The Debutantes Ball: MLB Debuts for the Week Ending April 16

Dylan Covey - Chicago White Sox 2017 spring training (Bill Mitchell)

Feature Photo: Dylan Covey, RHP, White Sox

 

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What are you looking for here? Didn’t we run the debuts of every single player that has ever played and ever will play in the majors last week? Or did it just feel that way to my fingertips?

Just kidding. I live for this. Seriously, I do.

So let me just adjust my ballgown here and get down to business giving you a quick and sassy summary of whose lives radically changed this past week.

Let me start by saying that had I NOT gotten to finally write the debut for Dylan Covey (RHP, White Sox), heads were gonna roll. I’m not sure what the record is for collecting butt-splinters between arrival in the big leagues and arrival on the pitching mound, but he had to be close to it.

And if I had thought that the pace of the Debutantes Ball would slow down after opening week, I was very, very wrong. The band segued out of its prissy little waltz into a full-out boogie when five players all made their debuts on April 14 – just in context, that was more debuts in one night than we’d had since six players debuted on April 3, the official Opening Day of the season (we don’t count those three games the Sunday before because Monday will always be “Opening Day”).

It was a busy, sometimes confusing, and not only entertaining but also actually historic week for the Debutantes Ball.

That’s right. Historic. Which brings us to FUN FACT #1:

On April 14, when White Sox outfielder and debutante Willy Garcia stepped out into left field at Minnesota’s Target Field, baseball history was made.

Filling the other spots in that White Sox’ outfield were left fielder Avisail Garcia and center fielder Leury Garcia. This marked the first time IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HISTORY that a team had ever started an outfield featuring three players with the same last name.

But wait, you say. What about the 1963 San Francisco Giants who had the Alou brothers – Felipe, Jesus and Matty? (Well, maybe you didn’t say it but my husband did, and obviously enough other people wondered that it was clarified in MLB’s feature on it). While, indeed, the three Alous played together on that team, they never actually started a game together in the outfield.

This week also brought us our first “debut-not” – a player called up who did not get into a game before being sent back down.

Orioles right-hander Stefan Crichton was called up from Norfolk on April 13 when left-hander Oliver Drake was designated for assignment, but then got sent back down April 15 to make room for that night’s starter, righty Alec Asher.

Now, I’ll be honest here. I was really upset by this. I already had done a ton of homework (arguably too much, and arguably maybe a little too obsessively) to bring you a debut piece on Crichton, and I really needed him to get into a game so I could share FUN FACT #2. So … here it is.

When Crichton took the mound for the Orioles on Easter Sunday in an 11-2 win over the Blue Jays, he became the second player (and the second debutante, no less) in the last two seasons to have been born on February 29, 1992.

Last year, Cubs southpaw Gerardo Concepcion became the first major leaguer since Terrence Long (OF, 1996-2006, multiple teams) with a February 29 birthday. In baseball history, including Concepcion and Crichton, there have been only 14 MLB players who were born on February 29.

However, there had only been ONE other pair of major leaguers with the same exact February 29 birthday: right-hander Roy Parker (RHP, Cardinals), who appeared in two games for St. Louis in 1919 and infielder Ralph Miller (UTIL, Phillies (1920-21), Nationals (1924)), both born on February 29, 1896.

So hopefully one day Crichton and Concepcion (currently pitching for the Double-A Tennessee Smokies) may be able face each other and go out after a game and drink a toast to their…um, seventh birthday? Eighth birthday?… together.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to join in some interactive fun, please follow us on Twitter at @2080ball and you can throw virtual brickbats at your humble scribe (who admittedly does not ALWAYS tweet about baseball) at @LisaWinston. I’ll be hashtagging my fun facts and other observations #DebutantesBall and #2080Baseball so please come visit … you never know when a trivia question may arise that YOU AND YOU ALONE will know the answer to!

So welcome to the second full week of major league games, which brought us a lucky (for them) 13 debuts, bringing us to 35 on the season!

Click here to view our running table of major league debuts this season!

(Reminder! The MLB Debut table is also found by clicking the Spotlights Tab on our home page, and scrolling to the top sub-menu selection.)