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%.

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