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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bluebird Banter: Omar Vizquel’s Potentially Historic Season

If only for the sweet Dwain Anderson mention…

I was scanning over the team offence this morning, and noticed that Vizquel had a .200/.250/.200 triple slash line in 81 plate appearances this season. Having a slugging percentage equal to the batting average is pretty rare, and sure enough, all 15 of his hits this year are singles. Which got me thinking that 81 PA is a lot to have without an extra base hit, and wondering how rare or common this was.

...Significantly, all of these seasons occurred during the dead ball era (usually dated to pre-1919). If we start with the beginning of the live ball era (which omits great names such as Kaiser Wilhelm of the 1908 Superbas), then the co-leaders are pitcher Wilbur Wood of the 1972 White Sox and Dwain Anderson, a shortstop for the 1972 Padres and Cardinals. Both came to the plate 144 times, with Wood managing 17 singles and Anderson 15.

If Omar Vizquel comes to the plate 64 times or more in the rest of 2012 without recording an extra base hit, he will set a record for the nearly century old post-World War I live ball era.

...It’s a longshot, but nonetheless, Omar Vizquel has a shot at setting the modern day record for most plate appearances in a season without an extra base hit in the live ball era. Like Brondon Morrow’s inability to generate a ground ball double play last year and unsuccessful run at the record books, it might be a bit of a notorious feat, but a feat nonethless and something to make it worth watching everytime Vizquel steps to the plate.

Repoz Posted: July 22, 2012 at 08:30 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, history

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   1. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: July 22, 2012 at 08:44 AM (#4189021)
I like Omar, but why is he still on a ML roster?
   2. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: July 22, 2012 at 09:13 AM (#4189028)
I like Omar, but why is he still on a ML roster?


I assume some combination of being an extra coach and still having a useful UT glove. What I wonder is how much longer Vizquel could last for in his present state? He's barely deployed, and I think that whatever athleticism he's left with is probably going to stay for a while. Basically, doesn't decline just sort of bottom out at some point?
   3. Rally Posted: July 22, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4189033)
" Basically, doesn't decline just sort of bottom out at some point?"

Yeah, it does. But Omar isn't dead yet.
   4. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: July 22, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4189048)
He's only mostly dead.
   5. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: July 22, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4189053)
He's just resting.
   6. UCCF Posted: July 22, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4189059)
The only reason he's standing out at shortstop is that he's been nailed there.
   7. Swoboda is freedom Posted: July 22, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4189070)
Vizquel had a .200/.250/.200 triple slash line in 81 plate appearances this season. Having a slugging percentage equal to the batting average is pretty rare, and sure enough, all 15 of his hits this year are singles.

Is there any other way that slugging and batting average could be the same besides all singles? Am I being obtuse or something?
   8. Srul Itza At Home Posted: July 22, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4189074)
Per BB-REF's new, incomprehensible, and non-additive system, Omar has a career 28.1 oWAR and a 28.3 dWAR. The figures for this year are -0.5 and 0.4.

   9. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 22, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4189117)
Is there any other way that slugging and batting average could be the same besides all singles? Am I being obtuse or something?

Hmmm ... You can have a batting average higher than your OBP, but I don't think you can have a batting average higher than your SLG, so I don't think there's any negative thing you could do (sac fly?) to cancel out a double and make them equal again.
   10. Padraic Posted: July 22, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4189119)
Is there any other way that slugging and batting average could be the same besides all singles?

No. The denominator for both percentages will always be the same, and the only way for the numerator to be different is through extra base hits.

The author's "sure enough" seems a bizarre comment.
   11. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 22, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4189145)
If I was the author I would have made sure too. I don't know the whole rule book and there might be some weird rule involving getting hit with a batted ball or missing a base or getting a single turned into a double because of interference or something. You never know.
   12. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 22, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4189177)
What I wonder is how much longer Vizquel could last for in his present state?

Hasn't Vizquel announced that this will be his last year? I thought the Toronto announcers indicated that on a recent Extra Innings broadcast.
   13. Srul Itza At Home Posted: July 22, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4189188)
That was my recollection, too, and this seem to confirm it.
   14. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: July 22, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4189230)
Wasn't Willie Bloomquist approaching some kind of similar record a few years back? A full season w/o any XBH?

EDIT: Yes, in 2008 he did eventually get one, but he holds the "record" for most hits in a season with just one XBH. 46 hits, to be exact.
   15. Eric P. Posted: July 22, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4189245)
2-4 today with a pair of singles, BTW.
   16. Jose Canusee Posted: July 22, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4189259)
What is the record for most hits in a season w/o XBH? That might take out most pitchers and leave you with players with mostly defensive value (maybe some slow catchers also)
   17. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 22, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4189272)
What is the record for most hits in a season w/o XBH? That might take out most pitchers and leave you with players with mostly defensive value (maybe some slow catchers also)


Chronologically, I get:
50 - Bill Holbert (catcher, mostly), 1879
33 - Jack O'Connor (40-year-old catcher), 1906
31 - Lynn Nelson (pitcher), 1933
30 - Mark Grudzielanek (2b, mostly), 2010

Lynn Nelson was nicknamed "Line Drive," which sounds right there with "Boom Boom" Beck, except Nelson was used a lot as a lefty PH - so maybe it was a compliment?
   18. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 22, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4189276)
And the most hits in a season with no singles is 5, by White Sox pitcher Dixie Howell in 1957 (.185/.241/630) and Brewers catcher Rick Wrona in 1994 (.500/.545/1.200).

The most home runs in a season with no other hits was 3, performed by four players. Jorge Sosa and Clem Labine (pitchers), and household names Keith McDonald and Ed Sanicki (career OPS+ 329 and 229).
   19. Walt Davis Posted: July 22, 2012 at 10:23 PM (#4189410)
Per BB-REF's new, incomprehensible, and non-additive system

I'm not sure I like it but it's hardly incomprehensible. The positional adjustment has been added to both (hence not additive).

oWAR -- how good a hitter is this player relative to position
dWAR -- how good a defender is this player relative to all positions

If you want offense relative to overall, use Rbat (plus Rbaser and Rdp if you want); if you want defense relative to position, use rfield.

People always seem to want something like oWAR -- OK, this guy's not a good hitter but he's a 2B, how good is he relative to 2B. So that's why you keep oWAR as is. Probably blame VORP and similar precedents.

The "problem" with the old dWAR (and Rfield) is that it was relative to position but that leads to, for example, Larry Walker ranking as one of the better defenders in history. Under the new dWAR, the top defenders are primarily (no surprise) the guys playing strong defensive positions.

If they want to return additivity, they should take position out of oWAR. The ability to play SS is clearly an aspect of a player's defensive value. That will make it harder to compare the offensive contributions of Jhonny Peralta with Carl Crawford but I can probably live without that. An "alternative" (really the same thing) is to define a "league average defender" and measure Rfield relative to that -- but that would just be incorporating the positional adjustment in an awkward way.
   20. Sunday silence Posted: July 22, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4189413)

from the article:

Trailing significantly behind him are Vic Willis of the 1902 Beaneaters (161 PA), Mike McNally of 1916 Red Sox (151 PA) and Dave Davenport of the 1915 Terriers (147 PA).


Who are the TErriers? This is a federal league team I would guess?
   21. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: July 23, 2012 at 01:54 AM (#4189494)
Who are the TErriers? This is a federal league team I would guess?
St. Louis Terriers. They employed washed up Hall of Famers Mordecai Brown and Eddie Plank but not at the same time I don't think.
   22. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 23, 2012 at 05:52 AM (#4189520)
Lynn Nelson was nicknamed "Line Drive," which sounds right there with "Boom Boom" Beck, except Nelson was used a lot as a lefty PH - so maybe it was a compliment?
Nope, it was derogatory when it was coined.

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