Stat of the Day: Runs Scored
Abbreviation: R. All Time Leader: Ricky Henderson (2295). Single Season Leader: Billy Hamilton (192 in 1894). Active Leader: Alex Rodriguez (1898). 2012 Leader: Mike Trout (129).
The run scored is what dictates wins and losses. If your team scores more runs, you win. Obviously, he who scores the most runs (or drives in the most) will be the most valuable, if put in the most simple terms. It's only common sense. From the Billy Hamiltons to the Ty Cobbs to the Willie Mays to the Pete Roses and Ricky Hendersons, run scorers have been especially coveted by every team. In 1876, Ross Barnes became the first player to score 100 runs in a season, totaling an incredible 126 in just 66 games. The second place run scorer that year was George Wright, who scored just 72. Not a single other player scored 100 in a season until 1883, when six players, led by Harry Stovey's 110, reached the mark. Billy Hamilton was one of the first great run scorers. He led the majors in that stat four times from 1891-1897, and scored at least 110 in each season from 1889-1898. In 1894, just 18 years after the National League's inception, he set a still standing major league record of 192 runs scored despite playing in only 129 games. Of course, the fact that he batted .404 with 15 triples and 98 stolen bases helped. His On-Base Percentage that year was .523, which is the ninth highest single season total in history and, if the ever controversial Barry Bonds is taken out of the picture, the sixth best single season total. That year, the Boston Beaneaters (now the Atlanta Braves) scored 1,212 runs, led by an attack that saw seven players score at least 112 runs and two, Hugh Duffy (160) and Bobby Lowe (158), scored over 150. Even pitcher Jack Stivetts scored 55 runs. In 1925, Ty Cobb became the first player in history to score 2000 runs. He went on to score 246 more, and finished at 2246. He topped out at 147 in 1911, and also scored 144 in 1915. Another player didn't reach 2000 runs until Willie Mays in 1971, and he finished with 2062. From 1954-1965, he posted 12 straight 100 run seasons. Two years after Mays, Hank Aaron became the third player with 2000 runs, as he reached the mark in 1973 and finished with 2174. From 1955-1967, he tied Lou Gehrig's 1926-1938 record with 13 straight seasons with 100 runs, which would be tied again by Alex Rodriguez from 1996-2008. In fact, Gehrig's 13 straight seasons actually yielded at least 115 runs each time. Pete Rose reached the mark in 1983. Ricky Henderson, who scored his 2000th run in 1998, would finish with 2295, an all time record. He topped out at 146 in 1985 and posted ten seasons with at least 110 runs. Barry Bonds is the last member of the 2000 club, having reached the mark in 2004. He posted seven seasons with at least 120 runs. Last year, as part of setting the baseball world on fire, Mike Trout blew away the competition with 129 runs scored, which was 20 more than second place Miguel Cabrera despite spending the first month of the season at AAA Salt Lake City (where he scored 21 runs in 20 games, raising his 2012 total to 150).
Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera announced that he will be ready to pitch by Opening Day.
Free Agent Signings
Yankees agreed to terms with Kevin Youkilis (19 HR, 60 RBI, .235 AVG, 0 SB, 2013 age: 34) on a one year, $12 million deal.
Reds agreed to terms with Jack Hannahan (4 HR, 29 RBI, .244 AVG, 0 SB, 2013 age: 33) on a one year, $2 million deal.
Royals signed George Sherrill (0-0, 27.00 ERA, 5.25 WHIP, 2013 age: 36) to a minor league deal.
Blue Jays signed Juan Perez (0-1, 5.14 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 2013 age: 34) to a minor league deal.
Royals also signed Dan Wheeler (0-0, 8.76 ERA, 1.95 WHIP, 2013 age: 35) to a minor league deal.
Blue Jays also signed Eugenio Velez (missed 2012 season, 8 career HR, .241 AVG, 2013 age: 31) to a minor league deal.
Blue Jays also signed Luis Jimenez (1 hit in 17 at bats, 2013 age: 31) to a minor league deal.
Kevin Youkilis will join the Yankees. He has taken the road very few take: from spending eight and a half years and almost 1000 games as a Red Sox to the Yankees. With Alex Rodriguez' hip surgery keeping him out until June, Youkilis will fill in at third and add a bat to the lineup. He seems to be on the down side of his career, which is why he only got a one year deal. He will turn 34 in March, but I think he still has it in him for a comeback season. After a huge 2008 where he hit 29 home runs, knocked in 115, and batted .312 at the age of 29, then hit 27 home runs while batting .305 in 2009. He was batting .307 with 19 home runs in 2010 when an August injury ended his season, then never got on track in 2011. He finished with 17 home runs and a .258 average, and didn't help the Red Sox' free fall by batting .199 in the second half. He continued to struggle into 2012, batting .233 with four home runs over his 42 games with the Red Sox. They sent him to Chicago, where his power returned, though the same couldn't be said for his average. He hit 15 home runs in 80 games, but batted .236. A lot of his problems point to his inability to hit right handed pitching. Last year, he hit .275 off lefties, but struggled to the tune of .220 against righties. In 2011, it was the same story: .311 to lefties, .234 to righties. The Yankees hope that the power stays, and his average rises back to where it used to be. Over his nine year career, he hit 148 home runs, knocked in 610 runs, and batted .283 over 1033 games.
The Diamondbacks, Reds, and Indians engaged in a three team, nine player trade. Here is the breakdown:
To Indians: Drew Stubbs (from Reds, 14 HR, 40 RBI, .213 AVG, 30 SB, 2013 age: 28), Trevor Bauer (from D-Backs, 1-2, 6.06 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 2013 age: 22), Bryan Shaw (from D-Backs, 1-6, 3.49 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 2 saves, 2013 age: 25), and Matt Albers (from D-Backs, 3-1, 2.39 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 2013 age: 30).
To Reds: Shin-Soo Choo (from Indians, 16 HR, 67 RBI, .283 AVG, 21 SB, 2013 age: 30-31) and Jason Donald (from Indians, 2 HR, 11 RBI, .202 AVG, 4 SB, 2013 age: 28).
To Diamondbacks: Didi Gregorius (0 HR, 2 RBI, .300 AVG, 0 SB, 2013 age: 23), Tony Sipp (from Indians, 1-2, 4.42 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 1 save, 2013 age: 29-30), and Lars Anderson (from Indians, 1 hit in 8 at bats, 2013 age: 25).
Cardinals traded Skip Schumaker (1 HR, 28 RBI, .276 AVG, 1 SB, 2013 age: 33) to the Dodgers for minor leaguer Jake Lemmerman (7 HR, 46 RBI, .233 AVG, 8 SB at AA, 2013 age: 24).
This Arizona/Ohio trade is another blockbuster. The two big names circulating are Shin-Soo Choo and Trevor Bauer. In my opinion, the Indians were given the best of the haul. They were given major leaguers Drew Stubbs, Bryan Shaw, and Matt Albers, as well as top prospect Bauer. Drew Stubbs is a promising lead off man who has a deadly combination of power and speed, but seriously needs to cut down on his strikeouts. In 2010, at the age of 25, he hit 22 home runs and stole 30 bases, but batted just .255 because he struck out 168 times in 514 at bats. The next year, he hit 15 home runs and stole 40 bases, but again saw the low average of .243 because of 205 strikeouts in 604 at bats. Last year, his offense continued to dip, as he hit 14 home runs and stole 30 bases while batting .213, striking out 166 times in 493 at bats. Bauer, who comes from the Diamondbacks, is baseball's #8 prospect. In the minors in 2012, he was 12-2 with a 2.42 ERA between AA Mobile and AAA Reno, all before his 21st birthday. He also has a long toss program that involves throwing from foul pole to foul pole. Even the major leaguers he throws with have to use a cutoff man. Bryan Shaw also comes from the Diamondbacks. After a solid rookie year in 2011 where he was 1-0 with a 2.54 ERA over 33 appearances, he followed up with a full season in 2012. Over 64 appearances, he posted a 3.49 ERA. He is also a switch hitter, which won't matter in the AL. Albers is the last player acquired by Cleveland, having had somewhat of a breakout year in 2012. Previously, his best year had been 2008 with the Orioles, where he was 3-3 with a 3.49 ERA. After a couple of subpar seasons, he posted a career best 2.39 ERA and let opponents bat just .215. His walk rate was also down, giving him a 1.13 WHIP, which is much lower than his career mark of 1.48.
Cincinnati got the big name, Shin-Soo Choo. Choo gives them stability in the outfield with Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick, as well as a solid all around bat. He had a breakout year in 2008, hitting 14 home runs and batting .309 in 94 games. The next year, he bursted out with a great 2009. Over 156 games, he hit 20 home runs and batted .300 with 21 stolen bases. 2010 was more of the same, but he slumped badly in 2011, batting .259 with eight home runs and 12 stolen bases. In 2012, he bounced back, batting .283 with 16 home runs and 21 stolen bases. He also set a career high with 43 doubles, placing him fifth in the AL. Moving to a hitters' park like Great American Ballpark should be good for him. Jason Donald was a secondary acquisition, but he is a good acquisition nonetheless. Over 170 career games, he hit seven home runs and batted .257 with 12 stolen bases. He may be best remembered as the runner in Armando Galarraga's infamous "Imperfect Game", as he crossed first base moments after Galarraga thought he recorded the final out before Jim Joyce called Donald safe. Donald will team with Emmanuel Burris as backups in a very shallow Cincinnati infield.
In my opinion, the Diamondbacks got ripped off in the trade. They gave up a huge pitching prospect and a pair of relievers and barely got anything in return. It seems to me as if they tried to force the Bauer deal, which needed to get done, rather than finding the best offer. Their main acquisition is Netherlands native Mariekson Julius "Didi" Gregorius, a speedy infielder out of Amsterdam. Didi, who will turn 23 just before Spring Training, has 443 minor league games under his belt. He has hit 20 home runs and stolen 40 bases across nine different teams, from the Billings Mustangs way out in Montana to the Louisville Bats just down the Ohio River from Cincinnati. After batting .265 with seven home runs between AA Pensacola and AAA Louisville in 2012, Gregorius got the call to the majors, where he garnered six hits in twenty at bats for a .300 average. On September 16th, his fourth major league game, he was 3-5 with an RBI single in Miami. Arizona also acquired Mississippi native Tony Sipp, a left handed reliever who has struggled to find consistency. He posted a 2.93 ERA and limited opponents to a .194 average in his rookie 2009, but has seen his ERA fluctuate from 4.14 in 2010 to 3.03 in 2011 and 4.42 in 2012. He has always been effective in getting both lefties and righties out, holding a career batting average against of .212. Last year, he set a career worst at .228, which is still a respectable number. He does, however, give up a lot of fly balls, which could be bad at a stadium like Chase Field in Phoenix, where balls are always flying out of due to a high altitude, in fact the second highest in the majors behind Denver. The last player acquired by Arizona is Lars Anderson, a former Red Sox who has hit well in the minors but struggled in limited major league opportunities. In fact, he has batted just .167 over 30 major league games. However, he has 76 minor league home runs and has batted .272. He is only 25 and could be a late bloomer.
Teams followed in this update: Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies
If your team is not included, please leave a comment.
HR: home runs. RBI: runs batted in. AVG: batting average. SB: stolen bases. ERA: earned run average. WHIP: walks/hits per innings pitched. K's: strikeouts. WPCT: winning percentage