Nine to Know: From the Bill Chuck Files

  1. New Rays’ catcher Jose Molina has only started more than 57 games just twice in his 12 seasons, 81 in 2008 and 71 in 2006.
  2. Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings and Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow have a unique 2011 connection. Last season, in 287 plate appearances the only double play that Jennings hit into was on Sept. 23 against Morrow… the only DP Morrow induced in 179.1 IP (777 batters faced).
  3. The Royals starting shortstop is Alcides Escobar, who at 25 is the oldest member of the KC infield.  First baseman Eric Hosmer is 22, second baseman Johnny Giavotella is 24, and third baseman Mike Moustakas is 23. BTW: catcher Salvador Perez is 21.
  4. Can you name the three starters in 2011 who averaged more than 10 strikeouts per 9 innings? (answer below)
  5. Over the last four seasons, the Rays are 42-30 head-to-head against the Red Sox, 33-39 against the Yankees, 47-25 against the Blue Jays, and 45-27 against the Orioles. All told, in what has been called “the toughest division in baseball,” over the last four seasons, Joe Maddon is 167-121 (.580) against his AL East competitors.
  6. This is impressive: the Phillies won 85 games in 2006, 89 in 2007, 92 in 2008, 93 in 2009, 97 in 2010, and 102 in 2011.
  7. Hard to remember that Andrew McCutchen made the All-Star team last year when you look at his overall .259 average. At the break he was hitting .291 with 62 strikeouts in 88 games, but he only hit .216 with 64 whiffs in 70 games the rest of the way.
  8. Since the 2010 All-Star break, new Reds pitcher Mat Latos has a 13-20 record with a 3.50 ERA.
  9. Alex Rodriguez is now exactly a lifetime .300 hitter with runners in scoring position and that’s because he hit .305 last season; he went .271, .265, and .283 the three prior seasons.


Trivia answer: Brandon Morrow (10.19), Zack Greinke (10.54), and Brandon Beachy (10.74).


Credit all items to Bill Chuck of Follow on Twitter: @BillyBall