Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome, and Trevor Hoffman elected to the Hall of Fame on 2018 ballot

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Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero, and Trevor Hoffman were elected to the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers Association of America. The results were just released. Jones got 92.2 percent of the vote in his first appearance on the ballot, Guerrero with 92.9 percent (second time), Thome with 89.8 percent (first time), Hoffman with 79.9 percent (third time).

Jones, now 45, spent parts of 19 seasons in the majors, all with the Braves. He hit .303/.401/.529 across his career with 458 home runs, 1,623 RBI, 1,619 runs scored, and 150 stolen bases. He won the 1999 National League MVP Award, made the NL All-Star team eight times, won two Silver Slugger Awards, and won the batting title in 2008 with a .364 average. He helped the Braves win the World Series in 1995 in six games over the Indians. Jones was part of the Braves’ historic dominance as the club made the playoffs in 11 consecutive seasons from 1995-2005, which included two other World Series appearances.

Jones is one of the best switch-hitters in baseball history. According to Baseball Reference, only Mickey Mantle accrued more WAR (109.7) than Jones (85.0) among switch-hitters. He’s ahead of Pete Rose (79.1), Ozzie Smith (79.5), and Frankie Frisch (70.4). Jones is also one of the best third basemen in baseball history. His 85.0 WAR is fifth-best all-time behind Mike Schmidt (106.5), Eddie Mathews (96.4), Adrian Beltre (93.9), and Wade Boggs (91.1). He’s ahead of Brooks Robinson (78.4) and Ron Santo (70.4).

Thome, 47, hit .276/.402/.554 with 612 home runs, 1,699 RBI, and 1,583 runs scored in his 22-year career. He spent 13 of those years with the Indians, followed by four each with the Phillies and White Sox, two with the Twins, and short stints with the Dodgers and Orioles. Thome is eighth on the all-time home run leaderboard behind Albert Pujols (614) and ahead of Sammy Sosa (609). Thome’s eye at the plate was just as important as his power, as he led the league in walks three times and drew 1,747 total over the course of his career. He made five All-Star teams and won an AL Silver Slugger Award in 1996.

Guerrero, 42, played 16 seasons in the majors. Eight of those came with the Expos, six with the Angels, and one each with the Rangers and Orioles. He hit .318/.379/.553 with 449 home runs, 1,496 RBI, 1,328 runs scored, and 181 stolen bases. Guerrero won the 2004 AL MVP Award and eight Silver Slugger Awards (three in the NL, five in the AL), and made nine All-Star teams (three NL, five AL).

Guerrero was known as one of the best “bad ball” hitters of all time, meaning that he was able to find success on pitches well outside of the strike zone. See it yourself:

Guerrero was also known for his absolute rifle of an arm in right field:

Hoffman, 50, compiled 601 saves — second-most all-time behind Rivera — across an 18-year career. He and Rivera are the only closers with more than 478 saves, in fact, showcasing both players’ pitching prowess and longevity. Hoffman also had a career 2.87 ERA with 1,133 strikeouts over 1,089 1/3 innings. The right-hander was drafted by the Reds, went to the Marlins in the 1992 expansion draft, and was traded to the Padres in 1993 in the Gary Sheffield deal.

Congratulations to the four newest inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame. They will join Jack Morris and Alan Trammell, who were elected last month on the Modern Era ballot.

Players that got between five and 75 percent of the vote will reappear on next year’s ballot. Those include: Barry Bonds (56.4%), Roger Clemens (57.3%), Andruw Jones (7.3%), Jeff Kent (14.5%), Edgar Martinez (70.4%), Fred McGriff (23.2%), Mike Mussina (63.5%), Manny Ramirez (22.0%), Scott Rolen (10.2%), Curt Schilling (51.2%), Gary Sheffield (11.1%), Sammy Sosa (7.8%), Omar Vizquel (37.0%), Billy Wagner (11.1%), and Larry Walker (34.1%).

Dropping off the ballot with less than five percent of the vote: Jamie Moyer (2.4%), Johan Santana (2.4%), Johnny Damon (1.9%), Hideki Matsui (0.9%), Chris Carpenter (0.5%), Kerry Wood (0.5%), Livan Hernandez (0.2%), Carlos Lee (0.2%), Orlando Hudson (0%), Aubrey Huff (0%), Jason Isringhausen (0%), Brad Lidge (0%), Kevin Millwood (0%), and Carlos Zambrano (0%).

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.