Jim Abbott’s no-hitter from 1993 will be televised on MLB.com on Thursday at 9 a.m. PT. Yes, Abbott was on the Yankees when he pitched the no-hitter, but his time with the Angels was still quite memorable and productive.
It’s inspirational and incredible that Abbott pitched 10 seasons in the majors despite having just one hand. But the left-hander refused to let that define him, and made other teams learn early that he couldn’t be taken advantage of. Mike Lupica saw Abbott in high school, and recalled this to MLB.com:
“One game when I was pitching in the ninth grade,” he told me the day I went to visit him, a week before he left for college, “they bunted on me eight times in a row. I threw out the last seven. That was the end of that.”
The Angels drafted Abbott out of Michigan in the first round, eighth overall, in 1988, and he was in their rotation the next year. Abbott’s best year with the Halos was in 1991, when he was 18-11 with a 2.89 ERA in 34 starts and 243 innings. He posted 7.6 WAR (the Baseball-Reference version).
Abbott followed that 142 ERA+ in 1991 with a 143 ERA+ in 211 innings in 1992. The Angels have only had nine pitcher seasons since 1990 with at least a 140 ERA+ in at least 200 innings. Abbott and Chuck Finley (three times) are the only Angels pitchers to do this more than once in the last 30 years. Jered Weaver was the last, in 2007.
- What would Mike Trout’s numbers look like in the KBO? Dan Szymborski at ESPN crunched the numbers.
- Angels general manager Billy Eppler said Shohei Ohtani and Griffin Canning are both throwing off a mound and “ramping up intensity and volume,” per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.
- Angels catcher Jason Castro shared how he’s been staying ready during the shutdown on Angels Twitter earlier this week. “During this off-time to stay baseball-ready, I’ve just been kind of doing my normal offseason routine,” he said. “Lifting weights, hitting and throwing a little bit on my own. I’m up here in the mountains just trying to stay ready for whenever I get the call.”
- Craig Edwards at FanGraphs examined MLB’s decision to shorten the 2020 MLB Draft to just five rounds. “Passing up on young, cost-controlled talent only to have to pay for more expensive later on is just bad business,” he wrote.