Category Archives: Uncategorized

300 Game Infields

The foundation of team defense is a solid, dependable infield. But, finding a quartet of infielders that a manager can pencil in on the lineup card everyday is no easy task.

This post looks at a baseball rarity, four infielders (1B, 2B, 3B and SS) who started at least 300 games together. Three hundred games is less than two seasons worth, so it may not seem like a lot. But, it is a most unusual team that can find such a group.

More after the jump.

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End of the Ironman

Manny Machado led the majors in 2015 with 153 complete games played. That’s the lowest leading total in an expansion era full-length season, and the 11th straight year that a player has led the majors with fewer than 160 complete games played. Except for Richie Ashburn‘s 152 total in 1956, Machado’s 153 mark also fails to beat the majors-leading total in every full-length pre-expansion season since the 154 game schedule was adopted in 1904.

More on the decline of the ironman after the jump.

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An Ode to Takashi Saito

On October 4th, former big league reliever Takashi Saito, at the age of forty-five, took the mound for one last time, struck out a batter, and called it a career — a long, respectable career that spanned over twenty-two seasons and seven teams.

I note that Toru Hosokawa, the batter, took a pair of “this guy is going to retire so let him have his moment now” swings. This is an usual sight in the NPB.

In his career, the right-hander accomplished many great feats — other than punching out Hosokawa, obviously. Some of those accomplishments make him a member of elite clubs. Let’s take a look at what he did.  Continue reading

The 10 best offensive seasons among the worst hitters of the last 30 years: #8 Jeff Francoeur 2011

frenchyOh, Frenchy. When you were 23, in 2007, it seemed like you might be a star. You posted a whopping +20 fielding runs while playing right field for the Braves. Your hitting was good enough and would probably improve. Right?

Wrong.

Despite early promise, the bat of Jeff Francoeur didn’t develop as hoped. Since his rookie year of 2005, he’s put up -86 batting runs, including 7 different seasons of at least -10. But in 2011, his first year with the Royals, he put it all together on offense. He had career highs in OBP and SLG, and also stole more than twice as many bases as in any other season.

Even that year, he didn’t walk enough and struck out too much, but his 71 extra-base hits in 153 games made a big difference. Unfortunately, his days of being an above-average fielder were behind him, and his total WAR for the season was “only” 3.1. Had he played the field as well as in past years, he could have posted the only 5+ WAR season of his career.