Adam Morris of Lonestarball just tweeted something that made my mind reel for a few seconds:
No starting pitcher who debuted in the majors after 1967 has been elected to the Hall of Fame.
Nolan Ryan’s first game was in 1966. Since then the only arguable exception is Dennis Eckersley, but he obviously wasn’t inducted on the strength of his starting pitching.
This speaks mostly to a period of good-but-not-great pitchers who came up after the Tom Seaver/Phil Niekro/Nolan Ryan/Don Sutton crowd. Guys like Jack Morris. Dave Stieb. Dennis Martinez. An untold number of guys who were drafted and began their development in the early 70s environment in which 275 innings was the expectation, not grounds for a union grievance. How many Hall of Fame arms were blown up during that time?
Whatever the cause, it will end soon. Bert Blyleven should be in by now and we shouldn’t even be talking about this, but he may very well make it next year. We’re a couple years away from Maddux, Glavine, Randy Johnson and the giant clusterf— that will be Roger Clemens’ eligibility period.
Between Ryan and those guys, though: no one, and that’s interesting if for no other reason than it made me think of why it was the case in the first place.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.