As we wait impatiently for the new season, here’s a quick look back at last year and some of the more unusual team accomplishments of that season. And I do mean unusual – chances are you won’t find these stats anywhere but HHS.
More after the jump.
Angels – For only the second time in franchise history, 5 Angel pitchers (C.J. Wilson, Jerome Williams, Jered Weaver, Jason Vargas, Joe Blanton) aged 30 or older had 20 or more starts. Then (1999) as now, 2 of the 5 posted ERA+ scores below 90.
Astros – Houston became the first team ever to strike out in more than one-quarter of its plate appearances.
Athletics – Oakland became the first team ever with 4 pitchers (A.J. Griffin, Tommy Milone, Jarrod Parker, Dan Straily) having a winning record in 25 or more starts, but all with an ERA+ under 100. All four were also aged 26 or younger.
Blue Jays – Toronto had the first team in its history with 4 players (Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind, Colby Rasmus) having 125 OPS+ in 450 PA. The Blue Jays also had their first team with 7 pitchers (Mark Buehrle, R.A. Dickey, J.A. Happ, Josh Johnson, Brandon Morrow, Todd Redmond, Esmil Rogers) having 10 or more starts, and all with an ERA+ under 100.
Indians – Cleveland became the first team ever with 7 players (Michael Bourn, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jason Kipnis, Mark Reynolds, Carlos Santana, Drew Stubbs, Nick Swisher) having 100 or more strikeouts and fewer than 25 home runs. No other team has had more than 5 such players. There have been 35 teams since 1993 with at least 4 such players, compared to just one team up to 1992.
Mariners – Seattle became the first franchise to have two different players catch 30+ games aged 41 or older. Henry Blanco followed Pat Borders, who caught 39 games for Seattle as a 42 year-old in 2005. Seattle was also the first AL team to have two players (Blanco and Raul Ibanez) aged 41 or older with 100+ PAs. In contrast, there have been 6 such NL teams, including 4 featuring the tandem of Tony Perez and Pete Rose.
Orioles – Baltimore had its first team with two players (Manny Machado, Nick Markakis) having an OPS+ under 100 in 700 PA. Only 10 other teams since 1901 have done the same, including 3 in the 1962 season (two of them playing in the newly opened Dodger Stadium).
Rangers – Texas became the first AL team to have 3 relievers (Joe Nathan, Tanner Scheppers, Neal Cotts) with an ERA+ of 200 or better in at least 50 innings pitched. There have been 6 such NL teams, all in the past 12 seasons.
Rays – Tampa Bay became just the second team ever (but the second in as many seasons) with 6 pitchers (Chris Archer, Roberto Hernandez, Alex Cobb, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore, David Price) having 20 starts and 100 strikeouts. There are 64 teams with 5 such pitchers, 21 of them coming in the past 5 seasons.
Red Sox – Boston had the highest team BABIP of any club since 1930, and 3rd highest since 1916. Two other Red Sox teams are in the top 50 since 1916, including their championship club of 2004.
Royals – For the first time in franchise history, Kansas City had no players aged 30 or older with 200 PAs. The Royals are only the second such AL team in the past 35 seasons, compared with 10 NL teams over the same period.
Tigers – For the first time in franchise history (and only the 5th time by any AL club), Detroit had 5 starters (Doug Fister, Rick Porcello, Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander) with 13 or more wins and a winning record.
Twins – Minnesota became the first team ever with 10 pitchers (Andrew Albers, Kevin Correia, Sam Deduno, Scott Diamond, Kyle Gibson, Liam Hendriks, Pedro Hernandez, Mike Pelfrey, P.J. Walters, Vance Worley) having 8 or more starts, and none with a winning record.
White Sox – For only the second time in franchise history and the first time in over 100 years, Chicago had no players with an OPS+ of 105 or better in 200 PAs. They are only the 9th such team since 1901, and only the 3rd since World War II.
Yankees – New York became only the 3rd team since 1901 to have two outfielders (Ichiro Suzuki, Vernon Wells) with an OPS+ of 75 or less in 450 PAs. The Yankees were also only the 10th team since 1901 (but the 9th since 1981) to get 60 IP from each of two pitchers (Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera) aged 41 or older, and the only one of those teams to get an ERA+ of 100 or better from both pitchers.
Tomorrow, I’ll take a look at the NL.