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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, January 14, 2008

Blue Jays/Cards - Swapped Gimpy 3B

Toronto Blue Jays - Acquired 3B Scott Rolen from the St. Louis Cardinals for 3B Troy Glaus.

Love the challenge trade!  Both third basemen are injury concerns.  Rolen’s a bit better when completely healthy but also has the lower chance of being completely healthy.  I think the risk/reward scenarios actually work out pretty well for both teams - the Blue Jays are against very tough competition and have some heavy groundballers, so they want the more fielding oriented guy with the biggest payoff, since they’re not going to slip into the playoffs with 88 wins anytime soon and the Cardinals, against rather weak competition, would rather have the safer bet.

2008 ZiPS Projection - Scott Rolen
—————————————————————————————————————————
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS+  DR  
—————————————————————————————————————————
Projection   380 58   93 24 1 10 57 38 63   3 .245 .319 .392   84   14
—————————————————————————————————————————
Opt. (15%)  473 89 140 38 2 19 81 50 66   6 .296 .369 .505   127   17
Pes. (15%)  355 47   83 24 0   8 43 28 68   2 .234 .293 .369   73   10
—————————————————————————————————————————
Top Offensive Comps:  Clete Boyer, Pinky “The Egalitarian” Higgins

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Troy Glaus
—————————————————————————————————————————
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS+  DR  
—————————————————————————————————————————
Projection   469 71 120 22 0 24 78 77 107   1 .256 .362 .456   112 -10
—————————————————————————————————————————
Opt. (15%)  497 88 143 27 1 30 97 87 103   2 .288 .397 .527   138   -7
Pes. (15%)  420 54   99 16 0 16 59 60 103   0 .236 .332 .388   87 -14
—————————————————————————————————————————
Top Offensive Comps:  Rico Petrocelli, Todd Zeile

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 14, 2008 at 01:42 PM | 64 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. a steroid belt Posted: January 14, 2008 at 03:02 PM (#2667703)
Holy crap.
   2. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 14, 2008 at 03:11 PM (#2667707)
Pinky "The Egalitarian" Higgins

Is that an actual nickname? I hadn't heard it before.
   3. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 14, 2008 at 03:20 PM (#2667717)

Is that an actual nickname? I hadn't heard it before.


No, just an observation on Higgins.
   4. CraigK Posted: January 14, 2008 at 03:43 PM (#2667728)
Wow. Pinky Higgins was a world-class #########.
   5. Chris Dial Posted: January 14, 2008 at 04:30 PM (#2667773)
I think the projection is too low for Rolen (hitting wise). He's a HOFer so his decline phase should be more gradual.

Do you think ZiPS can be used to identify likely HOFers (perhaps by rate comps) and have an alternate career path?
   6. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 14, 2008 at 04:33 PM (#2667775)
I think the projection is too low for Rolen (hitting wise). He's a HOFer so his decline phase should be more gradual.

Do you think ZiPS can be used to identify likely HOFers (perhaps by rate comps) and have an alternate career path?


Is this sarcastic?
   7. MSI Posted: January 14, 2008 at 04:54 PM (#2667786)
I thought that too about Rolen. If the Yankees can pay all these great players who continue to be old and still play well, why can't it work for the Jays? Rolen will be 33-35 over the contract, but hopefully its just his shoulder. We really don't know all the info here. I think the Jays aren't faithful in Troy's ability to bounce back, and/or think Rolen will be OKAY. But they are assuming greater risk.
   8. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 14, 2008 at 05:01 PM (#2667797)
ZiPs does give kinder aging curves to people hitting like HOFers, but Rolen's been quite injured and wasn't even an average hitter in 2 of the last 3 seasons.
   9. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 14, 2008 at 05:07 PM (#2667800)
I thought that too about Rolen. If the Yankees can pay all these great players who continue to be old and still play well, why can't it work for the Jays? Rolen will be 33-35 over the contract, but hopefully its just his shoulder.

But Rolen isn't one of those players, thanks to the injuries. There's no "just" the shoulder for a pitcher or a hitter. Rolen's had 3 shoulder surgeries in less than 3 years, couldn't hit well at all in 2 of those years, and isn't at an age where he's likely to suddenly be healthier. Medicine has, as a whole, has made a lot fewer strides at fixing shoulder problems of baseball players than fixing elbow or wrist problems.
   10. xeifrank Posted: January 14, 2008 at 05:18 PM (#2667810)
Dave, are you taking into account park factor adjustments for Glaus' move from TOR to STL? Using three year park adjusted averages for TOR you get a rather large drop in hits and you have them going up. It looks like you adjusted Glaus to a neutral park not to the STL park. Toronto is the #1 most favorable right handed hitting HR park in the AL and STL one of the stingiest for right handed hitters in the NL. I see a larger drop in power for Glaus switching parks. You could argue that the pitching may be a bit weaker in the NL Central, but that's debatable too.
vr, Xei
   11. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 14, 2008 at 05:18 PM (#2667811)
Woo, I didn't know we could say prick! I think Jim banned me from the nanny filter after I kept reviving b---- and a--h---.
   12. Chris Dial Posted: January 14, 2008 at 05:20 PM (#2667814)
There's no "just" the shoulder for a pitcher or a hitter. Rolen's had 3 shoulder surgeries in less than 3 years, couldn't hit well at all in 2 of those years, and isn't at an age where he's likely to suddenly be healthier. Medicine has, as a whole, has made a lot fewer strides at fixing shoulder problems of baseball players than fixing elbow or wrist problems.

Fair enough, but if his shoulder is fixed, he's going to hit his optimistic mark for a few seasons. I forgot just how bad he was in '07 and how good he was in '06. Because if his shoulder is healthy, his "normal" line will be what you have as optimistic, and at 33, he could well post a 150.
   13. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 14, 2008 at 05:20 PM (#2667816)
Dave, are you taking into account park factor adjustments for Glaus' move from TOR to STL?

Yes. I don't do righty/lefty as the variances there are significantly higher than regular park effects, the latter of which aren't even useful in a very short-term. There's also a league adjustment.

I do hope you're the same fella on IM who calls me Dave because if not, I have to figure out why people think I'm Dave!
   14. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 14, 2008 at 05:21 PM (#2667818)
Fair enough, but if his shoulder is fixed, he's going to hit his optimistic mark for a few seasons. I forgot just how bad he was in '07 and how good he was in '06. Because if his shoulder is healthy, his "normal" line will be what you have as optimistic, and at 33, he could well post a 150.

I certainly hope ZiPS is wrong then - I love Rolen.
   15. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 14, 2008 at 05:25 PM (#2667822)
Thanks, guys. I didn't know anything at all about Higgins until I saw his name here.
   16. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 14, 2008 at 05:29 PM (#2667827)
If there ever was poetic justice, Higgins dropping dead of a heart attack less than a day after being paroled after two months for killing someone with his car is it.
   17. chemdoc Posted: January 14, 2008 at 05:38 PM (#2667832)
Woo, I didn't know we could say prick! I think Jim banned me from the nanny filter after I kept reviving b---- and a--h---.


I can understand nannying bonds, but why anaheim?
   18. DL from MN Posted: January 14, 2008 at 05:41 PM (#2667833)
Should the Cardinals move Pujols to 3B and Glaus to 1B? I'd try it, not sure if I'd actually do it.
   19. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 14, 2008 at 05:44 PM (#2667834)
Pujols has a bad elbow, apparently bad enough that he could end up with TJ surgery.

I loved saying the name "Rico Petrocelli" when I was 8.
   20. MSI Posted: January 14, 2008 at 05:51 PM (#2667843)
If Glaus produces reasonably well for STL, and Rolen is a bum in Toronto, I think it will be the straw that breaks the camels back with respect to Ricciardi being fired. I still think Glaus has a higher chance of being more productive next year, AND an extra contract year was assumed on the part of the Jays.
   21. Snowboy Posted: January 14, 2008 at 08:41 PM (#2668002)
MSI, you might be closer to the situation than I am...but I don't see this trade being a potential back-breaker for Riccardi. He has made some bad moves in the past. He's flat-out released decent players, made some awful trades, and his development strategies haven't produced much in terms of scouting-signing-minors=majors. And he hasn't been fired for any of that yet.
I see this as an incredibly bold trade. It might be the boldest move Riccardi has ever made, regarding a player(s). If it falls flat because Glaus turns out healthier than Rolen, yes the Jays could end up with a millstone contract. But considering things as-of-today, Glaus is a bad injury risk going forward as well; HE could have been the millstone for them. And financially, the two players are similar, except that Rolen is three years and Glaus is only two (yes, I am assuming Glaus would have exercised his option for '09).

I think Riccardi would be on thinner ice if he had given up Glaus for no MLB-ready talent, or if he had packaged him off with a bunch of the Jays own prospects. But since he hasn't done that, we come back to the Szym take on it: one gimpy player for another. And since I think the chances of Rolen returning to form as a really good player are about the same as Glaus returning to form as a really good player...why not give it a shot? A bold move by Riccardi.
   22. kwarren Posted: January 16, 2008 at 12:03 AM (#2669126)
I don't see this trade being a potential back-breaker for Riccardi. He has made some bad moves in the past. He's flat-out released decent players, made some awful trades, and his development strategies haven't produced much in terms of scouting-signing-minors=majors. And he hasn't been fired for any of that yet.

JP's best buddy is his boss, Paul Godfrey. As long as Godfrey is the president of the Blue Jays, JP can do no wrong.
   23. kwarren Posted: January 16, 2008 at 12:08 AM (#2669133)
I think the projection is too low for Rolen (hitting wise). He's a HOFer so his decline phase should be more gradual.

Other projections for Rolen:

Shandler - .816
CHONE - .802
STATS - .842 (no surprise here)
ZiPS - .711

ZiPS is the outlier here. I guess it all depends on the health situation you assume for Rolen.
   24. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 16, 2008 at 12:10 AM (#2669136)
I loved saying the name "Rico Petrocelli" when I was 8.

That makes him the Dante Bichette of his era.
   25. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 16, 2008 at 12:10 AM (#2669137)
Yeah, ZiPS is definitely an outlier with Rolen. One of the biggest departures from the pack opinion so far.
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: January 16, 2008 at 12:15 AM (#2669143)
I still think this is a bad deal for the Cardinals, but at least there is a chance Glaus won't be a waste of a roster space.
   27. jingoist Posted: January 16, 2008 at 12:50 AM (#2669185)
When I was a kid I loved saying " Ed Head and Lu Blue".
That's as far as I got on my "all-rhyming" name team, a pitcher and a 1B-man.

Chris Dial is optimistic about Rolen's eventuality of attaining the HoF.
Chipper Jones, for sure.
Scott Rolen, no way unless we see the Scott Rolen of 1997-2004 for the next 3 or 4 years.
   28. cardsfanboy Posted: January 16, 2008 at 01:18 AM (#2669218)
I disagree about Rolen not going to the HOF, he has a big name, he has a reputation as a player better than the numbers indicate and is still young enough to compile career numbers. He's a hof'er if he plays 420 games over the next three seasons. He doesn't need to be Scott Rolen of the past few years, Adrian Beltre would be acceptable. Yes he does need to put over 110 ops+ over the next three seasons, but that is pretty much a given if his shoulder returns at all.
   29. kwarren Posted: January 16, 2008 at 06:36 AM (#2669422)

Other projections for Rolen:

Shandler - .816
CHONE - .802
STATS - .842 (no surprise here)
ZiPS - .711

ZiPS is the outlier here. I guess it all depends on the health situation you assume for Rolen.

27. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 15, 2008 at 06:10 PM (#2669137)
Yeah, ZiPS is definitely an outlier with Rolen. One of the biggest departures from the pack opinion so far.


Let's not forget Aaron Hill.

Shandler - .820
CHONE - .769
STATS - .786 (hey, they're not the highest)
ZiPS - .715

This one I don't understand. There's no health issue here. Even if ZiPS turns out to be correct, I'll still say it was just dumb luck. Is there any reason for the negativity on Hill that we should know about?
   30.   Posted: January 16, 2008 at 06:51 AM (#2669429)
He's answered all the Hill questions about 40 times already. Basically, ZiPS is still somewhat incorporating Hill's less-than-stellar minor league numbers, and Hill doesn't have great comps.
   31. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: January 16, 2008 at 01:27 PM (#2669469)
I guess I'll chip in with what my system predicts for Hill:

With minor league numbers from 3,4 and 5 years ago:

.276/.335/.416

Using only his major league numbers:

.280/.337/.422

So at least in mine the minor league numbers don't do much.

So while I don't have it nearly as low as Dan, I do have it lower than the others listed.

One thing to note is that one year Slugging Percentages that are doubles heavy are very much a sign that the SLG should come down the next year. One of the fun stats is Mark Grudzielanek hitting 21 doubles in a full season the year after he hit 54.
   32. DCA Posted: January 16, 2008 at 02:20 PM (#2669476)
He's answered all the Hill questions about 40 times already.

Personally, I don't think Dan is using the most current exchange rate. The value of the U.S. OPS has been dropping relative to Canadian and most other foreign OPS.
   33. Mooser Posted: January 16, 2008 at 08:26 PM (#2669850)
ZIPs projections for the Jays hitters are definitely lower than other projection systems. But take the projections for the pitching staff - they are the other way. They may be too optimistic. My quick conversion of ZIPs ERA projection, and projections of playing time would suggest Jays have the best staff in the AL. I'm sure this has a lot to do with the fielders though.

Question to Dan. How much will replacing Glaus with Rolen effect the Jays ERA projections. I know this has more to do with groundball pitchers than anyone else, but take Burnett or Halladay for instance?
   34. Sparkles Peterson Posted: January 16, 2008 at 08:33 PM (#2669860)
Scott Rolen doesn't need to regain his peak numbers, he just has to put up a few more good seasons and remain a throwback player so that the writers will want to credit him for the production lost to the shoulder injuries (Which he got by playing hard-nosed baseball, don't forget). He's already been a better player over his career than Kirby Puckett, and while the fact that he's butted heads with his managers isn't helping, I think his throwback reputation and image as a natural Midwestern ballplayer in the steroid era more than offset it.
   35. PreservedFish Posted: January 16, 2008 at 09:00 PM (#2669886)
Wow, I am very surprised that you guys think Rolen stands such a good chance for the Hall. My gut reaction is "no" ... he's a 5-time all-star, only one got real MVP votes once. He's only made the OPS leaderboards once. So my slightly more studied reaction is another "no." He is the best fielding 3B of his generation, which is a huge bonus.

I think he needs a lot more than a few Adrian Beltre seasons. I think he needs some more Scott Rolen, 2003-4 seasons, which is the only time IMO he looked like he was doing Hall of Fame stuff. In Philly, he was a damn good hitter and an incredible defender, and although I may be undervaluing his defense my impression then was that he was not performing at a peak "I"m watching a HOFer" level but probably at the level where 15+ years of compiling might be enough.

With his shoulder the way it is you have to guess that compiling will be a problem. And I don't think he was a good enough hitter to get in on peak value. But he is still young for this debate.
   36. PreservedFish Posted: January 16, 2008 at 09:07 PM (#2669892)
And Rolen is not going to get any credit for his shoulder problems, should they continue to derail his career. Just as Mattingly gets none for his back problems.
   37. Spahn Insane Posted: January 16, 2008 at 09:19 PM (#2669893)
If Ron Santo's not a HOFer, there's no way in hell Rolen is. (OK, that's a little unfair to Rolen, because Santo was a HOF-caliber player, notwithstanding the BBWAA/Vets Committee's collective stupidity.) Rolen, career wise, needs about another 3 or 4 seasons of above-average production to be essentially Santo's equal. I wouldn't count on it given his health, but it's not impossible.
   38. JPWF13 Posted: January 16, 2008 at 09:30 PM (#2669902)
Shandler - .816
CHONE - .802
STATS - .842 (no surprise here)
ZiPS - .711

ZiPS is the outlier here. I guess it all depends on the health situation you assume for Rolen.


Brock2 has him at .280/.343/.450
Flatline Marcel has .270/.342/.436

Personally I think he either going to hit like ZIPs or worse, or like STATS or better, no middle ground.
   39. AROM Posted: January 16, 2008 at 09:41 PM (#2669909)
Personally I think he either going to hit like ZIPs or worse, or like STATS or better, no middle ground.


In this case that seems like a good call.
   40. PreservedFish Posted: January 16, 2008 at 09:42 PM (#2669910)
Santo had a better peak than Rolen ever did, 4 years with an OPS+ averaging around 155, which Rolen has only matched in a single season. He also appeared on the leaderboards much more often. I would guess that Rolen is considered the better fielder of the two, but Santo was a multi-GG winner so the advantage can't be huge.

Santo isn't a great litmus test to use though - the voters goofed on him, plain and simple, so we shouldn't use him as a baseline in constructing our own personal Halls, and hopefully the voters won't in the future.
   41. Sparkles Peterson Posted: January 16, 2008 at 09:45 PM (#2669912)
Ron Santo is hurt by his reputation as a choker. No matter whether he deserves it or not, he's got it. Rolen has a unique combination of being an intellectual and thus a good interview, a hard-nosed throwback ballplayer, and a genuine MVP-caliber performer in his best years. I'm not saying if Rolen retired after one or two more near-All Star seasons he'd have had a better career than Santo, but he will have a much better chance of being elected to the Hall of Fame.
   42. Mike Green Posted: January 16, 2008 at 09:46 PM (#2669913)
#39,

Santo and Rolen are quite comparable players. Santo was much more durable in his 20s and had a touch more O; Rolen made up for it with his D.

Saying that Santo was a HOF-caliber player understates his case. He would be in the upper half of the HoM/HoF.
   43. BTL: Lesser Primate, 4th Class Trainee Posted: January 16, 2008 at 10:02 PM (#2669928)
This was probably mentioned back in 2004, but Rolen's 2004 postseason stats were erratic:
0-12 with 6 bb in NLDS, then 1045 OPS in 31 plate appearances in NLCS (9-29, 3 HR), then 0-15, 1 bb in the world series.

Rolen may make the HOM due to his superior defense, and considering his bat compared to other 3Bs, but very hard to see him making the HOF. Even if he pads his stats a few more years, his counting numbers are low, his home runs are very low compared to non-3bs, his batting average isn't spectacular, he only had over 100 RBI a few times, etc. Black and grey ink low. . . not sure what his FEAR FACTOR rating is
   44. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: January 16, 2008 at 10:11 PM (#2669939)
Do you think ZiPS can be used to identify likely HOFers (perhaps by rate comps) and have an alternate career path?


There's something a little off about this... should the "and" read as "who"?
I don't know how this could work well--there are a lot more guys who looked like HOFers in their early 30s and didn't make it, than who did. I don't see how rate stats would help tell you which guys are falling off the cliff and which are okay.

Something that might be useful is to take a look at all HOFers and see how many had a season roughly as bad as Rolen's 2007, then came back. It's not going to be many.
   45. Spahn Insane Posted: January 16, 2008 at 10:17 PM (#2669942)
Ron Santo is hurt by his reputation as a choker. No matter whether he deserves it or not, he's got it.

I've never heard this, unless you mean by association (by virtue of his being a '69 Cub). And for the love of god, spare me the "hard-nosed Midwestern throwback player" crap.

Santo was much more durable in his 20s and had a touch more O; Rolen made up for it with his D.

Santo had more than "a touch more O" than Rolen at his peak; he had a 4-year stretch where his average offensive performance equaled Rolen's best (by far) single season. Given that, and Santo's longer career to this point, I seriously doubt Rolen's D makes up the difference, given that Santo was a superb defensive third baseman. He might not have been as good as Rolen, but there'd have to be a serious difference in quality to make up Santo's advantage on offense.

OK--if the Santo comparison's unfair (and it probably is), how about another lesser third baseman than Santo who's not in the HOF: Ken Boyer. Boyer also had a longer career than Rolen's had to this point, and wasn't quite as good (especially defensively), but he's better than, say, Freddie Lindstrom (and so wouldn't represent the bottom of the barrel of HOF third basemen). Or Graig Nettles, who had a longer career than Rolen and thus better bulk numbers (and was also an outstanding defender), but inferior rate stats. Or Darrell Evans.
   46. Spahn Insane Posted: January 16, 2008 at 10:19 PM (#2669945)
Santo isn't a great litmus test to use though - the voters goofed on him, plain and simple, so we shouldn't use him as a baseline in constructing our own personal Halls, and hopefully the voters won't in the future.

Right, and I suppose that was at least partially my point in bringing him up: a HOF without Santo but with Rolen (let alone Freddie feckin' Lindstrom) is a joke to begin with.
   47. Sparkles Peterson Posted: January 16, 2008 at 10:43 PM (#2669961)
This was probably mentioned back in 2004, but Rolen's 2004 postseason stats were erratic:
0-12 with 6 bb in NLDS, then 1045 OPS in 31 plate appearances in NLCS (9-29, 3 HR), then 0-15, 1 bb in the world series.


On the other hand, if the Tigers' outfielders could track a popup without falling down, he's the MVP of the '06 World Series and Eckstein isn't.

I've never heard this, unless you mean by association (by virtue of his being a '69 Cub). And for the love of god, spare me the "hard-nosed Midwestern throwback player" crap.


Santo played poorly down the stretch and was saddled with the blame for that. He had a bit of the A-Rod thing going on in his career and it's hurt his HoF chances. And the "Midwestern throwback player" stuff is crap, but it's just the kind of crap that's going to endear him to sportswriters.
   48. Spahn Insane Posted: January 16, 2008 at 10:48 PM (#2669966)
Santo played poorly down the stretch and was saddled with the blame for that.

The team in general played pretty poorly (didn't keep Banks, Williams or Jenkins out of the HOF), and even in the pre-statistical analysis days, what kind of idiot would think Santo could've cost the Cubs 8 games in the standings over the course of 6 weeks?
   49. Sparkles Peterson Posted: January 16, 2008 at 10:50 PM (#2669968)
The same kind of idiot that thinks that A-Rod has been the problem with every team he's played on. AKA 90% of baseball fans.
   50. Spahn Insane Posted: January 16, 2008 at 10:51 PM (#2669971)
And the "Midwestern throwback player" stuff is crap, but it's just the kind of crap that's going to endear him to sportswriters.

Well, maybe, but I'm not sure that's as true now as it once was. Even sportswriters are capable of gaining a LITTLE sophistication (and people are now a little more cognizant of the fact that the phrase is basically code for "hustling white guy who gets his uniform dirty"). And I guess I haven't observed quite the fawning over Rolen as a "throwback" player (as opposed to just a really good player) like we saw with, say, Lenny Dykstra.
   51. Spahn Insane Posted: January 16, 2008 at 10:52 PM (#2669973)
The same kind of idiot that thinks that A-Rod has been the problem with every team he's played on. AKA 90% of baseball fans.

Of course, ARod'll waltz into the HOF (and he's a lot more qualified than Santo, of course), but the venom directed toward ARod by fans of his own team I will never, ever understand.
   52. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: January 16, 2008 at 11:05 PM (#2669988)
And I guess I haven't observed quite the fawning over Rolen as a "throwback" player (as opposed to just a really good player) like we saw with, say, Lenny Dykstra.


So who is the "scrappy" black or brown guy these days, the one who gets by on sheer grit and intelligence, as opposed to raw, athletic ability?
   53. Spahn Insane Posted: January 16, 2008 at 11:32 PM (#2670008)
So who is the "scrappy" black or brown guy these days, the one who gets by on sheer grit and intelligence, as opposed to raw, athletic ability?

Sorta my point...how often do you hear a non-white guy referred to as a "throwback [or hell, "scrappy"]?" Then again, if by "throwback" we mean pre-1947, I suppose he'd be white almost by definition....
   54. cardsfanboy Posted: January 16, 2008 at 11:36 PM (#2670017)
Santo is getting screwed to be honest, it's not fair to put him in comparison to Rolen as mentioned. I would campaign for Santo before Rolen right now of course, and in my opinion anybody that campaigns for a player should acknowledge right off the bat that Raines, Santo and Blyleven are the best available choices, before starting their arguments for their player.


Rolen has the characteristics that the BBWAA like for the most part, factor in that by the time he retires there will be a stronger recognition of the imbalance of the hof for third baseman.

as far as comparing him to others, assuming again 3 years of Beltre level performance(that is about 110-115 ops+) will give Rolen a career ops+ over 120 still, over 300 Hrs, and he surpasses Boyer in pretty much every meaningful career stat. Nettles 110 ops+ over his career really shouldn't even enter the discussion, his entire case is career based, and once again with 3 above average seasons Rolen probably passes or closes the gap tremendously on those numbers then add in that Rolen has three seasons better than Nettles best and Nettles isn't really in this discussion. Darrel Evans is a good comparison, longer career probably about the same ops+ when Rolen finishes his career, not sure about his defense though(0 gold gloves so it wasn't super well regarded in his time--vs Rolen where some people overclaim -best ever at his position)


I don't think anyone is saying Rolen is a HOF'er now, at least I'm not. And if he doesn't rebound at all, then he isn't going to make it either. He breaks 300 homeruns(39 away)1300 rbis(288 away) and keeps his ops+ above 119 and I think he's a lock, winning a gold glove in the AL will also help his case. If he goes three years with over 110 ops+ in Toronto then it gives him the ability to surpass all of Santo career numbers(non-era adjusted) by just hanging around.



His case then would be to the writers...Santos numbers, elite level gold glove defender, with a world series ring, and of course an hard nosed attitude that the writers love so much. I actually don't see how he misses at that point, and this is assuming no seasons on par with 2000-20004.
   55. Spahn Insane Posted: January 16, 2008 at 11:40 PM (#2670021)
Hell, I'm not even knocking Rolen--he's been a hell of a player, and it's not like he'd be the worst 3B in the HOF even if he retired now.
   56. The Good Face Posted: January 17, 2008 at 04:54 PM (#2670381)
I think Rolen would be a decent candidate if he can put together 2000 more plate appearances with an OPS+ of 110 or more, but I'd be shocked if the writers would consider him so without a few more big seasons. He almost certainly won't sniff any statistical milestones, he's had exactly 1 MVP type season, and although people think his defense is good, I don't see the perception that it's legendary, Ozzie Smith/Brooks Robinson/Very-best-of-all-time-at-his-position good, the kind of good that gets HOF votes.

I'm surprised anybody thinks he's a serious candidate as of today though. Relatively short career (thus far), unimpressive peak (one great season, but probably no better than 5th in his league), a fair amount of missed time to injury, and a guy who's worn out his welcome in two cities so far. No Black Ink, little Grey Ink, weak on HOF Standards and Monitor, and only one HOFer in his comparables, Larry Doby, who is an exceptional case. Exactly how much credit do you have to give Rolen's defense to make him look like a HOFer right now?
   57. Spahn Insane Posted: January 17, 2008 at 05:06 PM (#2670386)
Exactly how much credit do you have to give Rolen's defense to make him look like a HOFer right now?

I don't think he'd be a GOOD selection right now, but I think there are third basemen in the HOF who did less over their careers than Rolen's already done (Lindstrom, Kell, possibly Traynor, I'm lookin' at you).

HOF third basemen are such a weird lot--they're underrepresented proportionately compared to other positions, yet one of the half-dozen or so best ever (Santo) is out, while a bunch of completely unqualified guys are in, along with the other all-time greats at the position.

The thing about Santo's not getting in that's weirdest to me is that, at the time of his retirement, he was probably the second best 3B of all time, behind Matthews (though obviously Robinson was perceived as being better, as was Traynor). But even accounting for Robinson's overratedness, you'd think the third or fourth-best player ever at an important position wouldn't have so much trouble getting honored. (And of course, once he didn't get in initially, we got an unprecedented glut of great 3B [Schmidt/Brett/Boggs/etc.], which knocks Santo down the list, making recognition for him all the more unlikely.)
   58. Mike Green Posted: January 17, 2008 at 05:34 PM (#2670407)
"The thing about Santo's not getting in that's weirdest to me is that, at the time of his retirement, he was probably the second best 3B of all time, behind Matthews (though obviously Robinson was perceived as being better, as was Traynor)."

It wouldn't have been the first time that the BBWAA whiffed like that. Arky Vaughan was arguably the second best MLB shortstop of all time at the time he retired. And just wait to see what they do with Barry Larkin...
   59. Spahn Insane Posted: January 17, 2008 at 06:30 PM (#2670455)
It wouldn't have been the first time that the BBWAA whiffed like that. Arky Vaughan was arguably the second best MLB shortstop of all time at the time he retired.

Good point (not that that justifies such ignorance, of course). In fact, I'd say he was almost certainly the second best SS at that point. (He got in eventually, but, what--50 years after he retired?)
   60. Spahn Insane Posted: January 17, 2008 at 06:32 PM (#2670458)
Looking at Vaughan's bbref page--wonder if the fact that he was dead by the time he was HOF-eligible had something to do with his delayed induction; I'm guessing it did.
   61. kwarren Posted: January 18, 2008 at 08:15 AM (#2670996)
Of course, ARod'll waltz into the HOF (and he's a lot more qualified than Santo, of course), but the venom directed toward ARod by fans of his own team I will never, ever understand.

1) $$$$$$$$$
2) pompous attitude
3) knocking ball out of pitcher's glove (it would be OK for Rose to do this)
4) successfully calling Jay's rookie 3B off a routine pop-up (pure genius if Jeter did it)
5) and more $$$$$$$$
6) his agent
7) derth of World Series titles
8) did we say $$$$$$$$
   62. Outdoor Miner Posted: January 23, 2008 at 07:50 PM (#2674788)
4) successfully calling Jay's rookie 3B off a routine pop-up (pure genius if Jeter did it)


Sadly,
Mr. Howie Clark was no callow rookie at 33 ...

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