USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted his Hall of Fame ballot earlier today. It’s somewhat unusual as far as these things go: Barry Larkin, Rafael Palmeiro, Fred McGriff, Jack Morris and Alan Trammell.
Nightengale then said that he votes for PED guys because we’ll never know who did and who didn’t use. That explains his vote for Rafael Palmeiro. And that’s fair. But that does mean that — on the merits — he thinks that Jeff Bagwell was inferior to both Palmeiro and Fred McGriff. And that seems pretty far off the mark to me.
If you read up his timeline, Nightengale responds to questions about that (which is very admirable by the way). He notes Palmeiro’s counting stats — home run and RBI totals for example — and notes that Bagwell would have made it had he made it to 500 homers. But of course McGriff only hit 493. And didn’t play in the awful hitting environment of the Astrodome for nine years like Bagwell did. He explains his love for McGriff more in terms of consistency.
Well, viva consistency, I suppose.
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”