Record of the Day
Most career double plays grounded into: Cal Ripken, Jr., 350.
So the consecutive games record isn't the only one Cal holds. Over the course of his 21-year career, Ripken grounded into 350 double plays, thirteen more than catcher Ivan Rodriguez. One interesting thing about this stat is that every one of the top seven is a Hall of Famer or an active player who will make a very strong Hall statement when his time arrives (Rodriguez). It's no coincidence. These Hall of Famers usually bat in the middle of the lineup, so when they are at bat, players are usually on base, making a ground ball almost automatically a double play.
Free Agent Signings
Mariners agreed to terms with Kevin Millwood (4-3, 3.98 ERA, .274 BAA, 2012 age: 37) on a minor league deal.
Blue Jays signed Nelson Figueroa (0-3, 8.69 ERA, .352 BAA, 2012 age: 38) to a minor league deal.
Brewers signed Paul Phillips (missed 2011 season, .262 career AVG, 2012 age: 35) to a minor league deal.
Yankees traded Jesus Montero (4 HR, 12 RBI, .328 AVG, 0 SB, 2012 age: 22) and Hector Noesi (2-2, 4.47 ERA, .286 BAA, 2012 age: 25) to the Mariners for Michael Pineda (9-10, 3.74 ERA, .211 BAA, 2012 age: 23) and minor leaguer Jose Campos (5-5, 2.32 ERA, .214 BAA, 2012 age: 19-20).
This is a huge trade in which all four are legitimate prospects and none has turned 25 yet. The deal is centered around two major players, offensive minded catcher Jesus Montero and towering fireballer Michael Pineda. I believe this deal is beneficial for both teams, because the Yankees seriously lack pitching depth and the Mariners seriously lack offense. Pineda is young and controlled and will provide upper-rotation value for what could turn out to be years, while Montero will hopefully provide the offensive spark that Seattle has been so desperately searching for to compliment Dustin Ackley and Ichiro Suzuki. Noesi also provides a young but major league ready pitcher for the Mariners and Campos is a high ceiling righty who may take a few years to reach the majors.
Jesus Montero is considered the top catching prospect in baseball, and with good reason. After signing with the Yankees in late 2006, Montero has rocketed through the Yankees farm system. He broke out in 2008 for Class A Charleston, where he hit 17 home runs and batted .326 in 132 games. A promotion to High Class A Tampa didn't slow him down in 2009; in just 48 games, Montero hit eight home runs and batted .356 at the young age of 19. Promoted to AA Trenton, he still managed to hit nine home runs and bat .317 in 44 games against the higher pitching. Overall, Montero hit 17 home runs and batted .337 in 92 games. He spent all of 2010 at AAA Scranton, where he continued to rake by hitting 21 home runs and batting .289 in 123 games. Montero started out at Scranton again in 2011, but all he did was smack 18 more home runs and bat .288 in 109 games. Upon a promotion to New York, Montero only heightened his offensive prowess by hitting four home runs and bating .328 in just 18 games. Cumulatively, he hit 22 home runs and batted .293 in 127 games. The Mariners also acquired young right-hander Hector Noesi. He has mainly been a starter, but can relieve if needed. Noesi established himself as a legitimate prospect in 2009, when the 22-year-old was 6-4 with a 2.92 ERA in 26 games (20 starts) for Class A Charleston and High Class A Tampa. He split time at three levels in 2010, combining to go 14-7 with a 3.20 ERA in 28 games (27 starts) between High Class A Tampa, AA Trenton, and AAA Scranton. He posted a 3.28 ERA in six AAA outings (five starts) last year before a promotion to the bigs. The Dominican native pitched mainly as a reliever, going 2-2 with a 4.47 ERA in 30 games (two starts).
The Yankees acquired 6'7" righty Michael Pineda, a hard throwing giant known to strike hitters out. Pineda has seen huge success in the minors, culminating with an 11-4 mark and 3.36 ERA in 25 starts between AA West Tennessee and AAA Tacoma. The highly touted rookie was promoted to the majors right out of the gate in 2011 and did not disappoint. In 28 starts, Pineda was 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA and minimal .211 BAA for Seattle. He won the AL Rookie of the Month for April and earned a trip to the 2011 All Star game in Arizona. The Yanks also acquired the lesser-known young righty named Jose Campos, a 19-year-old fireballer out of Venezuela. Campos broke out in 2010 in the rookie level Venezuelan Summer League, going 8-2 with a 3.16 ERA in 13 games (12 starts). He was promoted to Class A Everett, where he missed some time to injury but still ended up with a solid 2.32 ERA in 14 starts. Pitching for the Venezuelan Winter League this offseason, Campos is 3-1 with a 3.26 ERA in 16 games (two starts).
Jorge Posada will officially announce his retirement Tuesday.
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
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. BAA: batting average against. K's: strikeouts. WPCT: winning percentage