Twitter questions are tomorrow, but I got a random one thrown my way about five minutes ago by reader BioInFocus:
When was the last time a team won the World Series without having a future Hall of Famer on the roster?
Obviously that’s hard to answer given that, you know, the best players in a World Series tend to be in their prime, so we don’t know if they’ll fall off a cliff, Dale Murphy-style or if they’ll have a standard career arc that takes them in to Cooperstown. So, I look at the 2010 Giants and I can say that, sure, it’s possible Tim Lincecum might make the Hall of Fame one day, but it’s obviously way too early to say.
Before that I look at the 2008 Phillies. Jimmy Rollins could make it. Too early to tell with a guy like Cole Hamels. I dare not mention Ryan Howard lest we get another 350 comment thread. I don’t think there are any dead-certain locks there, but you can’t discount the idea that someone from that team makes it into the Hall. (UPDATE: Duh, I forgot Utley, who may have the best case of all of them when it’s all said and done).
Going to 2007, Manny Ramirez should be an easy lock for the Hall, but PEDs and his general flakiness will probably keep him out for a while. David Ortiz will be an interesting case. PEDs and affability are a whole other story, after all. If there’s controversy for him it will be over whether a DH should be in with his numbers.
The 2005 White Sox are also interesting. Frank Thomas was on that team, but he didn’t play in the World Series, so maybe he doesn’t count? Paul Konerko is going to get some Hall of Fame support, though, so we can’t be sure.
If we’re going with dead certainty, I suppose we have to say the 2002 Angels. There really isn’t a guy on that roster with a colorable case at all if you ask me.
In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.
Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.
Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.
The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.
MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.
Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.
“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”
Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.
MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.
It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.
The Reds announced on Twitter that the club has hired former manager Lou Pinella in a consultant capacity as a senior advisor to baseball operations. John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer adds that Pinella will also spend time with the team at spring training.
Pinella, 72, was last seen with the Giants in 2011, also in a consultant capacity, but he spent only the one season there. He has 23 seasons of experience as a manager, with his most recent four coming with the Cubs between 2007-10.