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.


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