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Archive for November, 2007

Lastings Milledge

Posted by Chris J. on November 30, 2007

He just got traded by the Mets to the Nationals. 

Last year, at age 22, while playing part-time in the outfield, he posted an OPS+ of 105.  Using the PI feature, you can find simillar players.

 Let's look for 22-year-olds who had an OPS+ between 100 and 110 while having 150-300 PA.  Turns out, Milledge was only the sixth player to do it.  I don't know why so many players there are moderns, but it's interesting.  Not a bad set of comps, really.  A Hall of Fame slamdunk, a man who has a shot if he ages well, two guys who flamed out and a man who only played because of the Federal League. 

Comments Off | Posted in Uncategorized

OPS+ of 150 in 35-year-old season

Posted by Andy on November 30, 2007

Chipper Jones and Jorge Posada just completed excellent seasons, both being 35 years old.

Here are all seasons since 1901 for 35-year-olds with OPS+ of 150 or better, minimum 500 PA:

  Cnt Player            **OPS+**  PA Year Age Tm  Lg  G   AB  R   H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB IBB  SO HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions
+----+-----------------+--------+---+----+---+---+--+---+---+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+
    1 Babe Ruth            211   676 1930  35 NYY AL 145 518 150 186 28  9 49 153 136   0  61   1  21   0   0  10 10  .359  .493  .732 1.225 *97/1
    2 Ted Williams         201   526 1954  35 BOS AL 117 386  93 133 23  1 29  89 136   0  32   1   0   3  10   0  0  .345  .513  .635 1.148 *7
    3 Nap Lajoie           199   677 1910  35 CLE AL 159 591  94 227 51  7  4  76  60   0   0   5  21   0   0  26  0  .384  .445  .514  .959 *43
    4 Barry Bonds          188   607 2000  35 SFG NL 143 480 129 147 28  4 49 106 117  22  77   3   0   7   6  11  3  .306  .440  .688 1.128 *7
    5 Tris Speaker         182   693 1923  35 CLE AL 150 574 133 218 59 11 17 130  93   0  15   4  22   0   0   8  9  .380  .469  .610 1.079 *8
    6 Mark McGwire         177   661 1999  35 STL NL 153 521 118 145 21  1 65 147 133  21 141   2   0   5  12   0  0  .278  .424  .697 1.121 *3
    7 Hank Aaron           177   639 1969  35 ATL NL 147 547 100 164 30  3 44  97  87  19  47   2   0   3  14   9 10  .300  .396  .607 1.003 *9/3
    8 Honus Wagner         176   591 1909  35 PIT NL 137 495  92 168 39 10  5 100  66   0   0   3  27   0   0  35  0  .339  .420  .489  .909 *6/7
    9 Ty Cobb              170   612 1922  35 DET AL 137 526  99 211 42 16  4  99  55   0  24   4  27   0   0   9 13  .401  .462  .565 1.027 *8/9
   10 Chipper Jones        166   600 2007  35 ATL NL 134 513 108 173 42  4 29 102  82  10  75   0   0   5  21   5  1  .337  .425  .604 1.029 *5/D6
   11 Hank Greenberg       163   604 1946  35 DET AL 142 523  91 145 29  5 44 127  80   0  88   0   1   0  17   5  1  .277  .373  .604  .977 *3
   12 Lefty O'Doul         163   657 1932  35 BRO NL 148 595 120 219 32  8 21  90  50   0  20   7   5   0   0  11  0  .368  .423  .555  .978 *7
   13 Jack Fournier        161   649 1925  35 BRO NL 145 545  99 191 21 16 22 130  86   0  39   8  10   0   0   4  6  .350  .446  .569 1.015 *3
   14 Edgar Martinez       158   672 1998  35 SEA AL 154 556  86 179 46  1 29 102 106   4  96   3   0   7  13   1  1  .322  .429  .565  .994 *D/3
   15 Dwight Evans         156   657 1987  35 BOS AL 154 541 109 165 37  2 34 123 106   6  98   3   0   7  10   4  6  .305  .417  .569  .986 *3*9/D
   16 Johnny Mize          156   658 1948  35 NYG NL 152 560 110 162 26  4 40 125  94   0  37   4   0   0   7   4  0  .289  .395  .564  .959 *3
   17 Jim Thome            155   610 2006  35 CHW AL 143 490 108 141 26  0 42 109 107  12 147   6   0   7   4   0  0  .288  .416  .598 1.014 *D/3
   18 Jorge Posada         154   589 2007  35 NYY AL 144 506  91 171 42  1 20  90  74   7  98   6   0   3  18   2  0  .338  .426  .543  .969 *2/D3
   19 Frank Robinson       153   545 1971  35 BAL AL 133 455  82 128 16  2 28  99  72  11  62   9   1   8  21   3  0  .281  .384  .510  .894 *93/7
   20 Joe DiMaggio         151   606 1950  35 NYY AL 139 525 114 158 33 10 32 122  80   0  33   1   0   0  14   0  0  .301  .394  .585  .979 *8/3
   21 Tommy Henrich        151   673 1948  35 NYY AL 146 588 138 181 42 14 25 100  76   0  42   4   5   0  14   2  3  .308  .391  .554  .945 *93/78
   22 Larry Walker         150   553 2002  35 COL NL 136 477  95 161 40  4 26 104  65   6  73   7   0   4   8   6  5  .338  .421  .602 1.023 *9/D
   23 Al Oliver            150   687 1982  35 MON NL 160 617  90 204 43  2 22 109  61  15  59   4   1   4  11   5  2  .331  .392  .514  .906 *3
   24 Mickey Mantle        150   553 1967  35 NYY AL 144 440  63 108 17  0 22  55 107   7 113   1   0   5   9   1  1  .245  .391  .434  .825 *3

Chipper is 10th all time and Posada is 18th. Here's the interesting thing I noticed: if you check out the positions, 15 out of the 24 played at least a game at first base. However, Chipper is the only guy to play even a single game at third base, and Jorge is the only guy to play even a single game at catcher.

2 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Hershiser’s scoreless innings streak

Posted by Andy on November 29, 2007

Readers, I ask for some help with this one.

Reader jackfish and I have been having a conversation about Orel Hershiser's record 59-inning scoreless streak, and neither of us can come up with the answer.

First, over on my comments page, Jack posted the following:

"I have been having a hard time following this & thought maybe you could help me. I have recently been reading about Orel Hershier & his 59 game streak of pitching scoreless baseball. I have read a number of books and web articles stating that the record stands at 59 consecutive scoreless innings. A number of sources all agree on this. No matter how I add it up I get 60 consecutive innings not 59. The last time he gave up a run was on 8-30. It was in the bottom of the 5th with two men out (which starts him off with 4 1/3 innings). Then he pitched five consecutive nine inning shutouts & finally ten innings of scoreless ball on 9-28. Thats 4 1/3 + 45 + 10 = 59 1/3. Then on April 5, 1989, he got two men out before giving up a run in the first inning to the Reds. Thats another 2/3 of an inning. shouldn’t his streak stand at 60 innings & not 59? Is this something that has been overlooked for nearly 20 years or is my math incorrect?"

Let me point PI subscribers to Hershiser's Game Logs for 1988. The streak started on August 30th. Also, let me remind you that Hershiser pitched some scoreless innings in the 1988 postseason that don't count for this streak.

Now, also posted on my comments page, here is my answer for Jack:

"It took some effort, but I figured it out. Hershiser’s streak is, for some reason, counted by full innings only. In other words, he is credit with 4 innings (not 4.1) in the Aug 30 1988 game, then 55 more innings in 1988. Then, his 1989 debut game gets credited as 0 innings since he gave up a run in the first.

Given that, I don’t know why Drysdale’s streak included partial innings. I don’t know if baseball made a new ruling about it or what.

To me, none of the streaks should include partial innings, given that outs in those innings may have contributed to run-scoring by advancing runners or even scoring runners."

I am of course making reference to Don Drysdale's streak, which was the previous record. In most places, I see it credited as 58 2/3 innings, which is why I wondered above about the distinction of partial innings vs. full innings. However, I have seen one or two places that say Drysdale's streak was 58 innings which, if the official record prior to Hershiser's streak, I think would give a consistent explanation.

Today Jack came back at me with this:

"I have been researching the Orel Hershiser streak for the last few days and I still can not find any rule change that would suggest partial innings pitched not being counted towards the streak."

To me, this is one of the problems with the internet. If you search about Hershiser's streak or Drysdale's streak, you can find lots of information. Little of it, however, is necessarily correct in view of MLB rules for scoreless streaks.

Somebody out there must know, though, the official MLB rules, what the official streak numbers are for Hershiser and Drysdale, and whether there was ever a rule change. Let's hear it.

11 Comments | Posted in Gamelogs

Part Time Bangers

Posted by Steve Lombardi on November 29, 2007

Today, I found myself looking at the seasons that Jim Spencer and Oscar Gamble had for the 1979 Yankees...and that got me wondering about which teams had the most batters with great offensive seasons where they had 300 or less PA that year. So, I went to Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index Batting Season Finder and set it for "From 1901 to 2007, Played games at C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, DH, and OF, (requiring OPSp>=150 and PA<=300), sorted by greatest number of players matching criteria" - and this is what I found:

 Year Lg Team                              Number Players Matching
 +----+--+---------------------------------+------+-----------------------------------------+
  1977 AL New York Yankees                       5 Cliff Johnson / Dave Kingman / Mickey Klutts / Gene Locklear / Marty Perez
  1975 AL Boston Red Sox                         5 Carlton Fisk / Tim McCarver / Deron Johnson / Kim Andrew / Andy Merchant
  2007 AL Seattle Mariners                       4 Charlton Jimerson / Mike Morse / Jeff Clement / Wladimir Balentien
  1999 NL Arizona Diamondbacks                   4 Erubiel Durazo / Turner Ward / Edwin Diaz / Danny Klassen
  1993 NL Atlanta Braves                         4 Fred McGriff / Ryan Klesko / Javy Lopez / Chipper Jones
  1967 AL New York Yankees                       4 Billy Bryan / Frank Tepedino / Tom Shopay / Lou Clinton
  1955 AL Chicago White Sox                      4 Clint Courtney / Ron Northey / Stan Jok / Ed White
  1935 NL Brooklyn Dodgers                       4 Babe Phelps / Vince Sherlock / Frank Skaff / Ralph Onis
  1934 AL St. Louis Browns                       4 Rogers Hornsby / Grover Hartley / Art Scharein / Charley O'Leary

There's some interesting names on these lists.  Enjoy.

6 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Delmon Young

Posted by Chris J. on November 29, 2007

He just got traded to Minnesota.  What does the future hold?  Well, he's one of only 102 players since 1901 to play 190 games before his age 22 season. 

Hall of Famers on that list: Robin Yount, Johnny Bench, Orlando Cepeda, Bill Mazeroski, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Mel Ott, Arky Vaughn, Jimmie Foxx, Freddie Lindstrom, Travis Jackson, Rogers Hornsby, Ray Schalk, Ty Cobb.   That's 20.  One-fifth.  Oh, wait.  I missed Harry Heilman.  21.

Notable layers not currently eligible for Cooperstown on the list: Miguel Cabrera, Carl Crawford, Adrian Beltre, Andruw Jones, Alex Rodriquez, Ivan Rodriquez, Juan Gonzalez, Ken Griffey, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Roberto Alomar, and Rickey Henderson.  That's 12 more.  At least 5 (I & A-Rods, Griffey, Rickey, and one from the remainder) should get in.

Noteworthy players not currently in Cooperstown on the list: Alan Trammell, Buddy Bell, Ted Simmons, Garry Templeton, Rusty Staub, Boog Powell, Joe Torre, Ron Santo, Vada Pinson, Curt Flood, Eddie Yost, Phil Cavaretta, Cecil Travis, Dick Bartell, Charlie Grimm, Stuffy McInnis, Sherry Magee.  That's 16 more. 

That's half the list.  Not too shabby a company.

 Well, that's not totally fair.  With 192 games, he's at the bottom of the games played list.  Let's look at within 20 either way: 172-212. 

Only 43 players here, including Young himself.  Among the others:

Hall of Famers: Cal Ripken, Joe Morgan, Joe Medwick, Harry Heilman, and Tris Speaker. 

Not-eligible for Hall notables: Juan Gonzalez, Sammy Sosa, and Joe Jackson.

Other notables: Jose Canseco, Bob Horner, Garry Templeton, Greg Luzinski, Joe Torre, Zoilo Versailles, Larry Doyle, Clyde Milan, and Donie Bush. 

Not as impressive a bunch of names, but really I don't think young'uns get as early a start nowadays. 

1 Comment | Posted in Uncategorized

Bert Blyleven versus the Hall of Fame

Posted by Andy on November 29, 2007

I heard a great interview with Bert Blyleven today, and it made me think more about his Hall of Fame candidacy, what with the vote coming up again (see the end of the post for a special announcement on this.) He'll be on the ballot for the 12th time, meaning there are just 4 more chances for the writers to finally get it right and put him in. He is significantly more qualified than quite a number of pitchers already in the HOF, and there are many sites out there with more info on it (including my previous post on this blog about him.) We're not talking about someone like Jim Rice or Tony Perez here, whose numbers are fringe for the HOF.

Anyway, since this whole thing is starting to feel like Blyleven against the HOF, I thought I'd post his lifetime pitching lines against HOF batters:

                    **PA**  AB  H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP G_miss YR_miss
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+
 Reggie Jackson      140   131  28  6  0  6  12   8  49  .214  .264  .397  .661   0   0   2   1   1
 George Brett        128   117  27  5  1  2  10   6  15  .231  .281  .342  .623   0   2   0   3   6
 Robin Yount         114   110  20  8  1  1   7   4   4  .182  .211  .300  .511   0   0   0   0   2
 Paul Molitor         80    74  19  8  0  0   4   5  14  .257  .304  .365  .669   1   0   0   0   0
 Cal Ripken           78    67  19  0  0  3  10  10   9  .284  .372  .418  .790   0   1   0   0   0
 Carlton Fisk         70    63  17  1  0  4  10   3   9  .270  .343  .476  .819   0   0   0   4   0
 Eddie Murray         67    62  26  3  0  7  13   5  10  .419  .463  .806 1.269   0   0   0   0   1
 Carl Yastrzemski     65    58  19  4  0  1   7   5   6  .328  .385  .448  .833   0   1   0   1   0
 Rod Carew            53    50  13  1  0  0   2   3   4  .260  .302  .280  .582   0   0   0   0   1
 Dave Winfield        53    48  12  2  0  4   8   3  11  .250  .302  .542  .844   0   1   0   1   1
 Brooks Robinson      51    48  12  0  0  1   3   1   1  .250  .294  .313  .607   0   0   0   2   0
 Wade Boggs           46    43  11  4  0  1   3   3   2  .256  .304  .419  .723   0   0   1   0   1
 Gary Carter          45    42  11  5  0  1   7   2   7  .262  .295  .452  .747   1   0   0   0   2
 Kirby Puckett        41    41  17  2  1  1   6   0   4  .415  .415  .585 1.000   0   0   0   0   2
 Joe Morgan           36    32   6  0  0  1   3   2   3  .188  .222  .281  .503   0   2   0   0   0
 Mike Schmidt         33    23   8  1  0  2   7   7   5  .348  .485  .652 1.137   0   2   0   1   0
 Tony Perez           25    23   7  1  0  1   1   1   3  .304  .360  .478  .838   0   0   0   1   0
 Frank Robinson       21    20   7  1  0  2   3   1   5  .350  .381  .700 1.081   0   0   0   0   0
 Ozzie Smith          21    20   4  1  0  0   0   1   8  .200  .238  .250  .488   0   0   0   0   0
 Johnny Bench         19    17   4  1  0  2   3   1   2  .235  .263  .647  .910   0   1   0   0   0
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+
                    **PA**  AB  H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP G_miss YR_miss
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+
 Willie McCovey       19    16   6  2  0  0   3   3   2  .375  .474  .500  .974   0   0   2   0   0
 Steve Carlton        18    15   2  0  0  0   3   0   2  .133  .167  .133  .300   0   2   0   1   0
 Luis Aparicio        17    16   3  1  0  0   1   0   2  .188  .176  .250  .426   0   1   0   0   1
 Billy Williams       17    15   1  0  0  0   0   2   3  .067  .176  .067  .243   0   0   1   0   0
 Al Kaline            11    10   1  0  0  0   1   1   1  .100  .182  .100  .282   0   0   0   0   2
 Phil Niekro          11    11   0  0  0  0   0   0   3  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Lou Brock            10    10   5  0  0  0   0   0   1  .500  .500  .500 1.000   0   0   0   0   0
 Orlando Cepeda        9     8   1  0  0  0   0   1   1  .125  .222  .125  .347   0   0   0   0   0
 Jim Palmer            8     8   2  1  0  0   1   0   4  .250  .250  .375  .625   0   0   0   0   0
 Gaylord Perry         8     5   1  0  0  1   2   1   3  .200  .333  .800 1.133   2   0   0   0   0
 Hank Aaron            7     7   0  0  0  0   0   0   1  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Don Sutton            7     5   1  0  0  0   0   1   1  .200  .333  .200  .533   1   0   0   0   0
 Tom Seaver            3     2   1  0  0  0   0   0   0  .500  .500  .500 1.000   1   0   0   0   0
 Rollie Fingers        1     1   0  0  0  0   0   0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0

Holy cow, can you believe Reggie had 140 PAs against him? And he hit terribly, as did George Brett, Robin Yount, and Paul Molitor. Cal Ripken and Carlton Fisk were so-so, but Eddie Murray had some serious PWNAGE going there.

I calculated an approximate average for all this data (should be within 2 or 3 points) and Blyleven's complete line against all HOF batters is .255/.306/.409. Remember that a lot of Bert's pitching came when offense was much less than today (for example in 1973, one of his best years, the AL hit.259/.328/.381) but that his career was through 1990 and that these numbers are against all HOFers. Pretty impressive stuff.

Now, for the special announcement, as per a great reader suggestion:

In the coming weeks, I am going to post another poll here, this time giving you a chance to vote on the Hall of Fame class of 2008. The real voting will be announced on January 8th, so I'll probably post it just before the end of the year. This is announcement is just to get you thinking seriously about who you'd vote in to the HOF, given the chance. So check out the names on this year's ballot, and get ready for my upcoming post!

3 Comments | Posted in Pitcher vs. Batter

Juan Lara

Posted by Andy on November 28, 2007

News reports abound about the condition of Indians' reliever Juan Lara who was involved in a very serious car accident. Based on the information that alleges significant brain and spine damage for Lara, I'm inclined to guess that his baseball career is over. At this point, I simply hope he is able to live a happy & healthy life.

There have been way too many injuries and deaths in the sports world over the last 1-2 seasons. Baseball has lost Cory Lidle, Josh Hancock, Joe Kennedy, and hopefully will not add Lara to that list. Football has lost Sean Taylor, as well as Darrent Williams at the end of last season. Basketball hasn't lost any active players lately, but has lost several active players including Bobby Phills and Malik Sealy in 2000 and Drazen Petrovic in 1993. Going as far back as 1993, that was the year that MLB also lost Tim Crews and Steve Olin.

It seems to me that the rate of deaths and serious accidents for professional athletes is well above the baseline for the general population. I suppose there are lots of reasons for this, including more leisure time during the off-season, more money for activities like flying and driving sports cars, as well as (very generally speaking) more risk-taking personalities in general.

Anyway--no stats in this post. Just feeling a bit down about this, and sorry for the families out there who have lost loved ones.

7 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Doug Brocail

Posted by Andy on November 28, 2007

I saw that Doug Brocail rejoined the Astros yesterday, and I noticed that he had a really fantastic year in 2007 as a 40-year-old reliever. Click through for some proof.

4 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Rickey, Raines & Butler 1982 to 1995

Posted by Steve Lombardi on November 27, 2007

I just thought it was interesting to use Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index Batting Season Finder to look at Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines, and Brett Butler during the period 1982 to 1995:

  Cnt Player            **OPS+**   PA   SB  From  To   Ages   G    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  IBB  SO  HBP  SH  SF GDP  CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions Teams
+----+-----------------+--------+-----+----+----+----+-----+----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+----+---+----+---+---+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+-----------+
    1 Rickey Henderson     140    8136  960 1982 1995 23-36 1837  6698 1470 1928 342  43 219  744 1335  44  940  54   9  40 109 206  .288  .408  .450  .858 *78D      OAK-NYY-TOT-OAK 
    2 Tim Raines           126    8642  699 1982 1995 22-35 1944  7433 1305 2199 358 102 141  792 1083 136  775  35  37  54 111 125  .296  .385  .428  .813 *78/D49   MON-CHW     
    3 Brett Butler         112    8854  526 1982 1995 25-38 2034  7580 1268 2211 266 124  54  548 1059  23  828  36 131  48  60 243  .292  .379  .381  .760 *87/9     ATL-CLE-SFG-LAD-TOT 
 Seasons/Careers found: 3.

At his peak, Raines was better than Butler and just a tick below Rickey, I would imagine, based on these numbers, for some.

I have to wonder if Tim Raines, looking back, would now trade his Yankees World Series rings from 1996 and 1998 for a chance to play for a team where he would have gotten more PA (after 1995)?  With some more "full" seasons from 1996 to 1998, perhaps Raines would then be a slam dunk for Cooperstown - instead of being a debate...maybe? 

7 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

More on 3B by LHB vs RHB

Posted by Andy on November 27, 2007

So, I went back and calculated triples by LHB and RHB for a bunch of years. Click through for lots of analysis.

6 Comments | Posted in Splits

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