Baseball Notebook

Daily Baseball Blog

Future HOF Pitchers Playing Today

There are only two pitchers playing today that are locks for the Hall of Fame and both of them are closers. Trevor Hoffman with 591 saves should post his 600th save early next season and Mariano Rivera with 526 saves have the best shot of being voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Randy Johnson is not included since he probably won’t be pitching in 2010 and everyone knows he is a lock for the Hall of Fame.

Hoffman lowered his ERA by almost two runs per game from his last season with the Padres. His 3.77 ERA in 2008 was lowered to 1.83 ERA last season with the Brewers. The 1.83 ERA was the second lowest of his 17 year career.

He played on seven All Star teams and was second in Cy Young voting twice. Baseball-reference.com compares his stats to those of one Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter and one future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera.

Rivera has had an ERA under 2.00 an amazing nine times in his 15 year career. His 2.25 lifetime ERA is 14th best alltime with Hoffman next among active pitchers with a 2.72 ERA and 72nd on the list. The next active pitcher on the list is Johan Santana listed 210th with a 3.11 ERA.

He is a ten time All Star and has a 8-1 record with a 0.74 ERA in the postseason. He has allowed only 82 hits in 133 innings of pitching during the postseason. He has allowed only two homers in those 133 innings of postseason pitching which is an amazing statistic.

Like Hoffman his stats compare to those of Bruce Sutter and Hoffman is the only future Hall of Famer that has stats comparable to Rivera.

Rivera was 40 last Sunday, Hoffman will be 42 all next season and Smoltz will be 43 next May. All three should be pitching in 2010 and adding to their Hall of Fame resumes but all three should be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in another seven or eight years.

The only starter with a shot of being voted in is John Smoltz with 213 wins and a 3.33 ERA. His 154 saves increase his chances of being voted in but his 6-10 record over the last two seasons is not impressing voters. He has won more than 15 games only three times in his career with 24, 17 and 16 win seasons in 1996, 1998 and 2006.

He has had a sterling record during the postseason with a 15-4 record with a 2.67 ERA. He was on eight All Star teams and won the NL Cy Young Award in 1996.

Baseball-reference.com compares his stats to those of Hall of Famers Jim Bunning, Catfish Hunter and Don Drysdale.

 

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2 thoughts on “Future HOF Pitchers Playing Today

  1. francisco on said:

    You mention Hall of Fame caliber pitchers and link the names of Hoffman and Rivera in your thesis, the opening paragraph. Other than that they are both pitchers, you rank them via the Regular Season Total Save Stat. You don’t mention that stat is dependent on Save Opportunities, which are determined by a team’s marketing philosophy (ie using compilation of cheap Regular Season Total Save Stats as a way to hype your pitcher’s ability and get him to win more prizes) the team’s manager, and how the bullpen is constructed. In Hoffman’s case, the bullpens have often been constructed to provide him with the easiest opportunities. The Regular Season Total Save Stat is the most misleading stat there is when you don’t include runners on base and multi-inning appearances, etc., but in any case does not apply to Hall of Fame consideration. Hall of Fame includes regular season, all star, and post season. You mention All Star games, but you don’t mention ERA’s there. Hoffman has a post season record and an ERA which you don’t mention. He’s also given up 32 more home runs (in regular season) than Rivera while often pitching in low stakes environments. You mention Cy Young voting results as a qualification for HOF. Interestingly, Hoffman has done gangbusters in that area, while Rivera has been all but ignored even with his superior performance. It always helps Hoffman and Bud Selig (Hoffman’s biggest campaigner) to have his name mentioned in concert with Rivera. The problem is, there is no comparison between the two whatsoever. Hoffman’s name should never be mentioned with Rivera’s. See Howard Bryant’s opinion on that in a column he wrote about Rivera after one of his 8th inning performances v the Angels in this year’s ALCS. He said there is a huge gap between Rivera and any other late inning reliever. Having difficult opportunities and succeeding in them are two different things.

    • It goes without mentioning that Rivera had far more postseason opportunities to pitch than Hoffman so there was no reason to compare his record with that of Rivera. All Star stats mean nothing to me.

      If it appeared I was favoring Hoffman over Rivera that was not my intention. I was just listing stats of the three pitchers pitching today that might be Hall of Fame worthy. Rivera is clearly the better pitcher even with the fewer saves but regular seasons do count and it isn’t fair to penalize Hoffman because he didn’t get more chances to pitch in the postseason.

      If I was trying to make Rivera seem less important I could have left out a lot of his best stats. I had mentioned how many homers Hoffman had given up in an earlier post so it wasn’t like I was trying to campaign for him. If regular season saves don’t mean anything why do they keep records of them? I think Lee Smith should be in the Hall of Fame. He had the most total saves for years yet relievers like Bruce Sutter got in ahead of him with 178 less saves.

      I respect your opinion but I let the stats speak for themselves and see no reason why Hoffman and Rivera can’t both be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Hoffman will have twice as many saves as Sutter and he is already in so there is no reason to ban him from the Hall of Fame.

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