27.7 percent of players on Opening Day rosters are foreign born

Leave a comment

Major League Baseball released some interesting data regarding player birth places, noting that the number of foreign-born players on Opening Day rosters is at a four-year low.
Of course, “four-year low” is probably misleading given that this year’s rate of 27.7 percent isn’t all that far from the all-time high of 29.2 percent in 2005. In a sample of around 825 players (30 teams with 25-man rosters, plus some guys on the disabled list) the difference between 27.7 percent and 29.2 percent is a dozen players.
This season 231 of 833 players on Opening Day rosters are foreign born, led by the Dominican Republic with 86 and Venezuela with 58. In fact, if you remove the United States and Venezuela from the mix there are as many players from the Dominican Republic as there are from every other country combined.
Pretty amazing for a country that ranks 80th in total population with around 10 million (or roughly the same as Michigan, Georgia, and North Carolina). Torii Hunter was unavailable for comment. Meanwhile, the Mets have the most foreign-born players with 18, and the only other teams in double digits are the Cubs, Angels, Rockies, Dodgers, and Rangers.

Sean Manaea pitches the first no-hitter of 2018

Getty Images
10 Comments

Athletics southpaw Sean Manaea delivered his first career no-hitter against the Red Sox in a decisive 3-0 victory on Saturday night. Any thought of a perfect game was banished in the first at-bat, when Mookie Betts drew a leadoff six-pitch walk to open the first inning. From there, Manaea was nearly flawless, holding the Sox to four total baserunners and striking out 10 of 30 batters faced — a career record.

Manaea was gifted a three-run lead thanks to RBI doubles from Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty and Marcus Semien‘s solo shot off of Chris Sale in the fifth inning. While the Red Sox managed to draw two walks off of Manaea, they didn’t come anywhere close to plating a run. Andrew Benintendi tried to break up the no-no in the sixth inning with an infield hit down the first base line, but strayed out of bounds and later saw his hit reversed on a call of batter interference.

Entering the ninth inning, the 26-year-old lefty was sitting at just 95 pitches through eight frames of no-hit ball. He quickly deposed Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts with a groundout and fly out, then walked Benintendi on seven pitches. Any threat the Red Sox might have posed was soon eliminated, however, as Hanley Ramirez ground into a force out to complete the no-hitter.

Manaea is the first A’s pitcher to toss a no-no since Dallas Braden’s perfect game against the Rays eight years ago. The last time the Red Sox were on the losing end of a no-hitter was also against an AL West rival, when the Mariners’ Chris Bosio clinched a 2-0 no-no on April 22, 1993. Manaea’s feat is even more outstanding given how dominant the Red Sox have looked this season: prior to Saturday’s defeat, they boasted a 17-2 record and had yet to be shut out during the regular season.