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Saturday, October 19, 2019

CC Sabathia has a case for Cooperstown

I’m sure it was not how CC Sabathia wanted to go out: injured, in a Yankees loss, with his final “pitch” being a warmup toss that revealed that he was too injured to go on. But bad endings to long, illustrious careers tend to wash out of people’s memories in pretty short order. When a great player’s time in the game is over, we almost always remember the greatness, and that will be the same with CC Sabathia.

As I’ve written in this space in the past, it’s rather reductive to only reflect on such careers through the lens of “is he Hall of Fame-worthy?” There are a number of great players who had great, memorable careers which fell short of Cooperstown for some reason or another and, frankly, a whole lot of guys who are in Cooperstown who weren’t necessarily great. Talking about guys only with reference to their Hall of Fame credentials causes us to spend too much time talking about the already well-remembered and risks us forgetting those who should not be forgotten.

But hey, let’s be reductive! It’s OK in this case because, in my estimation, CC Sabathia does have an actual Hall of Fame case and, if I had to bet on it, I’d say he’s inducted at some point down the road.

It’s not a slam dunk case. He’s not some brainless first-ballot guy. A lot of voters will look at his career ERA of 3.74 and think “man, that’s high for a Hall of Famer.” The smarter ones — and the Hall’s electorate gets smarter with each passing year — will note that his ERA+, which adjusts for the mostly high-offense era and hitter-friendly parks in which he pitched, is a respectable 116. Again, that’s not knock-you-off-your-feet great, but it’s in the neighborhood of a good number of Hall of Fame pitchers including Tom Glavine (118), Bert Blyleven (118), Gaylord Perry (117), Fergie Jenkins (115), Steve Carlton (115), and Jim Bunning (115), and is way better than guys like Jack Morris (105), Herb Pennock (106), Pud Galvin (107), Burleigh Grimes (108) and a decent handful of others. Yes, some of those guys were very different pitchers with other things going for them that Sabathia may not have. I’m just saying that Sabathia’s worst Big Stat selling point, his ERA, would not be crazily out-of-whack with Hall of Fame standards.

Never too early for a thread like this, is it?

 

QLE Posted: October 19, 2019 at 12:20 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cc sabathia, hall of fame

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   1. Howie Menckel Posted: October 19, 2019 at 12:37 AM (#5891836)
can confirm

active pitchers

Rank Player (yrs, age) Wins
1. CC Sabathia (19, 38) 251
2. Justin Verlander (15, 36) 225
3. Zack Greinke (16, 35) 205
4. Jon Lester (14, 35) 190
5. Max Scherzer (12, 34) 170
6. Felix Hernandez (15, 33) 169
Clayton Kershaw (12, 31) 169
8. Cole Hamels (14, 35) 163
9. Adam Wainwright (14, 37) 162
10. David Price (12, 33) 150
   2. bbmck Posted: October 19, 2019 at 01:18 AM (#5891838)
Retiring in the expansion era with 225-274 wins:

1967 Whitey Ford - 236 wins, Cy 1-3, 2nd ballot HoF
1975 Juan Marichal - 243 wins, Cy 8, 3rd ballot HoF
1975 Bob Gibson - 251 wins, Cy 1-1-5-9, 1st ballot HoF
1982 Luis Tiant - 229 wins, Cy 4-5-6, debuts 30.9%, next 14 ballots 7.2-18%
1984 Jim Palmer - 268 wins, Cy 1-1-1-2-2-3-5-5, 1st ballot HoF

1993 Frank Tanana - 240 wins, Cy 3-4-9, no HoF votes
1994 Jack Morris - 254 wins, Cy 3-3-4-5-5-7-9, debuts 22.2%, over 60% last 3 ballots, elected by committee
1998 Dennis Martinez - 245 wins, Cy 5-5, 3.2% one and done

2007 David Wells - 239 wins, Cy 3-3, 0.9% one and done
2008 Mike Mussina - 270 wins, Cy 2-4-4-5-5-5-6-6-6, 6th ballot HoF
2012 Jamie Moyer - 269 wins, Cy 4-5-6, 2.4% one and done
2013 Andy Pettitte - 256 wins, Cy 2-4-5-5-6, 9.9% debut last election

2018 Bartolo Colon - 247 wins, Cy 1-4-6-6
2019 CC Sabathia - 251 wins, Cy 1-3-4-4-5
   3. Walt Davis Posted: October 19, 2019 at 02:07 AM (#5891844)
1975 Juan Marichal - 243 wins, Cy 8, 3rd ballot HoF

That CYA result feels like it requires some sort of asterisk or something. First, they didn't start handing out two of the things until 1967 and you could only vote for 1 pitcher from 67-69 which is after most of his top seasons. Secondly, he regularly received down-ballot MVP votes. So for example, in 1968, he finished 5th in MVP votes but of course that was Gibson's MVP year and he was a unanimous CYA choice. Marichal was also 6th in MVP voting in 1966 but Koufax was the unanimous CYA (and 2nd in MVP). He also finshed 9th in 1965 behind Koufax and Drysdale. He never won one, as far as I know never deserved to win one (tough competition in those days) but, in the modern set-up, he probably would have a CYA record along the lines of Mussina (probably fewer top 10 finishes but more 2-3 finishes).

Marichal cruised over the HoF line in 1983 with nearly 84%. He missed by just 1.5% in his 2nd year (Aaron and Frank). He debuted at 58% in Gibson's year (more bad timing) and the spread between 2nd (Drysdale) and 6th (Marichal) was just 2.5%. Drysdale's percentage actually went down slightly from 1981 to 82 and Marichal cruised way past him. Drysdale followed the year after Marichal.
   4. Rob_Wood Posted: October 19, 2019 at 04:11 AM (#5891847)
Here is how Sabathia compares to the other pitchers in bbmck's list according to two stats I developed using two different slices of a pitcher's data.

The first stat is Win Values which estimates how many wins a starting pitcher contributed to his team over the course of a season (or career) by examining on a game-by-game basis how many runs he allowed vs how many runs his team scored that game. I have estimated two different flavors of Win Values, one relative to a league average pitcher and the other relative to a league replacement level pitcher. Both are presented below. In addition, for a shorthand I also present the sum which is a crude "pennant worth" estimate since contributions above league average are worth around twice as much as contributions above replacement level but below league average.

The second stat is Career Pennant Added using Sliding Replacement levels (CPASR). This stat uses a pitcher's seasonal WAA and WAR figures (from BB-Ref) and converts them into an estimate of how many pennants the pitcher likely contributed to his teams. A sliding replacement level is used to reflect my belief that players who hang on for a very long time essentially cost their teams valuable development time for others, even if their WAR is positive.
                  Win     Win     Win    
                 Value   Value   Value
                 (Avg)   (Repl)  (Sum)   CPASR

Jim Palmer        45.7    87.1   132.8    0.97
Bob Gibson        40.4    72.0   112.4    1.39
Mike Mussina      39.0    68.7   107.7    1.21
Whitey Ford       34.2    59.5    93.7    0.84
CC Sabathia       28.0    56.9    84.9    0.81
Luis Tiant        28.2    56.1    84.3    0.90
Juan Marichal     25.6    54.6    80.2    0.93
Andy Pettitte     25.9    53.4    79.3    0.78
Jack Morris       19.0    50.3    69.3    0.52
Dennis Martinez   14.9    46.0    60.9    0.56
David Wells       16.7    43.1    59.8    0.65
Jamie Moyer       12.1    45.0    57.1    0.41
Frank Tanana      11.2    45.7    56.9    0.64
Bartolo Colon     13.0    41.6    54.6    0.46

   5. depletion Posted: October 19, 2019 at 06:54 AM (#5891849)
Rob, thanks for the info. You do great work on the radio, and have been "nominated" here to throw out the first pitch in the WS at Nationals Park. CC is definitely in the mix, and would probably be helped out by a post-pitching baseball career as a coach or broadcaster.
   6. The Duke Posted: October 19, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5891859)
I think the voters should super-size their vote and put colon and Sabathia in together
   7. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: October 19, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5891917)
in the modern set-up, he probably would have a CYA record along the lines of Mussina (probably fewer top 10 finishes but more 2-3 finishes).


Marichal was 2, or 3 among NL pitchers in MVP voting in 1963, 64, 65, 66, and 68
   8. John Northey Posted: October 19, 2019 at 03:03 PM (#5891924)
I see CC as having a weak case. 116 ERA+ is low, and normally requires lots of other stuff. 251 wins is decent, but not enough to make it on its own. 1 Cy Young award, 5 times getting votes is again solid. 6 time All-Star is Dave Stieb territory - IE: not enough to jump out. Just 1 20 win season, just once under 3 for ERA. 6 times over 130 for ERA+, just once over 150. 10-7 with a 4.28 ERA in playoffs. Just one World Series ring (went 0-1 that series in 2 starts). 22 black ink (40 average for HOF), 174 gray (185 average), 63 career WAR.

He was an excellent pitcher, no doubt about that. He has a lot of good stuff there but nothing 'wow'. Odds are he'll be on the ballot the full 10 years, getting as high as 40% but unless he has some years with a very weak ballot I don't see him making it in until the Vets who put pretty much anyone in if they are buddies with them.
   9. pikepredator Posted: October 19, 2019 at 03:47 PM (#5891948)
He has struck me as borderline, but over the line. His career is a bit light on totals for a "compiler" but his peak isn't high enough to be a "peak" guy . . . Based on feel and seeing his career build over the last two decades, I feel like he deserves it.

That said . . . looking at comparative WAR graphs, he doesn't fare well. He matches up with people that aren't quite HOF material in my opinion, and falls below some of the lesser HOFers. He really flatlined after an excellent first 12 years and I think it was my impressions of him during that time that are coloring my opinion of him now. If this 12 years had been stronger, fantastic.
   10. The Duke Posted: October 19, 2019 at 04:48 PM (#5891959)
I’m impressed with his compiled numbers but he never felt like a hall of famer to me while he was playing. I’m open to being turned to support him. I’m interested to read the articles five years from now on his case.
   11. Jack Sommers Posted: October 19, 2019 at 05:05 PM (#5891961)
Some might find the color coded table I posted HERE and the ensuing discussion on peak useful.
   12. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: October 19, 2019 at 05:46 PM (#5891968)
he never felt like a hall of famer to me while he was playing


Not even in August of 2008?
   13. ajnrules Posted: October 19, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5891970)
From the pure statistical standpoint CC Sabathia is very similar to fellow Yankee Andy Pettitte, who seems more likely to fall off the ballot than make it into Cooperstown

Sabathia: 251-161, 3.74 ERA (116 ERA+), 3577.1 innings, 3093 K, 1099 BB, 1.259 WHIP, 62.5 pitching bWAR, 28.9 pitching bWAA

Pettitte: 256-153, 3.85 ERA (117 ERA+), 3316 innings, 2448 K, 1031 BB, 1.351 WHIP, 60.6 pitching bWAR, 29.8 pitching bWAA

Pettitte also had a lot more success in the post-season, with his record 19 wins and five World Series rings dwarfing CC's 10 wins and just one ring.

However, CC dominates the narrative aspect between the two. He has a Cy Young award and another 3rd place finish while Pettitte finished in the top three only once (when he finished second in 1996). CC also has the narrative of virtually single-handedly taking the Brewers to the post-season in 2008. He has the 3000 strikeouts (while Pettitte never even hit 2500). And he doesn't have the PED taint of Pettitte.

Is it fair that CC is likely going to go in the Hall of Fame while Pettitte can't even get 10% of the vote? No, but I wouldn't be surprised if it happens.
   14. Jack Sommers Posted: October 19, 2019 at 06:13 PM (#5891972)
ajnrules, check out my link in #11.

I concluded something similar , however if you look at best consecutive 10 year peak I posted there, (after the initial table with the career long comparisons to Pettitte, Buehrle and Finley). I think it's pretty clear that CC's 10 year peak had a lot to do with establishing his "narrative".

But even there, Pettitte's post season narrative should come close to evening that out.
   15. Bleed the Freak Posted: October 19, 2019 at 06:24 PM (#5891975)
10-7 with a 4.28 ERA in playoffs. Just one World Series ring (went 0-1 that series in 2 starts). 22 black ink (40 average for HOF), 174 gray (185 average), 63 career WAR.


Un-even post season career wise, but ALCS MVP in 2009 and a big helper for the Yankees last title.
He's at 69.2 Baseball Gauge WAR, Fangraphs 67.2, he's worthy by Kiko's W-L records, and has a neutral clutch of 0.4.
Not overwhelming, but I'd like to see him make it in.

Sabathia: 251-161, 3.74 ERA (116 ERA+), 3577.1 innings, 3093 K, 1099 BB, 1.259 WHIP, 62.5 pitching bWAR, 28.9 pitching bWAA

Pettitte: 256-153, 3.85 ERA (117 ERA+), 3316 innings, 2448 K, 1031 BB, 1.351 WHIP, 60.6 pitching bWAR, 29.8 pitching bWAA


Like CC, Quoting Pettitte's B-R WAR isn't flattering, the Yankees suspect defense makes pinning down's Andy's contributions more challenging, 64.5 at Baseball Gauge, 68.0 at Fangraphs, and worthy with Kiko's W-L records/a small notch below Sabathia. Adds 276 higher stress post-season innings at a career average rate, ~3.5 WPA is a nice cherry on the top. Like CC, in the lower rungs, but passes the hall test. Almost neutral clutch of -0.4.
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 19, 2019 at 06:27 PM (#5891976)
I think Sabathia will be elected fairly easily. He’s not Inner Circle, and probably not 1st Ballot, but no surprise if he makes it after ~ 3 years. Pitching Milwaukee to the playoffs provides a fair bit of narrative for folks who like that, as does his arrival leading the Yankees back to World Series victory.
   17. Rennie's Tenet Posted: October 20, 2019 at 12:04 AM (#5892198)
colon and Sabathia


I would have guessed that chubs would get a little bump in the voting, since they're universally fan favorites, but it doesn't seem that's been decisive for any fat players? Maybe Hack Wilson in comparison to Maris?
   18. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: October 20, 2019 at 12:44 AM (#5892252)
He'll wait, but he's in.
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: October 20, 2019 at 01:07 AM (#5892261)

Pettitte also had a lot more success in the post-season, with his record 19 wins and five World Series rings dwarfing CC's 10 wins and just one ring.

and nothing screams DOMINANT like Pettitte's 3.81 career postseason ERA
   20. DanG Posted: October 20, 2019 at 01:50 AM (#5892268)
Interesting to see his pitcher cohort in the HOF Monitor:

58. Jim Kaat 130
59. Red Ruffing* 130
60. Rollie Fingers* 128
61. Lefty Gomez* 128
62. Andy Pettitte 128
63. Robin Roberts* 128
64. CC Sabathia 128
65. Roy Halladay* 127
66. Lee Smith* 127
   21. helton Posted: October 21, 2019 at 12:18 AM (#5892415)
I'm gonna have to vote close, but no cigar. I put CC to my OPS+ test. You can argue wins, K's, Cy Young finishes, etc, but they don't tell us how well he pitched. CC finished with an OPS+ of 113, which is good. CC's strength is that he had 5 seasons ranging from excellent to HOF quality. His problem is that he wasn't excellent in his other 14 seasons. My OPS+ definitions?

100...average
101-105...slightly above average
106-110...solidly above average
111-115...good
116-120...very good
121-125...excellent
126-130...outstanding/Cy Young quality
131 or higher...HOF quality season

CC's 19 seasons in OPS+ descending order are: 134, 131, 131, 123, 122, 120, 119, 117, 116, 112, 110, 110, 110, 107, 105, 89, 83, 80, 55.

To summarize, he had 3 HOF seasons, 2 excellent seasons, 4 very good seasons, 1 good season, 4 solidly above average seasons, 1 slightly above average season, and 4 below average seasons. Others think this is good enough. I think he comes up just short.

On a side note, how do you rate CC vs Mussina? Close? Basically the same? Better? They actually are excellent comps since they pitched just about the same amount of innings (CC 3,577.1 and Mussina 3,562.2). In terms of pitching quality, it's not even close. CC's OPS+ was 113 while Mussina's was 119. CC's ERA+ is 116 while Mussina's is 123.

Thanks for the memories CC. You are a classy guy and a great ambassador for the game, but you're no HOFer.
   22. Jaack Posted: October 21, 2019 at 03:36 AM (#5892420)
I wouldn't go as far to say that Sabathia is a slam dunk Hall of Famer, but his case is pretty sturdy. I think he's a step above Pettitte - his peak was higher and more sustained, and overall their total career value is similar, but if I had to pick one it probably be Sabathia there as well.

Sabathia's peak stretch was basically 2006-2011. In that time stretch, Halladay was clearly better, but I don't think you can really make the case that anyone else was better than Sabathia. Second best pitcher over a six year stretch doesn't necessarily scream Hall of Famer on its own, but it puts you in the conversation.

Career wise, his numbers don't pop out, but when you consider the relief oriented era he pitched in, they become quite impressive. 3500 innings is huge in the modern game. Verlander and Greinke have a shot at that number if they last 3-4 more seasons, which isn't a fantastic bet to take with 36 year old pitchers, even ones as effective as those two. Sabathia could very well be the last pitcher to reach that mark, and he was average or better for the vast majority of those innings.
   23. Ithaca2323 Posted: October 21, 2019 at 09:46 AM (#5892453)
Sabathia was a better pitcher than Pettitte. His 7-year peak WAR is significantly higher (39.3 to 34.1). And as far as the postseason goes, if we're into narratives, he was the best pitcher on the 2009 WS winning team. Pettitte was not the best pitcher on any of the Yankee teams who won it.

I'm still a little surprised to see so many in the media who seem to refer to CC's case like it's a foregone conclusion. He's a borderline yes for me, but there are plenty of pitchers no one seems to give a thought to who I would take over him (David Cone would be one)
   24. Rally Posted: October 21, 2019 at 10:46 AM (#5892470)
And he doesn't have the PED taint of Pettitte.


That's one key difference. Another is Pettitte hit the ballot with Mussina and Halladay going in, and Schilling getting a lot of votes. Not to mention Clemens. C.C. will hit the ballot and be far and away the most qualified pitcher there. Unless something crazy happens like Verlander, Greinke, and Scherzer all deciding to ride off into the sunset after the 2019 World Series.
   25. DanG Posted: October 21, 2019 at 11:21 AM (#5892486)
Most WAR, LHP, from age 25-30:

Player            WAR WAAERA+   W   L     IP From   To
Sandy Koufax     46.4 30.7  156 129  47 1632.2 1961 1966
Rube Waddell     46.2 29.4  146 131  82 1869.1 1902 1907
Lefty Grove      40.1 23.8  145 115  57 1545.1 1925 1930
Johan Santana    39.0 27.1  154  99  48 1313.1 2004 2009
Eddie Plank      37.4 21.0  119 129  79 1812.1 1901 1906
Clayton Kershaw  37.0 27.7  183  92  32 1152.1 2013 2018
Ted Breitenstein 36.8 18.9  111 120 114 2072.1 1894 1899
'CC Sabathia     35.0 22.0  142 107  51 1391.2 2006 2011'
Warren Spahn     33.8 18.2  126 108  72 1578.1 1946 1951
Wilbur Wood      33.4 21.2  146  82  68 1206.1 1967 1972 
   26. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 21, 2019 at 11:41 AM (#5892500)

Ignoring the PED issue, I'd vote for both Pettitte and Sabathia. In terms of career value they are surprisingly similar. Sabathia has the higher peak and "felt" more like a HOFer to me, but Pettitte was more consistent. People here value peak over consistency in part because of the notion that peak seasons disproportionately lead to championships. But Pettitte won 5 championships to Sabathia's 1 and while I believe that has more to do with teammates/luck than anything else, it's hard for me to argue that Pettitte's lower peak hurts his case at all vis-a-vis Sabathia in light of that.
   27. cookiedabookie Posted: October 21, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5892522)
Of the 23 pitchers with at least 3000 IP, 60 rWAR, 200 wins, and were at least 3-time all stars, 74% of them (17/23) are in the Hall of Fame. Here are the six that aren't in the HoF:

Roger Clemens
Kevin Brown
Curt Schilling
Luis Tiant
Rick Reuschel
CC Sabathia

Clemens should be a no-doubter. Schilling should be in soon. Brown, Tiant, and Reuschel are brought up as guys that the Hall missed. CC seems to fit right in with them. Reaching those arbitrary numbers basically makes you a HoFer, or a guy that people will argue has been unfairly ignored. I guess he could go the way of Reuschel, Tiant, and Brown. But given Tiant is the only one with close to his type of narrative, I'm betting he gets in during his ten years on the ballot.
   28. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 21, 2019 at 12:15 PM (#5892526)
I would have guessed that chubs would get a little bump in the voting, since they're universally fan favorites, but it doesn't seem that's been decisive for any fat players?
Didn't work for Reuschel. But we should have a pretty good indication of any effect when CC comes on the ballot, because (barring another comeback) the voters will have a chance to, wait for it, weigh in on Bartolo Colon the year before CC. "How may chins will fit on a plaque?"
   29. cookiedabookie Posted: October 21, 2019 at 12:28 PM (#5892535)
Edit to 27 - Only 22 pitchers reached those four benchmarks (I accidentally counted Blyleven who was only an all start twice). If you up the ASG to six, there's only 16 pitchers, twelve of which are in the HoF, leaving Clemens, Brown, Schilling, and CC.
   30. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 21, 2019 at 12:29 PM (#5892536)
#27 what about Pettitte?

And Tommy John?

Mark Buehrle is also on the list although not eligible for the HOF yet. Almost certainly will not make it.

   31. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 21, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5892543)
Anyway, in the Retrosheet era there are 25 guys from 3077-4077 IP and 52.5-72.5 bWAR. 11 are HOFers, 14 are not, but most of the guys who aren't in were closer to 52.5 WAR than they were 72.5. I think most writers understand that Sabathia was better than Chuck Finley or David Wells, and they probably think he was a lot better than Reuschel, too.
   32. DanG Posted: October 21, 2019 at 12:57 PM (#5892546)
Retired pitchers not in HOF with most WARpitch under modern pitching distance (1893+):

Player           WAR WAAERA+   W   L     IP From   To
Roger Clemens  138.7 93.9  143 354 184 4916.2 1984 2007 hom
Curt Schilling  80.5 53.9  127 216 146 3261.0 1988 2007 hom
Kevin Brown     68.2 40.2  127 211 144 3256.1 1986 2005 hom
Rick Reuschel   68.1 37.9  114 214 191 3548.1 1972 1991 hom
Luis Tiant      65.6 34.0  114 229 172 3486.1 1964 1982
CC Sabathia     62.5 29.0  116 251 161 3577.1 2001 2019
Tommy John      62.1 21.5  111 288 231 4710.1 1963 1989
David Cone      61.6 35.5  121 194 126 2898.2 1986 2003 hom
Andy Pettitte   60.6 29.8  117 256 153 3316.0 1995 2013
Mark Buehrle    60.1 29.4  117 214 160 3283.1 2000 2015
Jack Quinn      59.6 25.1  114 247 218 3920.1 1909 1933
Bret Saberhagen 58.9 36.6  126 167 117 2562.2 1984 2001 hom
Chuck Finley    58.3 28.4  115 200 173 3197.1 1986 2002
Eddie Cicotte   57.3 27.5  123 209 148 3226.0 1905 1920
Frank Tanana    57.0 19.5  106 240 236 4188.1 1973 1993
Jerry Koosman   57.0 23.9  110 222 209 3839.1 1967 1985
Tim Hudson      56.8 30.0  120 222 133 3126.2 1999 2015
Dave Stieb      56.5 30.7  122 176 137 2895.1 1979 1998 hom 
   33. DL from MN Posted: October 21, 2019 at 02:12 PM (#5892577)
Tiant is a cinch to be elected to the Hall of Merit soon. He's at the top of the returning eligible players and there are a lot of slots available in the next few seasons.
   34. cookiedabookie Posted: October 21, 2019 at 03:21 PM (#5892594)
#30. Somehow missed John and Pettitte. Re-ran, there's 22 HoFers with 3000+ IP, 60+ rWAR, 200+ W, and 3+ ASG. Those not in the Hall include everyone I mentioned plus John and Pettitte. That's 22/28 in the Hall right now. If you raise it to 6+ ASG, you have 18 HoFers, with four outside: Clemens, Brown, CC, and Schilling - and two of those should have already been in. Seems like a good group to be in when it comes to what voters have looked at traditionally.
   35. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 21, 2019 at 08:06 PM (#5892665)
Career wise, his numbers don't pop out, but when you consider the relief oriented era he pitched in, they become quite impressive. 3500 innings is huge in the modern game. Verlander and Greinke have a shot at that number if they last 3-4 more seasons, which isn't a fantastic bet to take with 36 year old pitchers, even ones as effective as those two. Sabathia could very well be the last pitcher to reach that mark, and he was average or better for the vast majority of those innings.
Yeah - as we've discussed in re Verlander, we are going to enter an era of "If not these guys, then who?" starting pitchers for the Hall. The best starters of this current generation won't have career totals that, on the surface, compare at all to those before. Either the voters will acknowledge and adjust for that, or I guess just stop electing SPs at all. Obviously I think the former is more likely, and my hunch is that CC will be viewed as the first of those guys, or at least a "transitionary candidate" to those guys. So I think he'll get in on that basis, which strikes me as appropriate.
   36. PreservedFish Posted: October 21, 2019 at 08:35 PM (#5892668)
That is an interesting an interesting and compelling way of looking at his candidacy. It's also an argument that, unusually, we actually need the five year waiting period to help put his career into context.

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