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Pair of Angels on track for rare accomplishment

Aug 24, 2010, 7:41 PM EDT

There’s still a ways yet to go, but both Brandon Wood and Jeff Mathis have opportunities to become the first players since 2003 to finish a season with 200 plate appearances and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of at least 12:1.
Let’s look at the carnage:
Wood – .163/.180/.219, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 54/4 K/BB in 189 plate appearances
Mathis – .195/.214/.294, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 50/4 K/BB in 161 plate appearances
Only eight different players have accomplished such a feat during the expansion era. One did in twice:
Andy Kosco (1970, Dodgers) – 40/1 K/BB in 228 PA
Ivan Murrell (1973, Padres) – 52/2 K/BB in 216 PA
Rob Picciolo (1979, Athletics) – 45/3 K/BB in 363 PA
Rob Picciolo (1980, Athletics) – 63/2 K/BB in 281 PA
Tom Paciorek (1986, Rangers) – 41/3 K/BB in 220 PA
Kim Batiste (1994, Phillies) – 32/1 K/BB in 214 PA
Mariano Duncan (1995, PHI/CIN) – 62/5 K/BB in 277 PA
Shawon Dunston (1999, STL/NYM) – 39/2 K/BB in 255 PA
Todd Greene (2003, Rangers) – 47/2 K/BB in 210 PA
Of the nine, just the two National Leaguers had decent seasons in the process. Duncan hit .287/.297/.423 while playing all over the diamond. Dunston, by then a supersub and pinch-hitter, hit .321/.337/.453 with 41 RBI in 243 AB.
Credit Picciolo with consistency. He had a 589 OPS in both seasons. He was actually far worse as a rookie, hitting .200/.218/.258 in 419 AB in 1975. He had a 55/9 K/BB ratio then. Picciolo never again received 200 plate appearances in a season after 1980.
Wood might have had a chance to join the club as a rookie in 2008 with additional playing time. He had a 43/4 K/BB ratio in 157 plate appearances that season.
Mathis, though, has never been nearly so awful before. He finished with a 90/30 K/BB ratio in 328 plate appearances in 2008 and a 73/22 K/BB ratio in 272 plate appearances last year. He’d seem to be less likely than Wood to enter the exclusive club.

  1. Joboo - Aug 24, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    The most infuriating thing about Jeff Mathis (besides taking playing time from Mike Napoli) is that the media has bought his “defensive reputation” hook, line and sinker. He’s not all that great at throwing out runners, partially because of the pitchers he catches, and partially because he’s under the impression that 2nd base is somewhere in shallow center field. He’s SLIGHTLY better than Napoli behind the plate, but we aren’t talking about Yadier Molina here. There simply is no decent excuse – especially the way the Angels have been playing – to keep wasting ABs on this guy. Bring Conger up or let Wilson take the ABs.
    I understand that Mike Scioscia doesn’t like Napoli for some reason, but if they axe him *and* keep Mathis around next year, I think I might just stop caring about this team. Jeff Mathis is all out of upside. He has sucked for years, and inexplicably still has a job.

  2. Chipmaker - Aug 25, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    Nichols’ Law of Catcher Defense. Still holds true.

  3. BC - Aug 25, 2010 at 10:05 AM

    Can’t believe Mark Reynolds isn’t on the list. And I seem to remember Kirby Puckett was legendary at this sort of thing – strike out like 90-100 times and walk like 5 times in a season. Hmm.

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