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Triple, Play

The Mets have a new outfielder, and it's one who holds a major league record unlikely to be broken. Jose Reyes figures to be quite envious.

Colorado newspapers are saying that Cory Sullivan signed with the Mets and we have no qualms with that move, since reports are that Sullivan has Endy Chavez-like defensive skills, and the team could use a player like that.

The move did make us laugh because of the distinction that Sullivan holds. A few months back, a couple of colleagues and I were thumbing through the baseball record book, when I came upon the only active player to have two triples in an inning. I offered them 50 guesses, or even 100, to try to name the player, even offering his initials.

They had no chance.

Tripling twice in an inning is extraordinarily rare. When Sullivan did it, against the Padres on April 9, 2006, he became the first player with two triples in an inning since 1951 (Gil Coan, Senators), and the first National Leaguer to do so since 1926 (Curt Walker, Reds). The second, as part of a seven-run seventh inning, came against future Met Chan Ho Park, who also holds the distinction of having yielded two grand slams in an inning to Fernando Tatis.

While Reyes may be wishing for this kind of mark for himself,, he may want to take note of something else as well. Sullivan, when he gets into the lineup, has been at his best in the No. 2 slot. He is a .342 career hitter, with 66 starts, when batting second.

True Metivans know... 264 different players have tripled for the Mets, but none has tripled twice for them in the same inning.

Comments

Hey MW,

I've read this report about Sullivan being great defensively in a number of places, and I don't get it. The stats don't support it. Here is the stat UZR (courtesy of Fangraphs; 0.0 UZR is a league average defender):

Sullivan
2006: -8.9
2007: -4.1
2008: -1.7 (in minimal playing time)

Endy
2006: 11.2
2007: 6.4
2008: 14.2

Sullivan appears to be a less than average defender. His +/- number (another great defense stat) also supports this. These numbers also show how much we'll miss Endy - he saved 14.2 runs more than an average fielder would have with his defense alone! The signing has me baffled.
metswalkoffs said…
Mets Tailgate

Thanks for the comment. That's good food for thought.

Perhaps I shouldn't have relied on the comment from the Rockies beat writer who said he may be the best defensive CF they've ever had...

The odd thing is that he's basically the same guy as Jeremy Reed, is he not?
Yeah he's basically Jeremy Reed. Logjam at the corner OF positions - Church, Tatis, Murphy, Reed, Sullivan, Pagan.
Anonymous said…
Lot a lefty outfield bats - Sullivan, Reed, Murphy, Church... Maybe one will be traded. Maybe a right handed bat is coming to the outfield. Manny? Nady? Wiggington? Jay Payton? In Omar we trust.

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