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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Soriano joins two Cardinals in pair of 50-RBI stops in same season

Alfonso Soriano will never win a Gold Glove Award, but no one should assert that the second baseman-turned left fielder cannot hit the baseball with authority. St. Louis Cardinals fans can attest to this after watching the now 37-year-old play for the Chicago Cubs for the last seven seasons.

That changed on July 26th as Soriano was traded by the Cubbies back to his first and now fifth Major League Baseball stop, the New York Yankees. Soriano joined a very select few this week as he became just the fifth player in MLB history to drive in 50 runs for two different teams in the same season.

With all the focus in the Big Apple on the troubles of Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter‘s injuries and the impending retirements of Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera, Soriano’s impressive feat of 50 RBI in just 53 games with the Yanks has generally been overlooked. He earlier plated 51 in 93 Chicago contests.

This leads to a trivia question for today, because the Cardinals figure prominently in the prior list of four. In fact, two of those players are Cardinals. Only one of them, however, accomplished (part) of this feat while wearing the Birds on the Bat.

Who are the two St. Louis Cardinals to have driven in 50 runs for two different clubs in the same season?

(Sorry, but there is no prize for the correct answer other than our unlimited praise!)


As noted below by blingboy, current Cardinals teammates Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday have logged a single season of 50 RBI each with two different clubs.

Beltran accomplished it first. By June 2004, he had 51 RBI with his original team, the Kansas City Royals, and then added 53 more after moving to the Houston Astros in trade. It was Beltran’s only brief time with Houston, as he signed a seven-year contract with the New York Mets as a free agent that winter.

Holliday also did it as an impending free agent in his only partial season with a club, in this case the Oakland A’s. Having been sent west from Colorado in the Carlos Gonzalez deal during the 2008-09 off-season, Holliday plated 54 in the first half of the 2009 campaign with Oakland. Moving to the Cardinals in a July trade, Holliday topped that by driving in 55 with St. Louis. Coming off his 50-50 RBI season, he also signed a seven-year deal – this one to return to the Cardinals – the next January.

Currently with 91 RBI on the season, Holliday will likely fall short of reaching 100 RBI for the sixth time in his 10-year MLB career.

Beltran, now 36 years of age, has 81 RBI in his second season with St. Louis. He drove in 97 in 2012 and previously had eight 100-RBI seasons in his 16-year career. His last such season was in 2008.

The other MLB single-season 50-50 RBI players are David Justice, who did it first in 2000 (Indians-Yankees), followed by Manny Ramirez in 2008 (Red Sox-Dodgers). (Cap tip to SABR member Cyril Morong.)

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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44 Responses to “Soriano joins two Cardinals in pair of 50-RBI stops in same season”

  1. Bw52 says:

    Reggie Smith and Pedro Guerrero?

  2. Bw52 says:

    Found out 1 but will not guess again so someone else can .

  3. blingboy says:

    Matt Holliday is one. The other will be be a toughy.

  4. blingboy says:

    Carlos Beltran is the other

  5. Bw52 says:

    Nice article.On another note the Muchado injury probably put a end to all the Baltimore trading JJ Hardy this winter.I would think Orioles would want to keep Hardy around if Muchado is going to be out early next year.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Thanks. If I was the Orioles, I would keep Hardy anyway, but yes, the Machado injury would seem to make a trade even more remote.

      • crdswmn says:

        Yep, I can see my Hardy dreams going out the window.

        Well, the Rangers are going to let loose of Andrus or Profar, the Rays will likely hold on to Escobar since they have a team option on him, so only one left on my list is Ramirez.

        However, most likely we will be stuck with Incredibly Average Stephen Drew. Yawn.

        • crdswmn says:

          That should be the Rangers are NOT going to let loose of Andrus or Profar.

        • Bw52 says:

          Drew wants to re-up with Boston.That`s the rumor.I think Cards are going to end up with one of these guys Dee Gordon,Andrew Romine or Cliff Pennington.Pennington will make 2.5 million in 2014 and is odd man out in AZ behind Gregorious and Chris Owings.Romine in Angeltown has had a couple of shots there.Gordon in Dodgerville is behind Hanley Ramirez right now.Gordon offers spped and erractic glove,Romine too many unkowns basically a Kozma clone with a little speed.Unless Mo sweet talks somebody in dealing a young veteran SS (which will cost more talent in return).I see Pennington or Gordon playing SS in STLouis in 2014.

          • crdswmn says:

            I would rather have Stephen Drew than any of those players.

            I would rather have Greg Garcia than any of those players.

            • Bw52 says:

              If I read the stats right Pennington has a UZR of 6.6 Kozma has a 6.1
              Pennington has RngR 6.0 Kozma has a 1.3
              Pennington has DEF 8.8 Kozma has a 11.4

              So if I understand these correctly Pennington is As good as Kozma defensively and offers a little bit more offense

              • blingboy says:

                Pennington may hit more than Kozma but he still can’t hit. Not at all. Automatic out.

                • Bw52 says:

                  My self I would rather see a young kid like Gordon get a shot instead of a bigger salary veteran if Mo decides to be semi-frugal.I like the speed a Gordon could add but his defense is less than Kozma.Like Brian says who knows what will happen.
                  Cards need something more than Kozma can give them offensively at SS.Like his glove but the black hole his bat becomes too often is a killer.Can the Cards survive another season of .215 Batting average at SS? I don`t know.I do know DD isn`t the answer at SS.Descalso is a fine backup at 3B and 2B but SS isn`t his spot.

              • crdswmn says:

                Single season UZR doesn’t tell you much. Fangraphs glossary specifically tells you not to judge by one season data but to take a minimum of three years and average them. This is to eliminate the possibility of a fluky season.

                If you add Cliff Pennington’s most recent 3 seasons, the average is 1.7.

                For Pete Kozma, he hasn’t had 3 full seasons at SS, so any average for him would have to come with a caveat that it is incomplete and therefore less reliable. His average is 3 but that is based on not enough data. I suspect 3 full seasons would be higher than that.

                So no, Pennington is not as good defensively as Kozma,

                • Bw52 says:

                  Gotcha.I will use that 3 season average .The more I read about Pennington the more I don`t want him as a replacement .He used to steal bases but he hasn`t done that this year either.Just making a quick run thru all the SS on fansgraphs for this seasons ratings it shows Andrus,Hardy and Alexi Rameriz as good defense but Alexi is a big minus offensively and he makes big money.

          • Brian Walton says:

            I think we don’t know what we don’t know. How many people thought David Eckstein was going to join the Cards before the Angels non-tendered him? Who thought the Cards would acquire Rafael Furcal or Khalil Greene? None of these guys were on the fan radar ahead of time.

            Not all these deals worked out, but that isn’t my point. There are 29 other teams out there, each as a trade possibility.

            • Bw52 says:

              Good point.I went thru all the teams and just mentioned some possibilities who seemed to stand out.AZ because they had 3 guys at SS (avet costing 2.5 million,Gregorious..a cheap semi rookie and Owings at highly rated prospect).Dee Gordon was mentioned because of playing behind Hanley Ramirez and Gordon having a down season and maybe a chance of scenery deal.

  6. Bw52 says:

    Crdswmn what is the site you where telling me the other day about defensive ratings? Is it Fangraphs?

  7. crdswmn says:

    My Hardy dreams are back on. Machado doesn’t need surgery. Torn kneecap ligament 6-8 weeks, back for Spring Training.

    (I really don’t think the O’s are going to trade us Hardy, but I keep hope alive).

  8. Bw52 says:

    I didn`t get to see it but If Kozma`s throw was online would Zimmerman been out? I heard it was a tough play but a good throw would have nailed him.Well?

    • crdswmn says:

      Kozma had to throw off balance because of the angle he had to take to bare hand the ball. I don’t think he could have made a straighter throw. He did the best that he could.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Yes, a good throw would have gotten the runner, I think. As noted, it was a difficult play. Wacha said he thought it tipped off his glove. Adams had to come off the bag to catch the ball. There was no error on the play, which was absolutely the right call.

  9. Bw52 says:

    After seeing the replay a good throw nails the runner.Tough play to lose the no-hitter on.In this Kozmas best wasn`t enough.It happens.I would imagine he probably feels a bit bad about not being able to make the play.

  10. blingboy says:

    Too bad Kozma didn’t boot it.

  11. blingboy says:

    No way Holliday makes the catch by the stands that Robinson made.

    • Brian Walton says:

      One of the post-game interviewers, perhaps the MLB Network guys, asked Wacha about that. It was not quite that direct, but they asked the same basic thing about Robinson’s catch.

      On a side point, I had thought Mike Lowell was pretty good as a commentator in the past, but he lost me last night. While defending Denard Span for trying to bunt his way on to break up the no-hitter, Lowell said the Nats were in “must-win mode” last night. Apparently, he doesn’t check the standings daily.

      • blingboy says:

        I know that the bunt attempt in such a situation has always been a no-no. I don’t personally object to it.

        It used to be that a runner on first with a meaningless run would not take second in a defensive indifference situation, but that has long since gone by the boards. In Gibby’s day, you wouldn’t have wanted to be the guy in the batter’s box when that happened, tying run or not. Same with the bunt attempt guy. If your missed it, you could count on getting abord the hard way next pitch.

        Whatever efforts the Nats made to put their best foot forward in a game that was meaningful to several other teams is admirable. Calling it must win didn’t make sense though, I agree.

    • kray66 says:

      Completely agree. No way Holliday makes it over there to that ball.

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