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April 3, 2014

Skewed Left

The Revolving Door Rankings

by Zachary Levine


When Derek Jeter took the field for the season opener at Minute Maid Park, it was the first time since 1996 that he’d done so coming off a year in which he was not the Yankees’ primary shortstop. In 17 consecutive seasons before Eduardo Nunez took the title from him in 2013, Jeter had played the most games at the cornerstone position on the infield.

Across the diamond from Jeter on Tuesday was a team with no such stability. In 2009, Miguel Tejada played the most games at shortstop for the Astros. In 2010, Tommy Manzella. In 2011, Clint Barmes, followed by Jed Lowrie in 2012 and then Jonathan Villar last year as a rotating cast keeps the seat warm for Carlos Correa’s arrival in the majors. Five years, five different primary shortstops, as measured by games played.

Not quite a record, though. And far, far from even the longest active streak of total inability to find a consistent regular at a position.

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11 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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Jasun Lee

really good read.

Apr 03, 2014 06:11 AM
rating: 4
 
John Carter

Fun and interesting. Next up: the Incumbency Kings - who has been holding down his position for the same team the longest? (I have a list of the all-time Incumbency Kings.)

I found it strange to see the Rangers center-field on this list. My impression is their outfield has been very stable. They had Hamilton, Murphy, and Cruz together for five years ('08-'12) including Gentry for the latter two. They've always just thrown someone else or two into the mix, so that no one owned a particular outfield position for very long.

Apr 03, 2014 07:07 AM
rating: 0
 
Bustamove1315

It would be interesting to see groups as well. In a recent broadcasting for the Mets I recall them saying they have not had the same 3 outfielders start opening day since the 80s.

Apr 03, 2014 07:29 AM
rating: 1
 
jonjacoby

I remember pre-Wright that Mets 3rd base was a black hole going back to HoJo same thing w/ Yankee SS pre-Jeter.

Apr 03, 2014 08:36 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Dan Brooks
BP staff

How did Red Sox SS not make this list? It feels like they've had 23 people play that position over the last 10 years.

They had:
Nomar
OCab
Renteria
AGon
Lugo
Lowrie
Scutaro
Drew
Bogaerts

and probably 2-3 I'm forgetting.

Apr 03, 2014 08:52 AM
 
danteswitness

It's the back-to-back years of Lugo and Scutaro that are screwing it up.

Apr 03, 2014 09:55 AM
rating: 2
 
Andy Cochrane

I'd forgotten all about Bobby Kielty until today! And Lastings Milledge.

Apr 03, 2014 09:17 AM
rating: 0
 
Nathan Aderhold

Happy to see Mariners LF make it as an honorable mention.

If not for the three-year Raul Ibanez blip from 2006-2008, their revolving door in left (at least for consecutive seasons) would go all the way back to 1985-87, when Phil Bradley(?) held the position down.

Apr 03, 2014 14:45 PM
rating: 1
 
Richard Bergstrom

It's scary when the Cubs no longer make this list at third base because of an elite talent like Luis Valbuena. Alas, his star has already begun to dim.

Apr 03, 2014 16:46 PM
rating: 0
 
Juris

Typo in title: Should be revolving, not revoling.

Apr 03, 2014 19:21 PM
rating: 0
 
mdthomp

Cardinals have had 8 different Opening Day Shortstops the last 8 seasons.

Apr 06, 2014 19:28 PM
rating: 0
 
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