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.
Cubs starter Yu Darvish suffered a setback during Sunday’s rehab start with Low-A South Bend, The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg reports. Darvish threw just 19 pitches in the first inning and felt fine. However, when he took the mound to warm up ahead of the second inning, Darvish “felt something” in his injured right elbow. He exited the game to undergo an MRI.
Darvish’s condition isn’t yet known, but it’s obviously bad news. Darvish signed a six-year, $126 million contract in February and has made just eight starts this season. He owns a 4.95 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 21 walks in 40 innings and hasn’t pitched since May 20.
Darvish said he hopes to return before the end of the regular season to help the team. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is realistic about the situation. He said, “It’s a process. We’ll see how he feels. It’s been a long road back, so there’s no point in rushing it now. We probably have one chance given where we are on the calendar to get this right, so that’s the priority.”
Mike Montgomery has pitched out of the rotation in Darvish’s place but he is also currently on the disabled list. Tyler Chatwood, with a 5.22 ERA and 93 walks in 101 2/3 innings, was booted from the rotation at the end of July after the Cubs acquired Cole Hamels. The Cubs, entering Sunday 20 games over .500 and fewer than five games ahead of the Cardinals and Brewers in the NL Central, need some reliability at the back of the rotation.