Last week, I covered Jose Altuve's impressive season turning the double play and how he has a shot to break the team and maybe the AL record. Today, let's look at the double play from a team perspective. The Astros currently lead all of baseball with 77 double plays turned. Over 65 games that averages out to 1.18 DP's per game. Over a 162 game season, that would equal over 190 double plays. To put that in franchise perspective, let's look at the seasons the Astros turned 160 double plays or more.
1. 1999 - 170 DPs (97-65 -1st in NL Central ) This team was lead by Craig Biggio at second who was involved in 117 of the 170 (69%) of the double plays turned. Future Greeneville Astros manager Tim Bogar had 65 and Ricky Gutierrez added 37 at shortstop. Ken Caminiti contributed another 17 at 3rd. Of course Jeff Bagwell was the end of most of those at 1st. He took part in 141.
2. 1975 - 166 DPs (64-97 - 6th in NL West) Roger Metzger led this group with 83 turned at SS. He had three partners at second who made significant contributions: Rob Andrews (65), Larry Milbourne (27), and Tommy Helms (19). Doug Rader was at 3rd for 24 double plays. Bob Watson anchored 1st base for 105 of them.
3. 1983 - 165 DPs (85-77 - 3rd in NL West) This team had middle infielders who both were involved in over 100 double plays. Bill Doran at second turned 109 and Dickie Thon at short turned 114. Ray Knight was the first baseman for that team being involved in 131. Craig Reynolds contributed also at 2nd (7), SS (6) and 3rd (2).
4. 2009 - 164 DPs (74-88 - 5th in NL Central) Adam Everett led this team with 105 double plays turned at SS. All other positions were a bit of a team effort. Craig Biggio added 80 at 2nd, while Chris Burke added an additional 26 there. Morgan Ensberg contributed 10 from 3rd. Lance Berkman was a part of 96 at 1st. Mike Lamb was a part of 48 at 1st, 1 at 2nd and 8 at 3rd.
T5. 2006 - 161 DPs (82-80 2nd in NL Central) This was the surprise of the bunch to me. Kaz Matsui assisted on 99 at 2nd and Miguel Tejada was involved in 105 at SS. Jeff Keppinger (16) and Mike Blum (15) contributed to the total from 3rd. Kepp also was a part of 12 at 2nd and 2 at SS. Lance Berkman was the keystone at 1st taking part in 122.
T5. 1974 - 161 DPs (81-81 4th in NL West) This group was added by 11 double plays that involved outfielders (Cesar Cedeno - 4, Greg Gross - 4, Bob Watson - 2, and Wilbur Howard -1). In the dirt areas, Tommy Helms led the way with 99 at 2nd. Roger Metzger to part in 85 at short and Doug Rader was involved in 28 at 3rd. Lee May took care of 118 at 1st.
7. 1984 - 160 DPs (80-82 T-2nd in NL West) Craig Reynolds was involved in 91 twin killings at SS. Bill Doran turned 83 at 2nd. Phil Garner added a team leading 16 at third in addition to another 26 at second base. Denny Walling added another 14 at 3rd.
It is clear that this 2013 team has a shot to break the franchise record for double plays turned in a season.
On the other end of the spectrum
In case you were wondering, the worst teams at turning double plays in a full season were as follows:
1987 - 113 (76-86 - 3rd in NL West)
1978 - 109 (74-88 - 5th in NL West)
1986 - 108 (96-66 - 1st in NL West)
It is also clear there is not a direct correlation between wins and losses and double plays.