Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Where Was Ronnie at the Home Run Derby?

If the home run derby was like the all-star game and every team got a contestant, then I guess Belliard would have to be our choice. After all, he's our team leader, with 9 dingers, just edging out Zimmerman's 8. This, despite the fact that Belliard isn't really that much of a home run hitter. But more amazing--he has just 42 starts this year, less than half the 96 games the Nationals have played this year.

This got me to thinking--are there any other teams with a part-time player, defined by someone who has started less than half their team's games, leading the team in homers?

The answer, of course is no. Marcus Thames is closest with 17 HR in 51 starts (54% of the games).

So, when was the last time any player led their team in home runs without starting at least majority of his team's games?

This is where a better blogger would be able to answer the question. But I don't know. Maybe one of the commenters can answer it! Or at least suggest a site where this might be reasonably search-able?


Steve Shoup said...

Very interesting point and show two sad facts about the team, 1. we have a ton of injuries and 2.we didn't have a great team to begin with. Though I do get the feeling by seasons end Ronnie will have started over 50% of the teams games.

Nationals Fan said...

I agree the injuries have been a major factor in just creating a situation where there are very few players who have played 85+ games period, much less HR hitters.

And you're probably right that Ronnie will start a majority in the second half, maybe catch up on the season, and moreover someone (Zimmerman?) will surely catch him in HRs, right?

But I gotta say I'm about out of patience with hearing the injury excuse all the time. The majority of injuries have been guys who were either hurt, recovering, or notoriously injury prone in the first place. So I'm not denying that we've had a lot of injuries, and certainly Cordero and Zimmerman were unpredictable and bad luck, but Nick, Hill, Lo Duca, Estrada, Dukes, Perez, Kearns--all those guys have been major injury risks from the get go. In fact, we should be thanking our good luck that Guzzy's finally healthy, our pen isn't having more injuries considering usage, Kearns has been way more healthy since he came here than he was in Cincy. No one put a gun to our heads and forced us to load up on injury prone players.