Monthly Archives: July, 2015

MLB closers with 100+ saves for two different teams

Jonathan Papelbon

Jonathan Papelbon

There is always a flurry of activity right around the trade deadline in baseball and this year has been no exception. One of the more interesting moves was the Phillies sending their closer, Jonathan Papelbon, to the Washington Nationals. Papelbon is one of 48 pitchers in MLB history with 200 or more saves in a career. He is also one of eight active pitchers who has reached the 200-save mark. The others: Craig Kimbrel, Joe Nathan, Fernando Rodney, Francisco Rodriguez, Joakim Soria, Rafael Soriano and Huston Street.

Papelbon is one of 14 pitchers in baseball history to have compiled 100 or more saves with two different teams. Papelbon had 219 saves with the Red Sox and ended his recent Phillies stint with 123 saves. He collected his first save with the Nationals on Thursday.

Here’s a look at the 14 pitchers with 100 or more saves with two different MLB teams.

Lee Smith: 180 (Cubs), 160 (Cardinals)
John Franco: 276 (Mets), 148 (Reds)
Bruce Sutter: 133 (Cubs), 127 (Cardinals)
Todd Worrell: 129 (Cardinals), 127 (Dodgers)
Jonathan Papelbon: 210 (Red Sox), 123 (Phillies)
Francisco Cordero: 151 (Reds), 117 (Rangers)
Rob Nen: 206 (Giants), 108 (Marlins)
Rollie Fingers: 136 (A’s), 108 (Padres)
John Wetteland: 150 (Rangers), 105 (Expos)
Jeff Reardon: 152 (Expos), 104 (Twins)
Jose Mesa: 112 (Phillies), 104 (Indians)
Billy Wagner: 225 (Astros), 101 (Mets)
Roberto Hernandez: 161 (White Sox), 101 (Rays)
Brad Lidge: 123 (Astros), 100 (Phillies)

Another interesting stat about Papelbon is that he is one of only two relievers that is the career save leader with two different teams. He sits atop the red Sox and Phillies career saves leaderboard. The other is Rob Nen; he is number one on the career saves list for the Marlins and Giants.

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We can pencil in the Cardinals for another post-season run in 2015


History shows the Cardinals will be hosting more playoff games this season

History shows the Cardinals will be hosting more playoff games this season

When Major League Baseball took a break earlier this week for the All-Star Game and the unofficial midway point in the 2015 season, the St. Louis Cardinals topped all of baseball with the most wins, 56. Looking at the teams that had the most wins at the All-Star break since 2000, we see that a division title and the playoffs were a sure thing.

Consider this: Of the 18 teams that either had the most wins or tied for the most wins at the All-Star Break since 2000…

… all made the playoffs that year.

… 13 won their division that year.

… 16 ended the season with a winning percentage over .550

… nine ended the season with a winning percentage over .600

… Half (nine) had the most or second-most wins at the end of the season that year.

Of those 18 teams, four made it to the World Series that year: Boston (2013), Boston (2007), Detroit (2006) and the Chicago White Sox (2005); three of the four won the World Series… the two Boston teams and the White Sox.

Since 2000, the Yankees and Red Sox have each had the most wins (or tied for the most wins) at the All-Star break three times each. Atlanta and the White Sox have each had the most wins at the All-Star break twice since 2000.

Getting off to a great start in the first half of the MLB season is important and topping the MLB with the most wins at the break has been a good omen.

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Lowest batting averages in All-Star Game history

Orlando Cepeda

Orlando Cepeda

The annual MLB All-Star Game is usually a showcase of the best players that season. It’s a fun game where players from the A.L. and N.L. get to play a single game in front of a large TV audience. For some players, however, playing in the All-Star Game has not been all that positive, especially on the field.

Several players, including players who are in baseball’s Hall of Fame, have abysmal batting averages in All-Star Game competition. Orlando Cepeda, who was voted into the Hall in 1999 by the Veterans’ Committee, played in nine All-Star Games, starting seven of them. In those games he had only one hit in 27 at-bats, a .037 batting average. Of all players who had 15 or more All-Star Game at-bats, Cepeda has the lowest batting average.

Here’s a look at the 10 players (minimum of 15 All-Star Game at-bats) who have the worst batting averages in ASG history.

Orlando Cepeda, 1-for-27 .037
Craig Biggio, 1-for-15 .067
Luis Aparicio, 2-for-28 .071
Eddie Mathews, 2-for-25 .080
Joe Torre, 2-for-21 .095
Roy Campanella, 2-for-20 .100
Roger Maris, 2-for-19 .105
Barry Larkin, 2-for-18 .111
Ryne Sandberg, 3-for-26 .115
Pee Wee Reese, 2-for-17 .118

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Can Cubs sluggers finally make a dent in MLB’s Home Run Derby?


After being shutout of Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby for over a decade, a pair of Chicago Cubs players will get the chance to launch a few balls in tonight’s kickoff to the MLB’s All-Star Game festivities.

Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant will represent the Cubs in the long-ball competition, the only team with two players in the event. The Cubs have not had a player in the Home Run Derby since Sammy Sosa in 2004. In fact, of the Home Run Derby events held since 2005, 26 of the 30 MLB teams have had at least one player represented. The four that did not: the aforementioned Cubs, San Francisco, Kansas City and Seattle. The Giants have not had a player in the HRD since 2004, while the Mariners have not had a player in the event since 2003. The longest drought belongs to the Royals; the last player they had in the HRD was in 1991 when Danny Tartabull was their rep in the contest.

Since 2005, Boston Red Sox players have hit the most HRs in the HRD with 105. The Phillies rank second with 87 HRD homers since 2005. Here’s a look at the number of Home Run Derby home runs hit by each of the 30 MLB franchises from 2005-2014 (the last 10 years of the event).

105: Boston
87: Philadelphia
80: Milwaukee
67: Detroit
63: Oakland
60: Toronto
58: Texas
53: Miami
46: St. Louis
41: N.Y. Yankees
40: Colorado
33: Minnesota
30: L.A. Angels
27: N.Y. Mets
24: Washington
22: Baltimore
17: Houston
10: Cincinnati, Pittsburgh
8: L.A. Dodgers, Tampa Bay
7: Chicago White Sox
6: Cleveland
5: Atlanta
2: San Diego
1: Arizona
0: Chicago Cubs, Kansas City, San Francisco, Seattle

Three teams have had five different players represent their team in the Home Run Derby in the last 10 years. The three teams are Colorado (Michael Cuddyer, Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Holiday, Justin Morneau, Troy Tulowitzki), Detroit (Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Brandon Inge, Magglio Ordonez, Ivan Rodriguez) and  Milwaukee (Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, Carlos Lee, Rickie Weeks).

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SIX STATS you might not know about… John Smoltz

John Smoltz

John Smoltz

On July 26, former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz will be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame. Here’s a few stats you may not know about Smoltz’s career.

  1. Smoltz won 213 games in his career, 210 with the Braves. He also won one game with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2009 and two games with the Boston Red Sox that same season, which was his last season in the majors.
  2. Smoltz had 53 complete games and 154 saves in his 21-year career. He is one of only two pitchers to have 50 or more complete games and 150-plus saves in a career. The other is Dennis Eckersley, who had 100 complete games and 390 saves in his MLB career.
  3. Smoltz and Eckersley are also the only pitchers in MLB history to have won 20 or more games in a season and have 50 or more saves in another season. Smoltz won 24 games in 1996 and then saved 55 in 2002.
  4. Smoltz won the National League Silver Slugger Award in 1997 when he batted .228 for the Braves that campaign. Smoltz ended his career with 61 RBIs and 151 hits, making him one of 158 pitchers to amass 150 or more hits at the plate in their career.
  5. Smoltz is one of 94 pitchers to have three or more career regular season stolen bases in his career, but what is more amazing is that Smoltz is the only pitcher in MLB history to have more than one stolen base in the post-season; he had three post-season steals in his career.
  6. Smoltz is one of 16 pitchers to collect 3,000 or more strikeouts in a career. Of those 16 pitchers, Smoltz is the only one to have more than 50 saves.

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