Danny Espinosa continued his amazing rookie season with his 14th plunk of the year last night on a 7th inning plunk from Ervin Santana. The list of rookies who got hit by 14 pitches before the end of June is not a long one, at least going back to 1920. It’s Danny Espinosa – he’s the list. He’s now just 8 HBPs from tying the MLB rookie record, which is only a 103 year old record. The last rookies to get hit by 14 pitches in a season were Jose Bautista and Shane Victorino in 2006. Bautista had 16 that year, and Victorina has 14. But Espinosa still has 83 games on the schedule to add to his 14.
For Ervin Santana’s part of that plunk, it was the 60th of his career, making him just the third Angels pitcher to hit 60 batters. He’s 13 plunks short of John Lackey for the team record, and 11 plunks behind Chuck Finley for 2nd place. That was also his 33rd plunk at Angels Stadium which moves him ahead of Lackey for 2nd place in park history. Chuck Finley has the park record with 38.
In St. Petersburg Florida yesterday, Jonny Gomes returned to Tropicana Field as a visitor. He holds the park record for HBPs there, and he took advantage of a chance to extend that record by getting hit by a pitch from Rays pitcher Adam Russell. Gomes has now been hit 27 times at Tropicana Field, and 57 times overall.
In other news, Happy Don Baylor‘s Birthday! June 28th is in important date in HBP history, and not just because it’s Don Baylor’s birthday. 24 years ago today, Baylor got his 244th career plunk which moved Baylor ahead of Ron Hunt for the so called “modern” major league record, which sounds better than 3rd place on the all time HBP list. Also, on June 28th 2005, Craig Biggio got his 267th career plunk an a Jason Jennings plunk tying Baylor’s final career total.