Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day: Celebrating the 2013 Major League Umpire

On this Labor Day, the UEFL looks at MLB umpire achievement in 2013 and the work that has brought us to this point of the season.

Ejections and Points: Through Labor Day, September 2, the UEFL most notably has tracked 152 ejections, led by Chad Fairchild and Clint Fagan (tied with eight apiece), Sam Holbrook (6) and Dan Bellino/Marty Foster/Tim Timmons (5). Fagan's 28 points lead the league, followed by Fairchild (23), Bellino (16), Brian Knight (13), Andy Fletcher (12) and Dan Iassogna (10). Jerry Layne's crew leads the chief category with 11 points, followed by Brian Gorman/Dana DeMuth (10) and Jeff Kellogg/Mike Winters (9).

Ejection Slacker: Gerry Davis has the longest active streak amongst the eligible staff of officiating zero-ejection baseball.* Davis last ejected on August 2, 2011 (Kevin Youkilis). Lance Barksdale previously led this category, but broke his two-season+ streak without an ejection when he tossed Dale Sveum on August 28.

*When opening the category up to ineligibles, which includes umpires who had significants stints on the Disabled List, Bruce Dreckman is the winner, last ejecting on June 6, 2010 (Joe Girardi).

But umpires have labored this year in ways other than ejections. For instance...

Innings: In terms of strictly plate umpire IP, per Baseball Prospectus, 2013's present leader is Brian Knight, whose 586.2 innings behind the plate not only lead second place Bob Davidson (569.0) by nearly two games, but indicate Knight's vacation time is clearly bottom heavy. Rounding out the top 10 are Mark Carlson (562.0), Marvin Hudson (555.2), Gary Darling (555.0), Paul Nauert (552.0), Jeff Nelson (547.1), Jim Joyce (547.0), Mike Winters (537.1) and Hunter Wendelstedt (534.2).

Squats: The ever important squats title was won by Gary Darling in 2012, who squatted 11,216 times in 38 games, followed closely by Fieldin Culbreth's 11,036 pitches seen. Thus far in 2013, Brian Knight leads with 9,815 pitches seen with one month to go, followed by Marvin Hudson (9,443), 2010 squats champion Bob Davidson (9,409), Mark Carlson (9,333), 2003 squats champ Jeff Nelson (9,052), Hunter Wendelstedt (9,018), Mike Winters (9,005), Paul Nauert (8,980), 2012 winner Darling (8,962) and Tom Hallion (8,913). Knight has seen the most strikes (6,106) and called the most balls (3,709).

ERA: Can an umpire lead the league in ERA? Surely he can. 2013's Clayton Kershaw of the umpiring variety is Kerwin Danley, whose 2.70 ERA leads all full-timers and minor league call-ups; his 1.09 WHIP is equally #1. Other umpires with a low ERA are Brian Gorman (3.07), Dan Iassogna (3.20), Ron Kulpa (3.21), Lance Barrett (3.27), Rob Drake (3.33), Eric Cooper (3.38) and CB Bucknor (3.39). Umpires with the highest ERAs include Ed Hickox (4.79), Marvin Hudson (4.75), Tim McClelland (4.58), Angel Hernandez (4.55), Jeff Kellogg (4.44), Tim Timmons (4.42), Cory Blaser (4.42), Bob Davidson (4.41) and Scott Barry (4.32).

AVG: High ERA umpire Marvin Hudson leads the league in batting average with a .282-mark, followed by Jordan Baker (.274), Ed Hickox (.271) and Chris Guccione (.270). Meanwhile, Kerwin Danley (.216) is much more unhittable, as are Lance Barrett (.230), Dan Iasogna (.231), Bill Miller (.233) and Clint Fagan (.234).

SO/BB: Doug Eddings has the highest strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.19) with Jerry Meals (3.14), CB Bucknor (3.12) and Paul Nauert (3.08) in hot pursuit. For the second straight season, two MiLB umpires have the lowest ratios, Clint Fagan (1.80) and Lance Barrett (1.83) joining 2012's John Tumpane (1.56) and Mark Ripperger (1.75) for the devastating one-two punch.

Call-Ups: And speaking of minor leagues, all but two of the 19 call-up umpires have made an appearance in the bigs this season. The only two holdouts are longtime call-up Angel Campos and fill-in eligible newbie Chad Whitson.

Injuries: Since Seth Buckminster broke his hand and Tim McClelland called balls and strikes from the middle infield during Spring Training, 10 plate umpires have been forced to leave games due to injury during the regular season. By comparison, eight plate umpires left ballgames due to injury during the 2012 regular season while just four plate umps left games in 2011.

According to, the first case of an umpire leaving a game before its completion was Frank Wolke's second-inning departure during August 11, 1871's Forest Cities-Kekiongas contest. Wolke was replaced by "Mays," who was replaced by Mort Dawson in the 8th inning after Mays left to catch a train home.

The NL's #1 was Red Connolly leaving the 10/6/1884 Cardinals-Dodgers game, replaced by Bill Morgan.


Gil Imber said...

Seth Buckminster has also yet to be called up this season.

Gil Imber said...

"replaced by Mort Dawson in the 8th inning after Mays left to catch a train home"

Wait........... what?

Gil Imber said...

Since it's just after Labor Day, I wanted to highlight the labor of Phil Cuzzi in the 6th inning of Tuesday night's game in Oakland to get into position to make a call.

That's a fair amount of running to get over to the wall from 3B so that he could be on top of the play

Gil Imber said...

No call ups this season, and no AAA postseason? Angel Campos, say hello to the rest of your life.

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