Jump to content

Rich Thompson: A Study in Perseverance


OFFNY

Recommended Posts

O

Just by coincidence, I was checking to see what Rays player rounded 3rd base and was caught off guard by an alert Manny Machado last week. The player's name was Rich Thompson.

So, I clicked on his baseball reference page, and lo and behold, Thompson had not played in the majors since 2004, when he had 1 plate appearance for the Royals:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/thompri02.shtml

I checked Thompson's minor league page, and I noticed that he indeed has been toiling away mostly at the AAA level in the 7 years in between his major league stints.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=thomps001ric

Thompson is now 33 years-old, also. I thought that Lew Ford had a lot of moxie for his persistence in professional baseball. :eek: At least Ford had almost 5 full seasons in the majors under his belt when he was making his unlikely trek back to the big leagues.

Hats off to Rich Thompson. :cool:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I had to check on the longest absences from MLB. It appears that the record is 22 years, by Paul Schreiber. With a little help from WWII's depleted rosters. He pitched a game for the Dodgers on September 2, 1923. Then made his next appearance for the Yankees on September 4, 1945. His minor league career ended in 1931, but was the Yank's batting practice pitcher and a coach for the next 14 years. He was apparently activated late in '45 due to a shortage of players from the war.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Posts

    • It's fine, but I would personally prefer having Cowser and Adley taking tons of pitches back-to-back before Gunnar further punishes the opposing starting pitcher with high exit velo barrels. 
    • I was going to say pretty much the same thing about Cowser in my post, but left out my thoughts to keep the post more Gunnar-centric. But I totally agree that Cowser fits the best as this team's leadoff hitter, especially since Holliday doesn't look like he's going to make an impact offensively as early as most of us thought heading into the season.  Going back to last season, I've said Cowser has the best mix of patience, hit tool, power, and speed to be a great leadoff hitter. The strikeouts are most likely always going to be high with him, but he has .380-.400+ OBP makeup, and having someone like that hitting leadoff with Adley and Gunnar hitting directly behind Cowser is going to set things up for an elite offense which is much more dynamic and less one-dimensional than the what we've seen up until this point. Cowser Adley Gunnar Westburg O'Hearn Santander Mountcastle Is an ideal top 7 against RHP for right now, with Kjerstad (replacing Hays) and Mayo (essentially replacing Mateo and bumping Westburg to 2B) making the lineup legitimately scary within the next couple months. Mullins and Hays need to be phased out, with Santander and Mountcastle not far behind if those two continue struggling and not reaching base enough to justify hitting in the middle of the order.
    • A lot of teams (likely driven by analytics) are putting their best overall hitter at 2 (like the Yankees batting Soto 2, and the Dodgers batting Shohei 2) to maximize ABs while guaranteeing that a high-OBP guy is batting in front of him to give him opportunities with men on base.  That's probably what we want.  It seems logical considering how thoroughly debunked small-ball in the first inning has been.  Rutschman at 3 is fine.
    • Realistically I think Adley as the leadoff guy is the best lineup for us but if he has trouble batting leadoff in half the games because he can't get his catcher's gear off fast enough then I get it.   Cowser has continued to be incredibly patient, and if Adley can't be our leadoff guy then Cowser is probably our next best option.  Of course Cowser also hits a lot of bombs, so it'd be interesting if he goes on another heater.   If Cowser gets off the schneid then Cowser leadoff and Gunnar at 2 could be incredibly potent.  I don't think Cowser is actually playing that badly, he's just been running into some bad luck.  And he's starting to wake up a little bit anyway.
    • Agreed, appreciate the stats. Gunnar isn't a leadoff hitter - he's a prototypical #3 hitter or cleanup hitter. Hyde writes poor lineups, and Gunnar hitting leadoff has been one of the consistent problems with the offense this season. Gunnar hitting mostly solo shots is both a consequence and reflection of this offense's flaws - the O's have too many low-OBP hitters in the lineup (hitting in less-than-optimal spots for the most part) and are too reliant on solo homers to generate runs. At least Hyde has started hitting Westburg leadoff against LHP, which is progress, but Hyde is way too stubborn and too slow to make the correct adjustments. He's very similar to Buck Showalter in that respect.  Anyway, I look forward to Hyde waking up and moving Gunnar down to #3/#4 against RHP.  
    • While the return on the Tettleton trade wasn't ideal, 1: I don't think you can really expect a 30 year old catcher to put up a career year and then follow it up with another one, and 2: we had Chris Hoiles who played quite well for us following Tettleton's departure.  If we had forward thinking GMs we probably would split them at C and give them DH/1B/OF games on their non catching days, which is what Detroit did with Tettleton to prolong his career after 1992.  (He was basically the same hitter from 1993-1995 but he stopped catching with regularity so his WAR was much lower.)   The Davis trade was so completely undefensible on every level, not the least of which because we already had a player who was at least as good as Davis was on the team, but he didn't fit the stereotypical batting profile of a 1B.  At least today teams wouldn't be so quick to dismiss a 10 HR first baseman if he's got an OBP of .400.
    • The Glenn Davis trade was so bad it overshadowed another really bad trade in team history. The Orioles traded Mickey Tettleton that same offseason for Jeff Robinson in part because Tettleton had an off year in 1990 with a .223 batting average and a .381 slugging percentage. Except Tettleton drew 116 walks making his OBP .376 and his OPS+ was 116. Jeff Robinson was coming off a 5.96 ERA in 145 innings pitched. I have no idea what the team was thinking with this trade. Robinson did manage to lower his ERA in 1991 to 5.18 his only Orioles season. There's no way this trade is made today in the age of analytics. Tettleton meanwhile put up 171 home runs and an .859 OPS for the remainder of his career. 😬 Just a bad trade that doesn't get talked about enough thanks to Glenn Davis.
  • Popular Contributors

×
×
  • Create New...