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.

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