MLB traits: Matt Olson chasing ultra-rare 60-double season; one purpose why the Giants aren’t repeating 2021

The 2022 MLB common season is three months previous and the All-Star break is correct across the nook. Earlier than you understand it, the commerce deadline shall be right here. There’s nonetheless half a season to play, however a number of essential dates are arising, then it will be time to get into the canine days of summer time and the postseason races.                   

With that in thoughts, our weekly sequence breaking down numerous traits throughout the league continues Wednesday with a glance one participant chasing a uncommon milestone, one crew’s struggles within the subject, and one GM discovering success along with his former gamers. Final week we checked out Andrew Vaughn’s breakout, Eli Morgan’s distinctive changeup, and the rise in catcher interference calls.

Olson chasing 60 doubles


Sixty house runs is a hallowed quantity in baseball. Solely 5 gamers have ever hit 60 homers in a season (Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Mark McGwire twice, Sammy Sosa thrice) they usually’ve carried out it a mixed eight occasions. Giancarlo Stanton made a run at 60 homers throughout his 2017 NL MVP season. Alas, he fell one brief and completed with 59 dingers, the ninth-highest whole in historical past.

Sixty homers is a historic whole, however do you know 60-double seasons are extra uncommon than 60-homer seasons? Solely six gamers in historical past have recorded 60 doubles in a season and none of them did it greater than as soon as. Listed below are the six 60-double seasons in MLB historical past:

  1. Earl Webb, 1931 Crimson Sox: 67
  2. George Burns, 1926 Cleveland: 64
  3. Joe Medwick, 1936 Cardinals: 64
  4. Hank Greenberg, 1934 Tigers: 63
  5. Paul Waner, 1932 Pirates: 62
  6. Charlie Gehringer, 1936 Tigers: 60

Solely six 60-double seasons in historical past and none since 1936. The latest run at 60 doubles was Nick Castellanos in 2019. He had 58 doubles break up between Tigers (37 doubles) and Cubs (21 doubles). Castellanos led MLB in doubles that season however didn’t lead both league due to the midseason commerce. Todd Helton had a 59-double season with the Rockies in 2000.

This season Braves first baseman Matt Olson is in place to make a run at baseball’s first 60-double season in practically a century. He leads baseball with 32 doubles by 82 crew video games, placing him on tempo for 63. No different participant has greater than 27 doubles (Rafael Devers and José Ramírez are tied for second). Olson’s 32 doubles are already essentially the most in a primary half in franchise historical past.

Olson has a great shot to enter the All-Star break with 35 doubles. Just one participant has carried out that since 2014 (Eduardo Escobar had 35 doubles on the 2019 All-Star break), and solely 15 have carried out it interval. Corridor of Famer Edgar Martinez holds the report with 42 first-half doubles in 1996. Manny Machado had 39 doubles within the first half with the 2013 Orioles.

It is value noting Truist Park will not be a terrific doubles park basically, particularly for lefty hitters. The stadium’s three-year park issue for lefty doubles is 99, so virtually precisely league common (100). It neither inflates doubles (like Fenway Park) nor suppresses doubles (like Yankee Stadium). Olson will not get a doubles increase from his house ballpark, upping the issue as he pursues 60 doubles.

After all, Olson is understood extra for house runs than doubles. His 12 homers put him on tempo for twenty-four, effectively south of final 12 months’s 39 dingers with the Athletics. Olson is prone to fall wanting 60 doubles as a result of hitting 60 doubles in a season is extraordinarily arduous, and likewise as a result of he is in all probability going to start out turning some would-be doubles into homers within the second half.

“I do know that doubles have been occurring at slightly larger tempo than they’ve prior to now, and residential runs are in all probability slightly decrease, however so long as I am driving the ball within the hole and getting a number of out, that is the place I wish to keep,” Olson informed the Atlanta Journal-Structure over the weekend. “… Hear, extra-base hits is what you wish to exit and do. Particularly me being a middle-of-the-lineup first baseman, that is type of my job, to drive in runs.” 

The Braves franchise has been round in some kind since 1876 and the crew report is 51 doubles by Corridor of Famer Hugh Duffy in 1894. The Atlanta period report (since 1966) is Marcus Giles with 49 in 2003. Olson has an opportunity to not solely beat that report, however shatter it. Changing Freddie Freeman wasn’t going to be straightforward, however Olson and his doubles are doing it quite effectively.

Giants missing within the subject

A 12 months in the past the Giants had a charmed season by which seemingly every little thing that might go proper, did go proper. Gamers up and down the roster had profession years, together with a number of veterans of their mid-30s, and the end result was a franchise report 107 wins. That features the New York years. The earlier San Francisco period (since 1958) report was 103 wins in 1963 and 1993.

Wins have been more durable to return by for the Giants this season, particularly these days. San Francisco has misplaced six straight video games, the crew’s longest dropping streak since a seven-gamer in Could 2019, and is 3-12 in its final 15 video games. One 12 months after successful a franchise report 107 video games, the Giants are hovering round .500 because the All-Star break approaches (they’re 40-39).

One of many greatest distinction between the 2021 Giants and the 2022 Giants is protection. San Francisco was an above-average defensive crew final season. They weren’t a really elite defensive crew final 12 months, however they had been comfortably higher than the league common. This 12 months the Giants are one of many worst defensive golf equipment. Their MLB ranks:

Defensive effectivity*

.707 (sixth in MLB)

.676 (twenty ninth in MLB)

Defensive runs saved

+32 (eleventh in MLB)

-21 (twenty seventh in MLB)

Outs above common

+27 (fifth in MLB)

-33 (thirtieth in MLB)

* Defensive effectivity is the proportion of batted balls became outs. The MLB common is .698.

The Giants simply wrapped up an eight-game homestand by which they went 2-6 and dedicated 10 errors, plus had a number of different performs that ought to have been made however weren’t. Defenders can solely make errors on balls they get to and the Giants, with MLB’s oldest assortment of place gamers and a determined lack of athleticism, merely do not get to as many balls as they need to.

Dangerous protection hurts in so some ways. Extra hits fall in, extra runners attain base, extra runs cross the plate, extra pitches should be thrown, extra relievers have for use, so on and so forth. Dangerous protection alone normally is not sufficient to sink a season, however it may be very expensive, and drag a crew’s ceiling down. That’s occurring with the 2022 Giants. Seemingly each night time they make a misplay (or simply flat out do not make a play they need to have made) that prices them dearly.

“I feel the steps we’ve got in place proper now are the right ones,” supervisor Gabe Kapler informed NBC Sports activities Bay Space about his crew’s shoddy protection final month. “I assume it is simply persistently tuning the mindset of our gamers, reminding them they should be aggressive always and anticipate that they’ll make any play on the sector.”  

Ex-Rangers having success with Padres


At 47-36, the Padres have the fourth-best report in Nationwide League. How they acquired there’s a bit surprising. Franchise star Fernando Tatis Jr. has but to play this season after struggling a damaged wrist within the offseason. He’s nonetheless weeks away from returning. The Padres have acquired beneath positional common offense from first base, shortstop, heart subject, proper subject, and DH. Yuck.

Manny Machado has been San Diego’s greatest participant all season and that is no shock. The case could be made their subsequent three greatest gamers are all former Rangers. GM AJ Preller spent 2004-14 within the Texas entrance workplace, together with a number of years as their worldwide scouting director. With the Padres, Preller has not been shy about bringing in his former Rangers signings.

Take a look at the ex-Rangers having sturdy seasons for the 2022 Padres:

Alfaro, Mazara, and Profar have mixed for 4.3 WAR in 157 video games with the Padres in 2022. They mixed for 3.5 WAR in 889 video games with Texas earlier of their careers (Alfaro by no means really performed for the Rangers, he was traded to the Phillies within the Cole Hamels deal as a prospect). What’s Rougned Odor as much as lately? (Hitting .206/.262/.408 with the Orioles.) What about Ronald Guzmán? (Hitting .200/.315/.318 in Triple-A with the Yankees.). Leonys Martin? (Hitting .161/.292/.301 in Japan.) They can not be far behind, can they?

Let’s not overlook Yu Darvish. The Rangers signed the present Padres righty as a world free agent through the Preller period, although he was a high-profile Japanese skilled. Alfaro, Mazara, and Profar had been all signed as beginner prospects, which was Preller’s major focus. He signed these guys as youngsters and watched them grow to be huge leaguers. It did not occur as rapidly as they could have preferred with Texas, nevertheless it’s occurring now in San Diego, and that is higher than not occurring in any respect.

Historical past tells us Alfaro and significantly Mazara will not carry out at this degree all season. It is all the time attainable issues have clicked with the change of surroundings, and they’re 29 and 27 years previous, respectively, the ages many gamers have a profession 12 months (Profar is 29 as effectively). Nonetheless, it is not unreasonable to be skeptical about these ex-Rangers given the observe data. They had been obtainable for a low value for a purpose.

In addition to the Padres have performed up to now, they will want Tatis to get wholesome and guys like Austin Nola and Trent Grisham to do greater than they’ve carried out. The ex-Rangers are solely going to take San Diego up to now. That stated, they haven’t solely stored the Padres afloat whereas Tatis has been sidelined, they’ve helped them thrive. Preller is aware of these gamers and has a protracted historical past with them, and his religion in them is be rewarded in 2022.

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