Historical precedent suggests Jack Morris will finally get into the Hall of Fame

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Tangotiger looked at past Hall of Fame results and concluded that it seems likely, based on historical precedent, that Jack Morris will, at some point make it into Cooperstown whether by the Baseball Writers Association of America, or by the Veterans Committee. Morris first appeared on the ballot in 2000, receiving 22.2 percent of the vote. Since then, his share was 19.6, 20.6, 22.8, 26.3, 33.3, 41.2, 37.1, 42.9, 44.0, 52.3, 53.5, 66.7, and 67.7 last year.

Tango writes:

The player with the highest share of ballots to not (eventually) make the Hall of Fame was Gil Hodges, at 63% of votes at his peak. Jack Morris received 68% last year. He’d be the new leader. But he won’t be for long, because the Veteran’s Committee will vote him in eventually.

After Hodges (*), second place is Tony Oliva at 47%. Do you know what this means? It means it’s completely ridiculous to make a player need 75% of the votes. As soon as you hit 50, you will eventually make it. Why make the player wait and wait and wait? To be sure? Well, other than Gil Hodges, everyone made it in!

Morris finished his career with a 3.90 ERA in 3,824 innings over 18 seasons. If inducted, he would become the new leader in career ERA among Hall of Fame pitchers, exceeding Red Ruffin’s 3.80. Additionally, the average Hall of Famer compiled 69.0 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference. Morris ended his career at 43.8, which would rank 53rd of 71 enshrined hurlers, putting him between Chief Bender and Lefty Gomez. The case for Morris, though, has rarely relied on stats. Rather, supporters have focused on how much hitters feared him and how he was considered the best pitcher of his era. However, he received Cy Young votes in seven of 18 seasons and never finished higher than third.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.