The Bill Chuck Files of December 29, 2019

Each Sunday, in remembrance of my friend and J.G Spink Award winner Nick Cafardo, I post “the Bill Chuck Files” (named by Nick in his Sunday Baseball Notes column)

22 for 45

Just a reminder Yankees fans, Gerrit Cole has made 22 consecutive regular stars without incurring a loss.

Grandyman Can’t

In 2019, Curtis Granderson led all batters with 77 games in which he had an at bat without a hit. He also led all batters with 87 games in which he had a plate appearance without a hit. Juan Lagares appeared in 95 games in which he did not record a hit

Jeopardy answer:

First baseman Yuli Gurriel, DH Howie Kendrick, and third baseman Anthony Rendon, in 2019, joined the list of 51 batters who have homered in Game 7 of the World Series. Kendrick became the first DH to homer in Game 7. This pitcher is the sole moundsman to homer in Game 7.

New Year’s Eve Birthdays

2019 Players born on December 31:

Statcast

The best part of the offseason is the absence of the torrent of meaningless Statcast numbers. Not every event needs a number, it spoils the uniqueness of those that matter.

Some 10-Teen batting leaders

  • Miguel Cabrera led all qualified batters with seven .300 seasons (the last was in 2016).
  • Miggy and Joey Votto led all qualified batters with six .300 with 20+ home run seasons.
  • Cabrera led all qualified batters with six .300 with 20+ home runs and 100+ RBI seasons (no one else had more than three).
  • Ryan Braun led all qualified batters with three .300 with 20+ home runs, 100+ RBI, and 10+ stolen base seasons (the last was in 2012). Paul Goldschmidt was the only other player with two such seasons.

Ten-Teen Quick Quiz

Each of these 12 players realized the same achievement in the season listed. It is a personal achievement unique to each, but the fact that each did it is what they have in common

  Player Year
1 Rougned Odor 2017
2 Matt Kemp 2016
3 Josh Donaldson 2019
4 Michael Bourn 2012
5 Jay Bruce 2012
6 Logan Morrison 2017
7 David Ortiz 2010
8 Brandon Nimmo 2018
9 Mike Trout 2012
10 Austin Jackson 2013
11 Logan Forsythe 2016
12 Avisail Garcia 2019

Quick Quiz answer

Each of these players averaged exactly one strikeout for each game played.

New Year’s Day Birthdays

2019 Players born on January 1:

Tyler Kepner on the minor league mess that Rob Manfred is proposing

If you haven’t read the great Tyler Kepner‘s article in the New York Times entitled, In Fighting Over the Minors, What Might Baseball Lose? you can link to it here. As per usual, Kepner nails the situation.  ”Under baseball’s plan, the draft would be cut to 20 rounds instead of 40, every team would have only four full-season affiliates, and prospects would skip the short-season rookie league teams to be groomed instead at each team’s training complex in a more instructional setting.” He adds

M.L.B. has asserted that most minor league fans care little about the affiliation of the teams, that they come instead for the atmosphere and the entertainment value. But the affiliation — a tangible association with an M.L.B. club, which generally pays for the farm teams’ players and coaches — accounts for almost all of a minor league franchise’s asset value. 

While major league attendance is falling, minor league attendance is rising. Yet M.L.B. has essentially told fans in 42 communities that it could do without them, or is at least willing to take that chance. It is discouraging that the league so often ignores the benefits of letting more people see the game.

Read the article. It is important that we all fight this Trump-like craziness.

Appreciating Erik Kratz

Sometimes you just want to pay homage to the journeymen, the minor leaguers, who hang in there for their love of the game. The Yankees have agreed to another minor league contract with catcher Erik Kratz. If the Yankees win it all this season, I just hope Kratz makes an appearance during the season and earns a ring.

Erik Kratz Major League and Minor League Career

Year Age Tm Lg G
2002 22 TOR-min Rk 44
2003 23 TOR-min A-,A,AA 58
2004 24 TOR-min A+,A-,AA 29
2005 25 TOR-min AA 91
2006 26 TOR-min AA,AAA 83
2007 27 TOR-min AA,AAA 84
2008 28 TOR-min AAA,AA 73
2009 29 PIT-min AAA 93
2010 30 PIT-min AAA 70
2010 30 PIT NL 9
2011 31 PHI-min AAA 103
2011 31 PHI NL 2
2012 32 PHI-min AAA 37
2012 32 PHI NL 50
2013 33 PHI-min AAA,AA 4
2013 33 PHI NL 68
2014 34 TOR-min AAA 27
2014 34 TOT AL 47
2014 34 TOR AL 34
2014 34 KCR AL 13
2015 35 PHI-KCR-SEA-min AAA 51
2015 35 TOT MLB 16
2015 35 KCR AL 4
2015 35 PHI NL 12
2016 36 TOR-LAA-min AAA 31
2016 36 TOT MLB 32
2016 36 HOU AL 14
2016 36 PIT NL 18
2017 37 CLE-min AAA 86
2017 37 NYY AL 4
2018 38 NYY-min AAA 17
2018 38 MIL NL 67
2019 39 NYY-min AAA 46
2019 39 TOT MLB 21
2019 39 SFG NL 15
2019 39 TBR AL 6

Look at the list Cody is on

In 2019, Cody Bellinger joined an impressive list of lefty luminaries with at least 18 homers versus lefties.

Player L v L Year HR PA AB
Ken Griffey Jr. vs LHP 1996 21 186 158
Barry Bonds vs LHP 2002 21 178 125
Ken Griffey Jr. vs LHP 1998 21 197 177
Ted Kluszewski vs LHP 1955 20 253 221
Darryl Strawberry vs LHP 1988 20 245 216
Babe Ruth vs LHP 1927 19 207 158
Reggie Jackson vs LHP 1980 19 254 227
Stan Musial vs LHP 1949 19 306 272
Cody Bellinger vs LHP 2019 18 228 193
Don Mattingly vs LHP 1985 18 292 264
Stan Musial vs LHP 1948 18 228 198
David Ortiz vs LHP 2006 18 241 205

Bellinger and Musial

Did you notice that 2019 Cody and 1948 Stan each hit 18 homers in 228 lefty-on-lefty PA? Here’s a little more information on their seasons that shows you why Stan was “The Man.”

Player Year PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Cody Bellinger 2019 228 193 36 54 7 0 18 44 5 1 34 38 .280 .386 .596 .982
Stan Musial 1948 228 198 46 82 20 7 18 57 4 1 28 12 .414 .491 .859 1.350

Nine to Know: Most home runs allowed by a team in a season

Of course we all know that the go-go-gopher Orioles set this ignominious record, but did you know that seven of the nine most prolific allowers of homers all-time are from the 2019 season?

RkYearTmLgHR
12019BALAL305
22019COLNL270
32019LAAAL267
42019SEAAL260
52019PHINL258
62016CINNL258
72019DETAL250
82019NYYAL248
92017CINNL248

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com

I hope that your new year ahead is filled with happiness, health, and humor.

Jeopardy question:

Who is Bob Gibson? Gibby homered in Games 7 of the 1967 Series in which Gibson and his Cardinals defeated the Red Sox. Gibson went 3-0 in that Series.