Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: Beltran in rare switch-hitting air

MLB Notebook: Beltran in rare switch-hitting air

MLB Notebook: Beltran in rare switch-hitting air
In baseball's entire history through 2011, there have been 58 individual player seasons in which a switch-hitter qualified for the batting title and posted an OPS+ of at least 150. To no one's surprise, Mickey Mantle claims the most significant number of these seasons, with 11.

Lance Berkman owns the second most (six), and Chipper Jones and Eddie Murray are tied for the third most, with five apiece. After those four titans of switch-hitting, a pair of somewhat underrated ballplayers -- Ken Singleton and Reggie Smith -- check in with four and three seasons, respectively. Right behind Smith is Carlos Beltran, who posted his first 150 OPS+ season in 2006, when he had a 150 with 41 homers and 18 steals.

Five years later -- while splitting time between the Mets and Giants -- Beltran authored a career best 155, while powering out 22 home runs and building four stolen bases into his career total. Add up all of this work, toss in his additional output from his Rookie of the Year campaign in 1999, his near 40-40 season in 2004, his wonderful start to 2012 (Beltran currently owns a 166 OPS+, 19 home runs and seven stolen bases) and everything else he has done at the Major League level, and one arrives at some wonderfully impressive conclusions or realizations.

Elite company
Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran is the eighth player in big league history to record 300 steals and 300 home runs.
Player HRs SB Age
Barry Bonds 762 514 31
Bobby Bonds 332 461 33
Alex Rodriguez 639 311 34
Carlos Beltran 321 300 35
Andre Dawson 438 314 35
Willie Mays 660 338 38
Reggie Sanders 305 304 38
Steve Finley 304 320 41

Carlos Beltran is tied for the 10th best OPS+ for any switch-hitter with 5,000 career plate appearances, he owns the seventh most home runs for any switch-hitter, and he has the 33rd most steals for any player with plate appearances on both sides of the batter's box. Among the 32 switch-hitters ahead of him in steals, the second highest home run total, after Beltran, belongs to Robert Alomar, with 210.

The Cubs blanked the Red Sox 3-0, with Ryan Dempster finishing his start with four hits allowed in seven innings.

• The start marked the seventh time this season Dempster has finished with at least seven innings and no more than one run allowed. That total is second most in the Majors, behind the eight games produced by R.A. Dickey.

• Dempster is the fifth Cubs pitcher since 1918 to have at least seven starts of seven innings and one run or no runs allowed, through the club's first 64 games. Hippo Vaughn had 10 such games in 1918 and 1919 (he finished the season with 14 in 1918 and 20 in 1919), Bill Lee had seven in 1938, and Ken Holtzman had seven in 1969.

• In each his past three starts, Dempster has gone at least seven innings, allowed no more than four hits, and allowed no runs. He is the first pitcher since Cole Hamels in 2010 to have a streak of three consecutive starts with these criteria.

The Rockies used an eight-run 10th inning to defeat the Tigers 12-4. The inning featured five hits, back-to-back home runs, two walks and an error. The Rockies set a franchise record for runs in a single extra-inning, and fell one shy of the modern era NL record for the most runs in the 10th inning of a game. On Aug. 24, 1947, the Reds scored nine in the 10th in a win against the Phillies, and on May 28, 1995, the Padres tallied nine in the 10th, also against the Phillies.

Michael Brantley put together his fourth consecutive 1-for-4 game, extending his hitting streak to 22 games. Brantley is the 21st player in Indians history to hit in at least 22 consecutive games. The others to have a streak of exactly 22 games: Johnny Hodapp (1929), Dale Mitchell (1947), Al Smith (1956), John Romano (1961), Julio Franco (1988) and Marty Cordova (2001).

Matt Moore (7 IP) and two Rays relievers combined for a one-hit shutout as the Rays defeated the Marlins 11-0. There have been 13 games this season to feature a pitching staff holding the opposition to one hit or no hits (this includes complete games and combined efforts). With the halfway point to the season still more than two weeks away, this total is tied for the ninth most among the 15 seasons since the Majors expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

Yu Darvish fanned 11 in eight innings of two-run ball, and picked up the win as the Rangers beat the Astros 6-2. Darvish is tied for the Major League lead with three double-digit strikeout games, matching the individual totals from National Leaguers R.A. Dickey, Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain.

Arizona's Trevor Cahill allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings and picked up the win as the D-backs shut out the Angels 5-0.

• In his past five starts, Cahill has allowed seven runs (all earned) in 35.1 innings (1.78 ERA), and is holding batters to a .336 slugging percentage. That slugging is marked by zero home runs.

• Cahill's effort improved his career mark against the Angels to 5-3 with a 2.09 ERA in 64.2 innings (10 starts).

Oakland's Brandon Moss homered in his fourth straight game and continued his impressive work since making his season debut on June 6.

• Moss is the first Athletics player to homer in four straight games since Jack Cust in 2007. The franchise record is six straight, by Frank Thomas in 2006.

• In his nine games since being called up, the 28-year-old Moss is 9-for-30 with two doubles, six home runs, and 11 RBIs. Even though he has played only nine games, he is already tied for second on the team with the six homers.

Adam Dunn took over the Major League lead with his 23rd home run. Dunn also collected a walk and a strikeout in the game, a 7-6 White Sox loss to the Dodgers.

• Dunn's total of 23 homers through 64 team games ties him with 11 other players for the 21st most in the past 50 seasons. In White Sox history, only Frank Thomas, with 24 in 1994, had more.

• Dunn has 11 games this season in which he has had at least one walk, one strikeout, and one home run. Jose Bautista owns the second most after Dunn, with seven. In the liveball era, Mark McGwire, with 21 in 1999, owns the most games of this type in a season.

Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.