Astros History: Roger Metzger And Triples

Game number 14 features former Astros shortstop Roger Metzger's and his 1973 season.

Metzger acquired in a trade from the Chicago Cubs played for the Astros from 1971 to 1978. His contract would be purchased by the San Francisco Giants during the '78 season.

Over his entire career with the Cubs, Astros and Giants he batted .231/.291/.293 in 1291 games. That's a lot of games for a guy who hovered around .300 in any category

With Houston he was the primary option at shortstop winning a gold glove for his work during the 1973 season. According to research, of the subjective variety, he was lauded for his fine defensive play at the position. That helps explains why he was given over 500 plate appearances in six of his eight seasons with Houston. Unfortunately, with negative marks in both TotalZone and Baseball Reference dWAR, objective research tells a different story.

To me it seems that Metzger was Angel Sanchez with more speed. I say more speed, and this is the main reason for the article, because he lead the league in triples with 14, in 1973. Which also happens to be a franchise record. He reached double digits in triples two other times, 1971 and 1974.

With that kind of speed Its no wonder why a player with a .299 OBP batted second 111 times in 1973.

What's interesting about the number of triples Metzger had in '73 is that it was more than the doubles he had, 11. He managed to accomplish that feat again in 1975, smacking nine triples to only seven doubles. So that got me thinking how many other players had hit more triples than doubles in a season.

With a minimum of 400 plate appearances there were 79 seasons in which a player hit more triples than doubles, but a lot of those seasons were from the early part of the century, So I changed the time frame. From 1949 to today there have been 10 season in which a player hit more triples than doubles, Metzger has two of them.

The most recent player to do it was Lance Johnson in 1994, 14 triples to 11 doubles. Dale Mitchell had 23 triples to 16 doubles in 1949. Larry Bowa had 13 triples to 11 doubles in 1972. The only other players with double digits in triples was David Hulse and Jorge Orta who both had 10 triples to 9 doubles in 1993 and 1973 respectively.

Luis Polonia, Craig Robinson and Tom Upton were the other three players with more triples than doubles.

While Roger Metzger may have been overrated defensively and challenged offensively, at the very least it appears he was entertaining to watch when he did put the ball in play.

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