The Hall of Fame case for Jeff Bagwell

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Last week Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times made the Hall of Fame case for Tim Raines.  He did it in decidedly non-advanced stats terms in order to preempt the “you sabermetricians and your voodoo sorcery!” objections.  If you read it and still can’t call Tim Raines a Hall of Famer there’s no helping you.

Today Chris gives Jeff Bagwell the same treatment. Maybe it’s not as necessary. I get the sense that Bagwell would be in easily if not for the irresponsible steroid speculation surrounding him, so convincing people that his numbers were awesome is sort of beside the point.

But in the event you need convincing, check it out. And if you still don’t think Bagwell is a Hall of Famer after reading it, it’s incumbent upon you to explain why.

Masahiro Tanaka to throw off a mound this weekend

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Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.

Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.

Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.