Friday, March 31, 2006

2006 Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates

Contrary to what some websites believe, the Pittsburgh Pirates failed to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch in 2005, but I'm sure Pirates management would tell you that it was a rebuilding year, and they're expecting to come back strong in '06. Either that or they would say something about how small market teams can't stay competitive, which is as good an excuse as any. They also might mention that they have no idea who's going to be their 5th starter this year.
Kip Wells led the Pirates in plunks last year with 12, and he hit Craig Biggio with a pitch in 2003, but he is injured and not expected back until mid-season. Oliver Perez, Zach Duke, Ian Snell, and Paul Maholm appear to have jobs in Pittsburgh's rotation, but those four averaged only 11 starts and 3 hit batters last year. The fifth starter looks like it will be either Terry Adams, Victor Santos or former Astro Brandon Duckworth. Duckworth and Santos each hit 5 last year, while Adams hit 4 batters.
Of note in the Pirates bullpen, they have Salomon Torres, who has hit Craig Biggio twice, and Ryan Vogelsong who hit 8 last year in 44 relief appearances. The Pirates also had Britt Reames, who hit Biggio with a pitch in 2002, in camp this spring but he will be starting the season in the minors.

The Pirates probability of hitting Craig Biggio with a pitch at least once in their 16 games this season is 85.3%. Plunking Biggio two or more times is 57% probable, and it's 0.3% likely that the Pirates will plunk Craig Biggio 7 or more times in 2006.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

2006 Preview: Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds hit 80 batters in 2005, second only to the Colorado Rockies in National League hit batsmen. Perhaps they weren't satisfied with second place though, because this spring they acquired Bronson Arroyo, who hit 14 batters last season for the Red Sox. Arroyo also hit Craig Biggio with a pitch in 2001. Arroyo will easily cover the loss of the Reds 2005 plunk leader, Luke Hudson who hit 11. The Reds also imported starter Dave Williams, who hit 8 batters in 2005, and hit Craig Biggio in 2002.
Returning to the Reds starting rotation are Aaron Harang (8 plunks in '05), Brandon Clausson (7 in '05), and Eric Milton (7 in '05), none of whom have plunked Craig Biggio.
The Reds bullpen has a trio of pitchers who have hit Biggio with a pitch before with Chris Hammond, Todd Coffey and Paul Wilson.

If the Reds hit Craig Biggio with a pitch in 2006, it will be the 15th consecutive season they'll have done so. They haven't gone a season without plunking Biggio since 1991. But, they've only hit him 20 times in total, and never more than twice in a season.

Based on Biggio's career plunks per plate appearance against the Reds, which has nothing to do with the consecutive years streak, the probability of the Reds plunking Biggio in 2006 is 76.3%. The probability of 2 or more plunks from the reds is 41.8% and the probability of a 7 plunk year, breaking the Cardinals single season record for plunking Biggio, is 0.057%.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

2006 Preview: Chicago Cubs

The big question surrounding the Chicago Cubs this season, as it has been for the past few, is will their pitching staff be healthy enough to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch in 2006? 3 time past plunker Kerry Wood is starting the season on the DL, along with fellow starter Mark Prior. Greg Maddux is healthy though, and he might be getting nostalgic over his early days in Atlanta when he plunked Biggio twice. Maddux turns 40 next month, and hit 7 batters last year. Carlos Zambrano has hit Biggio twice and hit a total of 8 batters last season. Glendon Rusch hit Biggio with a pitch in 2004, and hit only 1 batter last season.
The Cubs leader in plunking batters in 2005 was Jerome Williams who hit 9 for the Cubs after hitting one for the Giants before moving to Chicago. Williams is expected to have a spot in the rotation, at least until some of the injured starters come back. Also, former Astro Wade Miller figures into the Cubs starting pitching, somehow. If he can return to good health he could join the list of former teammates who have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch.

Base on career statistics against the Cubs, Craig Biggio's probability of being plunked by them at least once this year is 75.9%. They are 41.4% probable to hit him 2 or more times, and 0.05% likely to hit him 7 or more times.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

2006 Preview: St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch in each of the last 5 seasons, including 6 times in 2001. No team his hit Craig Biggio more in a single season, and only the Colorado Rockies have hit him more times ever.
Two of this years Cardinals hit Craig Biggio last year, but only Chris Carpenter did it for the Cardinals. Braden Looper left an ugly bruise on Biggio's forearm while pitching for the Mets, but will be coming out of the Cardinals' bullpen this year. Jeff Suppan is the only other red bird with a past history of hitting Craig Biggio with pitches.
Mark Mulder hit 9 batters in 2005, leading the Cardinals, but St. Louis lost to free agency two 8 HBP pitchers in Julian Tavarez and Matt Morris. Sidney Ponson will replace Matt Morris's spot in the rotation and Julian Tavarez's spot in anger management. Ponson hit 3 batters and a judge last year, while Tavarez is having a fine spring for the Red Sox, hitting a batter and a base-runner yesterday. As for the other returning Cardinals starters, Suppan hit 7 batters last year, Jason Marquis hit 5, and Carpenter hit 3.

Based on his past statistics, Craig Biggio's probability of being hit by a pitch in the 16 games the Astros play against the Cardinals this season is 87.4%. His probability of being plunked 2 or more times is 61.1%, and the probability of the Cardinals breaking there own Biggio plunking record from 2001 is 0.45%.

Monday, March 27, 2006

2006 Preview: Milwaukee Brewers

Matt Wise was the only Brewer to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch in 2005, but Milwaukee will not doubt be looking to improve on that (among other things) in 2006. Wise will be joined on the Brewers staff by Ben Sheets, Chris Capuano and Rick Helling, who all have one plunk of Craig Biggio in the books.
Capuano led the Brewers in HBPs last year with 12, but among the other expected starters (Sheets, Tomo Ohka, Doug Davis, Dave Bush and/or Helling) none hit more than 4 batters. Milwaukee hit the 3rd fewest batters in the National League last year (45) behind only Atlanta and San Francisco.

Base on Biggio's past statistics against the Brewers, he is 91% likely to get hit by at least one pitch thrown by them in the 15 games they'll play this year. Getting hit 2 or more times by the Brewers is 69% probable, and a year in which Biggio is hit 7 times by Milwaukee is 0.95% probable.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

2006 Preview: Chicago White Sox

The north coast/south coast baseball rivalry which reached a new peak of intensity in the 2005 World Series will heat up once again this summer when the White Sox host the Astros for 3 interleague games in June. It won't exactly be as meaningful as the last time they met, and maybe one short World Series isn't enough to call it a rivalry, and some would argue that America does not have a north coast... but to those people I say, Canada is an ocean. It's just very shallow, and mostly frozen. Oil Can Boyd knew what he was talking about when he said, of a very foggy stadium in Cleveland, "That’s what they get for building a park on the ocean."
Regardless, the White Sox employ only one pitcher who has hit Craig Biggio with a pitch - Dustin Hermanson, who hit Biggio twice on October 6, 2001. Their 2005 plunking leader, Orlando Hernandez (12), was traded to Arizona for Javier Vazquez who only hit 5 last year. Jose Contreras and Jon Garland hit the next most batters, with 9 and 7 plunks respectively. Contreras, Garland and Vazquez will be joined in Chicago's starting rotation by Freddy Garcia and Mark Buehrle, who hit 3 and 4 batters last year.
Biggio hasn't been plunked by the White Sox since August 31, 1997, when James Baldwin got him. Baldwin now pitches for Toronto.

If past statistics are any basis for estimation, Craig Biggio's probability of being hit by a pitch against the White Sox this year is 42%. He has a 9.8% chance of being hit 2 or more times by them, matching or beating the White Sox total from 1997. Biggio's probability of being hit 7 or more times by them is 0.000037%.

Friday, March 24, 2006

2006 Preview: Minnesota Twins

The Astros will face the Minnesota Twins three times this season. Will Minnesota use those games as an opportunity to improve on their 2005 total of 43 hit batters (2nd lowest in the AL), or will they continue their tendency to nothing but the strikezone? The Twins pitchers walked only 348 batters last year - the lowest total recorded in a full season since 1968.
The Twins only pitcher in camp this year who has hit Craig Biggio with a pitch was Gabe White, but White decided to retire earlier this spring. White hit Biggio for the Reds on September 22, 1997.

The Twins plunking leaders in 2005 were starters Kyle Lohse (9) and Brad Radke (7), but their 3 others expected to start in '06 - Johan Santana, Carlos Silva and Scott Baker - only hit a total of 4 batters in 69 starts. It doesn't sound like there will be much to work with for Craig Biggio against this staff, but if there's one thing we know about Twins, it's that one of them always turns out to be evil.

The Twins also employ the anti-Biggio. Juan Castro of the Twins has recorded 2034 career plate appearances and never been hit by a pitch. He ranks 12th all time in plate appearances for a player who's never been plunked, just behind the immortal Herm Winningham.

Based on Craig Biggio past statistics against the Twins, his probability of being plunked at least once by the Twins is 22.6%. A multi-plunk season against the Twins is 2.6% likely and a 7 plunk year is 0.00000023% probable. If you see a Twins fan, remember that last percentage and ask them if that's more or less likely than the Twins getting a new stadium anytime soon.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

2006 Preview: Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers are one of the 6 remaining teams (other than the Astros) which have never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. The Tigers only pitcher on staff currently who has hit Biggio with a pitch is Chad Durbin, who hit him twice in one game for the Royals. But, the interesting thing about this Tigers staff is that they have 4 left handed starters - Kenny Rogers, Mike Maroth, Nate Robertson and Wilfredo Ledezma. Biggio has been hit 218 times by right handers, but only 55 times by lefties. Maroth led the Tigers in plunks last year with 8, but Kenny Rogers had 9 for the Rangers. Robertson hit 7 batters in '05, and right-handed reliever Franklyn German hit 7. The Tigers only right handed starter, Jeremy Bonderman.
If the Tigers starters stay healthy, they could become just the 2nd team ever to have 4 different left-handed pitchers start 20 or more games. The other was the 1954 Washington Senators who had a lefty quartet of Mickey McDermott, Johnny Schmitz, Chuck Stobbs, and Dean Stone.

Since Craig Biggio has no track record of being hit by the Tigers, probabilities of his being plunked by them this year are not available in the manner over the other 2006 team previews. With only 3 games to get it done, it appears unlikely that the Tigers will become the 24th team to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

2006 Preview: Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals haven't hit Craig Biggio with a pitch since July 8, 2001.
Scott Elerton started that game for the Astros, but is now the #1 starter for the Royals. He also got ejected after hitting the first batter he faced with a pitch in retaliation for the Royals plunking of Biggio and Lugo to lead off the game.

Nobody on the Royals current roster has hit Craig Biggio with a pitch before. Zach Greinke led the team in plunks last year, hitting 13 batters, but he is injured without word on a return date. Luke Hudson hit 11 for the Reds last year, and is expected to be a key middle reliever for the 2006 Royals.
Scott Elerton, Runelvyz Hernandez, Joe Mays, Mark Redman and Mike Wood look like they'll form the Royals starting rotation. They all hit between 2 and 8 batters last year, and whichever of them start against Houston should have a decent chance to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch.

Based on the limited data of Craig Biggio's past plunks per plate appearance against the Royals, his probability of being hit by them this season is 55%. A multiplunk year is only 18% likely, and the probability of breaking that mark of 6 plunks by the same team in a given year is 0.00044%. However, all 3 of Biggio's past plunks against the Royals have been at Kauffman Stadium, but this year their 3 game interleague series will be at Houston.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

2006 Preview: Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers have hit Craig Biggio 4 times since interleague play began, most recently in 2003 when Joaquin Benoit got him. Benoit is still with the Rangers, as is Erasmo Ramirez who plunked Biggio the day before Benoit did. Texas also has Vicente Padilla - who plunked Biggio for the Phillies in 2003 - penciled in for the starting rotation, and Brian Anderson - who hit Biggio twice in one game in 1998 - is competing for a bullpen job. The Rangers offseason acquisition of Kevin Millwood will anchor there pitching rotation, but is unlikely to add to Craig Biggio's plunk total. Millwood has hit 36 in 9 seasons, including a remarkably average 4 in 2005.
Also, there have been rumors that Roger Clemens may end up pitching for the Rangers by the time the Astros see them. While it may not be indicative of the way he would treat former teammates today, Clemens famously drilled Mo Vaughn on his first trip back to Fenway after leaving for the Blue Jays in 1997. I believe Clemens said afterward that he just wasn't ready to pitch to Mo yet. And just for good measure, he struck out 16 batters.

Based on past performance against the Rangers, Craig Biggio's probability of being hit by them this year is 60.8% with a 23.5% chance of being hit multiple times. A seven plunk year from the Rangers is 0.0028% probable.

Monday, March 20, 2006

2006 Preview: Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies have hit Craig Biggio as many or more times then any other team in the league in each of the last 3 seasons. They have hit Biggio more times in his career than any other team, and will likely hit him a number of times again this year. Last year they plunked Biggio 5 times and led the National League with 84 hit batsmen.
While their team leader in plunks, Jamey Wright (15), moved to San Fransisco in the offseason, they still have two more pitchers who registered in double figures last year. Byun-Hyung Kim hit 14 batters, including Craig Biggio, but Brian Fuentes hit 10 without Biggio among them.
Jason Jennings is listed as anchoring the Rockies rotation in 2006, having come off a 2005 season in which he hit Craig Biggio 3 times in 2 games. Aaron Cook and Byung-Hyun Kim are also expected to start, and each have hit Biggio once. Jeff Francis and Miguel Ascencio are expected to round out the rotation. Both are young, and have yet to experience hitting Craig Biggio with a pitch.
In the bullpen, the Rockies look like they'll have a trio of one-time offenders on the guys who have hit Biggio with a pitch list - Josh Fogg, Sunny Kim, and Chin-Hui Tsao.

The Rockies probability of hitting Craig Biggio with a pitch this year, based on his career plunks per plate appearance vs Colorado, is 83.8%. There probability of equalling or exceeding last years 5 plunks is 2.9%, and they are 0.15% to hit him 7 or more times.


Sunday, March 19, 2006

2006 Preview: San Diego Padres

The Padres hopes of hitting Craig Biggio with a pitch this season were greatly reduced earlier this month when Pedro Astacio turned down San Diego to pitch for the Washington Nationals. On the other hand, the Padres hopes of having a quality pitching staff were greatly enhanced when Pedro Astacio turned down San Diego to pitch for the Washington Nationals. But, the Padres will have a three time plunker of Craig Biggio in Chan Ho Park on the team, as well as 2 time plunker Shawn Estes and Seth Etherton and Jake Peavy who have each hit Biggio once. Even Andy Ashby might still make the team to add veteran experience, as well as another guy who's hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, to the Padres bullpen.
Among those who haven't hit Biggio before, Chris Young might be the most likely candidate this year. He hit 7 batters in 31 starts in 2005.

The Padres have about a 42.7% chance of hitting Craig Biggio with a pitch, if career stats vs the Padres are any indication and he gets around 30 plate appearances this year. They're only about 10.5% likely to throw a multiplunk year, and only about 0.0001% likely to hit him 7 times and break the Cardinals record for hitting Craig Biggio in a single season.

Friday, March 17, 2006

2006 Preview: SF Giants

The Giants haven't hit Craig Biggio with a pitch since 1999 so what could possibly make us think they'd go and start hitting him again this year? The addition of Jamey Wright is a good place to start. Despite being a non-roster invitee Wright appears to have a good chance at a starting job with the Giants, and he has already hit Craig Biggio 4 times. Wright has hit 104 batters in his career, ranking him 12th among active pitchers. The Giants also acquired Matt Morris through free agency. He hit Biggio with a pitch once, but also has 48 other career plunks. These changes to the pitching staff may signal a strategic shift in the way the Giants intend to pitch to Craig Biggio. Or, I guess they could be considering non-plunk related factors in their personnel moves, but that doesn't seem as likely. After all, I'm sure the Giants wouldn't put the pursuit of one particular statistical record ahead of the good of their team or the good of the game.

Even though the Giants have gone 6 seasons without hitting Craig Biggio, they did hit 19 times before that. So, based on Biggio's lifetime plunks per plate appearance against the Giants, the probability of his being hit by them at least once this year is 51.6% if he steps to the plate 30 times. A multi-plunk year against the Giants is only 16% likely, and a single team personal record plunk year (7 hbps) is only 0.00055% probable. Or, just to put that another way, Biggio would have to get about 280 plate appearances to even have a 50-50 chance of being hit 7 times. Tough to do in only 6 games.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

WBC Notes

For those of you following the WBC, you probably already know that 12 pitchers participating in the event have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch a total of 19 times. Team USA includes Al Leiter, Dontrelle Willis and Jake Peavy who have thrown 6 of Biggio's 273 hbps. Korea has Chan Ho Park, Sunny Kim, and Byung-Hyun Kim. Those three have hit Biggio 5 times, including Byung-Hyun Kim's pitch that moved Biggio past Don Baylor on the all time HBPs list. Miguel Batista and Salomon Torres of the Dominican Republic have combined for 3 HBPs against Biggio, and Venezuala's Jorge Julio and Carlos Zambrano have also combined to throw 3 pitches which struck him. Puerto Rico has Pedro Feliciano, and the Netherlands has Calvin Maduro, who have each plunked Biggio once.
Of the 12, only Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Batista have hit a batter in WBC play so far.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

2006 Preview: LA Dodgers

Among all the pitchers in Dodgers training camp this spring, there is only one, Brian Meadows, who has hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. Meadows is a non-roster invitee, and hit Biggio back in 1998 while he was pitching for the Marlins.
Last year Jeff Weaver took care of most of the Dodgers plunking duties, hitting 18, but he departed over the winter for the closest American League team he could find. DJ Houlton is left as the Dodgers' biggest 2005 plunker with only 8, so it may look like they should continue their two year streak of not plunking Biggio. But, 139 of Biggio's 273 plunks to date have been thrown by pitchers who hit a total of 5 batters or less in that same season. Only 49 were thrown by pitchers who were in double digits in hit batters for that season. Pitchers who hit 3 batters in a season have hit Biggio with one of them most often (33 times), including Brian Meadows in 1998. Expected starters Derek Lowe, Brett Tomko, Brad Penny and Odalis Perez only had 15 hit batters between them last year.
Based on Biggio's past history against the Dodgers, he is 62.5% likely NOT to get hit by them in the 6 games they'll play this year. There is only a 7.9% chance that the Dodgers will hit him multiple times, and it is 0.000033% probable that the Dodgers will break the single season Biggio plunking record by hitting him 7 times.

Monday, March 13, 2006

A Saturday in spring

Spring training is a special time of year...

For fans, it's a great time to catch a game in a small ballpark...

...and to see big league legends up close.

For Players, it's a time not just to get in shape for the season...

It's a time to consult with other players, think about new approaches, or tinker your stance or your swing...

and some even take the research and development of new innovations in baseball a little further. For example, Craig Biggio appears to have invented a new batting stance which will undoubtedly get him hit by more pitches than ever before. I only hope I'm not blowing the lid off his secret plan by posting the following:

As you can see he's clearly planning on evolving the game beyond the need for the bat. It's probably still just in the idea faze though, because he went back to a more traditional stance for the game:

He didn't get hit in the game we got to attend, but he did get hit last Thursday, while we were traveling. Next time I'll know to plan to go to the game two days before the game I plan to go to.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

2006 Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks

Of the 205 pitchers who have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, 4 will most likely be on the Arizona Diamondbacks opening day roster. And, Miguel Batista, Russ Ortiz, Brandon Webb and Jose Valverde all hit Craig Biggio with a pitch while playing for Arizona. It's nice to see that kind of consistency and patience in an organization, even if Ortiz and Valverde just logged their plunks in 2005 and Webb got his in 2004. Brad Halsey, Arizona's plunk leader in '05 with 9, is expected to join Webb, Ortiz and Batista in the Diamondbacks' starting rotation in 2006 along with newly acquired Orlando Hernandez who hit 12 batters last year for the White Sox.
Also of note, the Diamondbacks 40-man roster lists 3 Brandons, 2 Brads and a Brian which makes them the major league leader in pitchers whose first names start with B. 18 pitchers whose names start with the letter B have plunked Biggio, ranking 3rd behind J and M.
The Astros play Arizona 9 times this year, and if Craig Biggio gets up to 45 plate appearances, the probability of his being hit by the D-backs at least once is 80.3% (based on career plunks per plate appearance). They are 47.7% likely to match or exceed last year plunk total of 2, and have a 0.097% chance of becoming the single season record holders in hitting Craig Biggio with pitches.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

2006 Preview: Philadelphia Phillies

In 2005, the Phillies finished 1 game behind the Astros in the NL Wildcard race, and many in the Philadelphia area blame Craig Biggio for that fact. Well, maybe they don't blame Biggio, but many point to the September 7th game winning 9th inning 3 run homer he hit off Billy Wagner as the key to their failure to make the playoffs. Some probably blame Wagner for throwing the pitch, and others probably blame David Bell for the error that let the tying run reach base with 2 outs. Regardless, if some on the Phillies pitching staff blame Biggio for last year's lack of post-season baseball in Philadelphia, they might think throwing at him would be a good idea. But keep this in mind, Phillies, you're 3-10 in games when you hit Craig Biggio. But feel free to throw a couple of pitches in on his hands to try to intimidate him. That works a lot. Trust me on this. He definitely probably might not just stand his ground, take the pitch, and take first base.

The Phillies haven't hit Biggio with a pitch since August 17, 2004 when Randy Wolf hit him. Wolf is the only current Philly who plunked Biggio for his current team, but he is joined on the staff by Cory Lidle and Jon Leiber who both hit Biggio for their prior employers. Lidle his hit Biggio twice. Brett Myers led the Phillies last year with 11 plunks, and is expected to join Lidle and Leiber at the top end of the starting rotation. However, the Astros and Phillies won't see each other until September, so it's tough to predict what the Phillies rotation will look like by then. They could finally pull off that widely rumored deal of the whole team for Manny Ramirez.

Based on Biggio's career stats against the Phillies and a guess of 30 plate appearances, his probability of being plunked by them this year is 46%. A multi-plunk year from the Phillies is 12.4% probable, and a record setting year in the Biggio plunking category is only 0.00019% likely.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Lost another one...

For all of you still here, play a little more like Kirby.

For you Kirby,

Thursday, March 02, 2006

2006 Preview: Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals did not hit Craig Biggio with a pitch last year and have assembled a staff for spring training this year without a single pitcher who has ever plunked Biggio. Clearly that doesn't mean they won't hit him this year though. Of the 15 pitchers who plunked Biggio in 2005, only 4 had hit him in prior seasons.
The Nats certainly have plenty of likely candidates for a 2006 plunk, and they'll see each other in 8 games. Livan Hernandez is the staff ace and hit 13 in '05 including 4 batters in one game. Brian Lawrence had 11 plunks last year, and Ramon Ortiz, Tony Armas and Ryan Drese are all right handers expected to throw a lot of innings, and who plunk between 5 and 10 a year.
If Biggio gets 40 plate appearances against the Nationals this year, he is 58.2% likely to be hit by a pitch at least once in 2006 (based on career HBPs per plate appearance against the Nats/Expos). His probability of 2 or more plunks is 21.3%, and the probability of the Nationals becoming the single season Biggio plunking record holders is 0.0022%.
On the other hand, we learned last year that Biggio has been hit most often by people born in the Chinese year of the Snake, and by pitchers born under the astrological sign Sagittarius, but the Nationals have no pitchers on the 40 man roster with either of those signs. This could be a sign that it could be another no-plunk year for Biggio against Washington, if you believe in that sort of thing. They do, however, have 4 non-roster pitchers in camp born in the year of the Snake, and one of them, Saul Rivera, is also a Sagittarius. He could be a favorite to plunk Biggio if the Nationals find a roster spot for him.

UPDATE: Since this was originally posted, the Nationals have signed Pedro Astacio, the all time leader in hitting Craig Biggio with pitches. Astacio has plunked Biggio 7 times and appears set to join the Nationals starting rotation.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

2006 Preview: New York Mets

The Mets have 6 pitchers in camp who have hit Craig Biggio once each, but 2 (Jeremi Gonzalez and Pedro Feliciano) are non-roster invitees. Braeden Looper and Kaz Ishii hit Biggio for the Mets last year, but both have moved on leaving Aaron Heilman as the only current Met to hit Biggio with a pitch for the Mets. The other 3, Pedro Martinez, Jorge Julio (last year), and Chad Bradford all plunked Craig Biggio for other teams. The Mets hit Craig Biggio twice last year but to match that in 2006 it will depend on how the rotations match up. If the Astros 6 games against New York include more starts by Victor Zambrano (15 plunks in '05) and less against Tom Glavine, 2 plunks will be more likely. But if Pedro Martinez continues his statistical mellowing (or isn't healthy), and Glavine gets 2 starts, 1 plunk or less is more likely.

Based on Biggio's past plunks per plate appearance against the Mets, and an assumption of 30 plate appearances, his probability of getting plunked by them again this year is 57.1%. 2 or more plunks by the Mets are 20.2% likely, and the probability of a record breaking* 7 plunk season for Biggio against the Mets is 0.0015%.

*That would be Biggio's personal record, not the all time single season record for getting hit by one team. I haven't tracked that one down just yet.