oswalt 4 Active
Brad Penny 3 Active
Jake Peavy 3 Active
Darren Oliver 3 Active
Jeff Suppan 3 Active
John Smoltz 3 Active
Pedro Martinez 3 Free Agent
Adam Eaton 3 Active
Shawn Estes 3 Active

HBPs of note – April 15, 2009

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Andruw Jones of the Texas Rangers got hit by a pitch in the 8th inning yesterday, by Matt Albers of the Baltimore Orioles. That was the 85th of Jones’ career, but it was also the 1000th HBP recorded by Major League players born in 1977. Batters born in 1977 have been plunked the relatively infrequently compared to players born in other years in the 70s. Only batters born in 1970 (987) and 1979 (729) have fewer plunks among years in that decade. Players born in 1974 have been hit the most, with 1909 plunks so far, and the ’70s have produced the most total plunk victims so far, with 13,400.

6 batters were hit by pitches yesterday, all in the 6th inning or later.

HBPs of note – April 13, 2009

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Jason Giambi and Rickie Weeks both got hit by pitches yesterday, making them the first two to be hit 3 times this season. Giambi’s plunk was the 160th of his career, and Weeks is up to 62.

Chase Utley collected his first HBP of the 2009 season after leading the majors in 2008 and 2007. He’s up to 84 in his career, which is 4 short of tying the Phillies franchise record.

Reed Johnson got hit for the 2nd consecutive day, bringing his career total to 94. Johnson led the majors in HBPs in 2006.

50 of the 79 HBPs this season have occurred in odd numbered innings. 14 batters have been hit in the 7th inning but only 3 have been plunked in the 6th.

Edinson Volquez and Chien-Ming Wang both achieved their 20th hit batsmen yesterday, and Saul Rivera threw his 10th (along with his 9th).

HBPs of note – April 12, 2009

Monday, April 13th, 2009

In yesterday’s game between the Phillies and Rockies, Chan Ho Park plunked Chris Ianetta. That makes 131 career hit batsmen for Park, moving him ahead of Jesse Tannehill into a tie for 21st place with George Mullin. That’s not that interesting, but among the 10 plunks in yesterdays HBP action that was probably the most significant.

David DeJesus got hit again, his 61st, moving him closer to the Royals franchise record. He’s got a fair shot at the American League Central record too, though there are others that may beat him too it.

Joba Chamberlain hit two batters in a game for the first time in his career, bringing his total to 5. And Reed Johnson got his 93rd HBP. Reed Johnson has the longest active streak of consecutive seasons with double digit HBPs, with 6. This plunk could be the start of his 7th season with 10 or more HBPs. He’s never had a season with less than 10 HBPs.