Tag Archives: Hoffman

Hall to induct 4 more, Mussina gains but falls short.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The BBWAA elected four more members to the Hall of Fame, but Mike Mussina fell little short. 75% is required for induction.

Joining Alan Trammell and Jack Morris, who were elected via a Veterans’ Committee earlier, are

Chipper Jones 97.2%: Atlanta 3B/LF 1993-2012. .303. Over 2700 hits. 468 HR. OPS+ 141 (100 is average). 1995 WS Champ. 8X All Star. 1999 MVP. 6x Top 10 MVP.

Jim Thome 89.8%. 612 HR. 1991-2012. Indians, Phillies, White Sox, Dodgers, Twins, Indians again, Phillies again, Orioles. OPS+ 147. 4x top 10 MVP. 5x All-Star. 3B/1B.

Both Jones and Thome were elected in their first year on the ballot.

Vladimir Guerrero 92.9%. 1996-2011. Expos, Angels, Rangers, Orioles. OPS+ 140. 449 HR. .318.  Almost 2600 career hits. MVP 2004. 9x All-Star. 6x top 10 in MVP.

Trevor Hoffman 79.9%. Marlins, Padres, & Brewers. 601 career saves, 2nd only to Mariano Rivera. 7X all-Star. 2x Top 10 MVP for a reliever. 4x CYA consideration, finishing as the runnerup 2x.

Those over 50% were:

Edgar Martinez: 70.4%, 20 votes short. Next year will be his last year on the ballot. That may push him over the top.

Mike Mussina 63.5%. Gaining. Should get in soon, if not 2019 with Rivera, maybe 2020 with Jeter.

Roger Clemens 57.3%

Barry Bonds 56.4% Both Clemens and Bonds hurt by the steroid allegations.

Curt Schilling 51.2% Hurt by his political stances.

Not getting 5% and falling off the ballot are Johnny Damon & Hideki Matsui.

Some coming on the ballot next year include (I won’t list their stats now, with one exception)

Mariano Rivera (a sure lock, I’d like to know NOW the idiots who WON’T vote for him),

Andy Pettitte (borderline, the HGH revelations will hurt him),

Todd Helton (as with Larry Walker, people will look at him as though his stats were inflated by Colorado, but a .316 hitter, OPS+ 133. Over 2500 hits, 3x top 10 MVP, 369 HR. 5x All Star, 3 GG, but faded too early. 1998-2005 average .338-33-113; but after age 31 .289-12-61. Personally, I feel he needed 4 more years of that 1998-2005 excellence, and why did he suddenly lose his power at age 31?)

Roy Halladay. Sympathy vote? Unfortunate plane crash, but why was traces of Ambien, morphine and amphetamines in his system? Retired at 36, back pain, can see the painkillers, but for goodness sakes, don’t fly a plane when you are on the meds.

 

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Yanks prospects, and HOF to announce more inductees Wednesday.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Baseball America listed their top 100 prospects list and Yankee fans who have been treated to young stars like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Luis Severino should be happy and anxious for more young players on the come.

Six Yankees’ prospects are part of that top 100.

Since Clint Frazier spent some time in the majors last year, he isn’t even listed.

The six are:

#6 INF Gleyber Torres who, if he doesn’t break camp as the Yanks’ 2B, should be called up very early this season for just that purpose.

#38. OF Estevan Florial, who will probably start at High-A Tampa.

#41. LHP Starter Justus Sheffield, probably ticketed for AAA SWB.

#59. 3B Miguel Andujar who could be the Opening Day 3B.

#77. RHP Albert Abreu who will probably start at AA or AAA.

#81. RHP Chance Adams. Probably AAA bound.

Three former Yankees’ prospects made the list as well. These are prospects traded for Sonny Gray and Giancarlo Stanton.

On Wednesday, the Hall of Fame will announce who the BBWAA has selected as their HOF inductees for this year. They will join Alan Trammell and Jack Morris, who were selected via committee.

So far, with some polling done, it appears these players will get in, having met 75% of the vote:

Chipper Jones
Jim Thome
Vladimir Guerrero
Edgar Martinez
Trevor Hoffman

Close (over 60%) are

Mike Mussina (tracking around 72%)
Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, each around 66%
Curt Schilling, around 60%

Some views of mine: Disappointed in the possible steroid users getting more votes.

And hope Mussina makes it, especially since, as I noted before, you had jerks like the one guy from Cleveland who ONLY voted for two former Indian players (Thome and Omar Vizquel) and no one else.

Cross off a possible landing spot for Jacoby Ellsbury. Although Ellsbury has a no-trade clause, there was hope among Yankees fans that Ellsbury may waive it if dealt to SF, who trains in Arizona and who isn’t far from Oregon, where Ellsbury is from. Of course, how much the Yanks would have to eat as far as that contract is concerned is another matter. Besides, who wants him? And Ellsbury doesn’t want to go anywhere, even if right now he is a 5th OF.

But there was talk of SF, who needed outfielders. Instead SF traded for Andrew McCutchen and today signed Austin Jackson as a free agent. Interesting they went for A-Jax, because Lorenzo Cain is still available.

Once again, time to strip the HOF ballot from some BBWAA members.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

As the Baseball HOF ballots are being counted (and new, if any, members are to be announced January 24) once again we see that the BBWAA should seriously consider stripping voting privileges away from some of its members.

This year’s case in point (so far): Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer who only voted for two ex-players: former Indians Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel.

If he wants to skip over known and suspected steroid users like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Manny Ramirez, that is one thing.

But what about others who may need every vote they can in order to receive the 75% it takes to get in? Ex-players like Mike Mussina, Trevor Hoffman, Vladimir Guerrero or Edgar Martinez?

If someone like Mussina winds up with 74.7%, they don’t round up. Hoffman missed by only a handful of votes last year.

And, if someone like Mussina just misses, he has a legitimate gripe against voters like Livingston.

Voters like Livingston (and others who vote for candidates clearly not HOF worthy just to give them a vote—maybe they were drinking buddies with that player?) should have their voting privileges revoked.

Trevor Hoffman retires

Trevor Hoffman, the all-time saves leader with 601, has decided to retire.

Hoffman is 42 saves ahead of Mariano Rivera on the all-time list. Since Mo signed a two-year deal, Rivera is expected to surpass Hoffman (health and skills permitting) in 2012.

Hoffman, 43, started his career with the 1993 Marlins, then went to the Padres later that year. He pitched for SD from 1993-2008. He finished up by pitching for the Brewers in 2009 and 2010. This past year he went 2-7, 5.89 with 10 saves.

For his career, Hoffman was 61-75, 2.87 (ERA+ 141) with those 601 saves. He was a 7x All Star, finished in the top 10 for MVP voting twice, and twice was runnerup for the CYA. In postseason play, he was 1-2, 3.46 with 4 saves. One of his losses came to the Yankees in game 3 of the 1998 WS, courtesy of a Scott Brosious HR.

He led the NL in saves 2x, the majors once. He pitched in 1035 games, and besides being the all-time leader in saves, is also the all-time leader in games finished with 856.

Voting for relievers for the HOF is so subjective (see my post about Smith vs. Franco), but Hoffman should be in the HOF. If not on the first ballot, shortly thereafter.    

Milestones.

Don’t know if you caught it, but congrats to two players in reaching some milestones in their careers.

This week saw Trevor Hoffman get save #600. Hoffman is 2-7 with a 6.09 ERA and 9 saves. Who knows if that save could be Hoffman’s last? Hoffman turns 43 shortly after this season ends.

This week also saw Jim Thome hit HR #586, tying Frank Robinson on the all-time list. I know he can’t play the field anymore, but I was kind of hoping the Yanks might grab Thome (instead of Nick Johnson and now Berkman) last off-season for a one-year deal. Thome’s swing is just perfect for the Stadium. Even at 40 (turned that just a couple weeks ago), Thome is at .278-22-52 in limited duty. His OPS+ is a ridiculous 178. He and Thames could have been a brutal l/r platoon. I see the problem however. Neither is good defensively, and Thome would have just added more age to a team that already has Andy, Jeter, Alex, Mo and Posada all over 35.

I do wish that Thome would have had one year as a Yankee, just to see what kind of damage he could have done.    

This doesn’t mean I want Thome for 2011. Odds are that the DH spot will most likely be split between aging players. Namely, Posada, Alex and Jeter. If Alex and Jeter, could we be seeing more of Nunez or Pena in the field (or someone else?)

Just a reminder…Pettitte does rehab in Game 2 of Trenton’s AA playoff series tonight. We’ll see how he makes out.

Yankees lose two in the Rule 5 draft.

My bad. I thought Zach Kroenke might be a candidate for Phil Coke’s replacement. I didn’t realize he was going into the Rule 5 draft, where he was grabbed by Arizona. Sorry. I guess Kroenke is one of those guys who just needs to get a chance somewhere else or someone who projects to be AAAA. After 7-0, 2.85 (AA/AAA) in 2008, he was grabbed by Florida in the Rule 5 but sent back to the Yanks. This year in AAA he went 7-1, 1.99 this year but never even got a September callup. You would have thought those numbers deserved a look.

Some guys just need the right team and the right chance. Good luck to him. NY apparently wasn’t the place.

LoHud’s Chad Jennings has this, Cashman on Kroenke:

Cashman confirmed that Kroenke can elect free agency if he’s not kept by the Diamondbacks. That means there’s a solid chance the left-hander is gone no matter what. “Kroenke’s probably toast,” Cashman said.

Also taken was Kanekoa Texeira, who was 9-6, 2.84 at AA Trenton. Seattle grabbed him.

The Yanks grabbed Jamie Hoffman (that Nats’ pick from the Bruney deal). He was 4 for 22 as a Dodger this year. 2 doubles, 1 HR, 7 RBI. The righty hitting OF (25) played in 97 minor league games (AA/AAA) .291-10-64 and 15 SB.

Sam Borden at LoHud has Melky/Gardner rumors (sure to crop up now that the Yanks have Granderson).

Word is the Royals checked in on Gardner after the Granderson deal, and certainly The Grittiest One would be a cheap outfield option for a low-budget team.

Is that likely? Who knows. But it’s possible. And I wouldn’t rule out Melky Cabrera being shopped either (at one point the Cubs were said to be intrigued).    

Will the Yanks kick the tires on a Sheets or Duchscherer? Mark DeRosa’s name has come up. DeRosa, 35 in February, doesn’t fit the “younger” mold, but can play anywhere. The righty split 2009 between Cleveland and St. Louis, hitting .250-23-78 (OPS+ 99). He’s a .275 career hitter, OPS+ 97.

Chad Jennings states about Rafael Soriano:

Cashman met with reliever Rafael Soriano’s agent — Soriano ultimately accepted arbitration and was quickly traded to Tampa Bay — but the Yankees were never serious players for the right-hander.

Hmm…with Hughes and Joba preparing as starters, you think they would have been in on the mix. You wonder who (Robertson?) would serve as the 8th inning setup guy for Mo if Hughes and Joba are 4 and 5 (whatever order) behind CC, AJ and Andy. Let’s not forget a very important part of the 2009 season—Phil Hughes and Al Aceves stabilizing a bullpen that was as shaky as a wet noodle under Albaladejo, Edwar Ramirez and Veras. Yes, Hughes struggled in the postseason, but his stellar work during the season helped to propel the Yanks to the AL East title. Hughes and Joba as 4 and 5? Ok, but let’s not go back to the bullpen woes of early 2009. Does that mean only one will go into the rotation and the other will stay in the bullpen (with Mitre, Gaudin and possibly Aceves battling it out in spring training for the #5 position)? Who knows. Of course if the Yanks wind up pulling a blockbuster deal for Halladay (Joba or Hughes/Montero/Melky or Gardner [because of Granderson]) then #5 after CC/AJ/Andy and Doc can easily be Gaudin/Aceves/Mitre with the Joba/Hughes survivor setting up Mo.

I’d hate to lose Montero, as those of you who have read me for some time know. But is Romine the better catcher? Some think that despite the big bat, that Montero is best suited for 1B or DH and 1) Teixeira is at 1B and 2) you don’t want to have a 21/22 year old stuck as full-time DH…especially when some other players (Jeter, Alex, Posada) are aging.

Apparently the Yanks are taking their time with Damon and Matsui. If coming back, apparently it’s on the Yankees terms—meaning not long-term, and not for $13M. Things will be interesting on this front.

One move. Pedro Feliz, 3b of the NL Champ Phils, who the Phils let go after the WS, is going to Houston.

Oh, in case you are wondering? Especially in regards to DeRosa as a utility man—Hairston is a F.A., as is Hinske.  Here is a list from MLB.COM:

Reports are that Cincy’s Brian Kelly is bound for ND. I really feel sorry for the Cincy kids. They are undefeated, Sugar Bowl bound and now this distraction where their coach may not be coaching them in the biggest college game of their careers vs. Florida. To Kelly and ND…maybe it couldn’t have waited, but for the sake of the Bearcat players, maybe it should have.

You are kidding, right? Mariano, hands down.

I see ESPN has a poll up.

 

Vote on the greatest players at each position since ESPN began airing MLB games. Final All-Star team will be announced Sept. 20 on Sunday Night Baseball.

CURRENT POLL
  • Who’s the top closer?
  • They’re kidding, right?

    What gets me are some of the comments. I mean, it’s down to Eckersley, Hoffman and Rivera and Mo has a comfortable lead. But some comments are asinine.

    Let me repeat something that maybe some knuckleheads don’t understand. Rivera has had EIGHT, count them, EIGHT, years of ERA’s UNDER 2.00. Entering 2009, no other closer has had more than FOUR of those years. One knucklehead, in voting for Eckersley, pointed out that Eckersley won the MVP and CYA. Maybe he defends the Colon over Rivera in 2005 (which I still think was a travesty, the three men who voted for Santana over Mo had a better case than the 17 who voted for Colon over Mo). Granted, Eckersley had some good years. But Mo could have won a couple of MVPS and CYAs himself. He did finish top 10 twice for MVP.

    Four times, Mo—a closer and we know the bias against them for the CYA and/or MVP—has finished 2nd or 3rd in the CYA voting.

    Besides, how many SETUP men finish 3rd in the CYA voting, as Mo did in 1996?

    117 1/3 innings in the postseason. 34 saves, 8-1, ERA 0.77. Eckersley in the postseason, 1-3, 3.00. 15 saves. Not shabby. Not Mo.

    Someone brought up Game 7 of 2001. Um, Eckersley of course had Gibson in Game 1 of the 1988 WS, which everyone remembers, but how many people remember him losing Game 2 of the 1990 WS, where Billy Bates (you are forgiven if you are saying “who?”) singled off Eckersley, then Sabo singled and then Joe Oliver doubled to win the game? Hoffman gave up the HR to Brosious in 1998, Game 3. 1-2, 3.46 and 4 postseason saves. So what is the person’s point? Mo is the only man to close out three consecutive WS. With the Division and Championship Series, it is harder to do. 

    Besides, he does have some MVP awards….ALCS 2003 and WS 1999. 

    Should this even be a debate?