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.

What to watch for on the final day of the regular season

Cole Hamels
AP Photo/LM Otero
1 Comment

Here we are, the final day of the regular season. And every game with playoff implications will start at the same time: 3:05 p.m. ET. What to watch …

American League Wild Card


This is where the most intrigue lies heading into the day. We have the Yankees currently in position for hosting duties, but they’re only one game up on Houston. And then Houston is only one game up on Anaheim. Also at play here is that the Astros are just one game back of the Rangers in the American League West standings. If the Yankees, Astros, and Rangers all win on Sunday the current postseason map stays the same — the AL Wild Card Game on Tuesday will be at Yankee Stadium with the Astros visiting. And the Angels would obviously be out. But if the Angels win and the Astros lose, we’ll have a play-in game Monday. And if the Yankees lose, the location of the Wild Card Game on Tuesday could change.

American League West


As we touched on above, the Astros are still in a position to force a tiebreaker for the division if the Angels beat the Rangers again in Arlington. It’ll be Garrett Richards against Cole Hamels in that one. Houston is throwing Lance McCullers vs. Robbie Ray in Arizona.

American League Best Record


If the AL Central-champion Royals (94-67) beat the Twins on Saturday behind deadline acquisition Johnny Cueto, they’ll get the Wild Card Game winner in the ALDS and clinch homefield advantage throughout the postseason. But if they lose, the Blue Jays (93-68) could move into that top seed because they won their season series against Kansas City 4-3. Mark Buehrle is pitching for Toronto in what is supposed to be his final major league game.

National League Wild Card


Pittsburgh losing and Chicago winning on Saturday kept Wild Card Game hosting duties alive for Wrigley Field. If the Pirates fall again to the Reds and the Cubs win at Miller Park, the game Wild Card Game Wednesday will be in Chicago because the Cubs have the season-series edge (11-8) over the Bucs. Pittsburgh can wrap up clinching duties with a victory behind J.A. Happ.

Stay tuned. We’ll be covering all angles as the 2015 regular season comes to a close.

Video: Joey Votto tips his cap to A.J. Burnett

A.J. Burnett
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

There was a pretty cool moment in Saturday’s game between the Reds and Pirates.

A.J. Burnett has announced that this will be his final season, so his start Saturday at PNC Park might have been the last time he ever pitches off a major league mound. (Pittsburgh has to make it through the Wild Card Game to get the 38-year-old right-hander another turn).

Aware of all this, Joey Votto made eye contact with Burnett just before his at-bat in the top of the first inning and gave a tip of the cap. Er, batting helmet …