Tim Raines is not going to be on the list of names (er, probably name) when the Hall of Fame inductees are announced on Monday. But as we’ve argued over and over again around here, he should be. But he has time. Like Bert Blyleven, it will take some years and some persuading and eventually — hopefully — the voters will see the light.
John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle has seen the light. And I want to highlight it just so that the anti-Raines camp can’t do what so many anti-Blyleven types used to do and claim that it was just a cabal of deranged bloggers who pushed his candidacy. The part I want to highlight is this:
Hall of Fame leadoff hitter Lou Brock, whose career steals crown was swiped by Henderson, reached base fewer times than Raines (3,833) and had a lower on-base percentage (.343) and lower stolen-base success rate (75.3 percent). In fewer plate appearances, Raines had more homers and RBIs.
As Shea notes, Raines suffers because he wasn’t Rickey Henderson. Well, duh, no one was except Rickey Henderson. He is in the inner-circle of the inner-circle of all-time greats. But Lou Brock is a Hall of Famer too. And if there’s room for him in Cooperstown, there has to be room for Raines too, doesn’t there?
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.