The off-season is almost over. Less than three weeks until Washington Nationals pitchers and catchers report to Viera. To celebrate this fact, we here at DistrictOnDeck will commence a countdown of sorts pointing out interesting facts about numbers.
We continue today with number 13.
We will start with a record that will most likely not be broken and that is 13 triples in a season. In fact, the record was set and then tied twice in the 1980s, not surprisingly when the Expos were a team based on speed. Rodney Scott set the mark in 1980 and it was tied by Tim Raines in 1985 and again by Mitch Webster in 1986. Since 1987, only 30 players have hit at least 13 triples in a season as speed as been less of a factor.
Jeff Fassero is one of the most memorable 13′s in franchise history, and in 1993 had a season that only seven other players had. He started and finished at least 10 games with at least 10 per cent of his games coming in relief. Fassero was always a swing man until the Expos decided to turn the reliever into a starter in the 1993 season. The other pitchers to do this were Miguel Batista, Bryn Smith, David Palmer, Don Stanhouse, Dan McGinn and Howie Reed.
Fassero was a starter for the remainder of his time as an Expo but did have years as a reliever, especially towards the end of his career when anyone wanted a left-handed pitcher in the bullpen. Fassero at his peak was the best pitcher on a team that included Pedro Martinez and Ken Hill. His 16 year career was even more unbelievable when you see he only made his Major League debut at age 28. In fact, only Fassero and Hoyt Wilhelm had at least 16 years in the Majors after making a debut at age 28 or later.