Danny Espinosa took another HBP yesterday, on a pitch from Chad Billingsley. The Nationals rookie is up to 16 plunks this year, which makes him the most plunked rookie since Jose Bautista took 16 HBPs in 2006, and the most plunked switch hitter since FP Santangelo got hit 23 times in 1998. The only other switch hitters to get hit 16 times as a rookie are Charlie Babb, who got hit 22 times in 1903 for the Giants and Tommy Tucker who got 29 in 1887 for the American Association version of the Baltimore Orioles. Babb’s total stands as the MLB rookie record, as well as the National League rookie record and Tommy Tucker’s total is the all time rookie record. The Nationals have 61 more games this year for Espinosa to try to reach those records.
It’s been a pretty quiet year for Tim Wakefield in the HBP department, but he threw his 3rd plunk of the season yesterday hitting Brendan Ryan. That’s 181 career HBPs for Wakefield. He’s in 8th place on the all-time hit batters list, but he’ll need to hit 4 more to tie Tony Mullane for 7th place. Wakefield has hit 88 batters at Fenway Park.
The Rays got hit four times by the Royals yesterday, making that just the 2nd time this season a team has taken 4 HBPs.