Player movement and more HOF talk @ MLBRT 2/2

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This week at the Roundtable… some Hot Stove talk about player movement and more HOF discussion…

1) The San Francisco Giants led the majors with 30 blown saves last. In the offseason they signed free agent reliever/closer Mark Melacon.

 Is Melacon the answer to the Giants blown saves problem? Why or why not?

archie1-300x277Archie: He is probably as good as any option they had at their availability. He certainly has the make up for it. He led the Majors in saves in 15 and had another 47 last season.

I think they probably found their man.

Mark Melancon being introduced as a new pitcher for the San Francisco Giants
Mark Melancon being introduced as a new pitcher for the San Francisco Giants

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jensen got bigger deals than Melancon but Melancon is the answer to the Giants problems.

He’s a legitimate closer and that is what they need, since blown saves was their Achilles heel last season. In Melancon, they have a pitcher that they can trust to close the game out and get the win.

steve-01-288x300Steve: I’ll say this, it may solve their problems.

I think Melacon is the best closer signing of the off season. The Giants scored big on this. However, their bullpen was not just an issue with the closer. They have a lot more problems in their middle relief than just the closing role. They are talented enough to be one of the best, and, just adding Melancon to have someone who you know will be your everyday closer, and, to not have a merry-go-round of closers. That alone can help the psyche of the players.

2) The Colorado Rockies signed free agent and longtime shortstop Ian Desmond who was converted to centerfielder last season by the Texas Rangers. All indications are that the Rockies intend to play Desmond at neither position but rather at first base. The 31-year-old Desmond has never played one out at first base never mind in a MLB game. 

Is this a good move by the Rockies or something that will probably bite them in their posterior end as the 2017 season plays itself out? 

archie1-300x277Archie: We know he can hit if only he did not strike out so much. The thin air in Colorado might even help that. His HRs will probably improve.

Ian Desmond officially joins Rockies
Ian Desmond officially joins Rockies

Now, for his fielding… he made a lot of errors playing shortstop for the Nats and still had quite a few as an OF for Texas. I think he will probably work out at first, but, don’t look for him to be a better fielder than he has already proven to be.

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: Horrible move.

Handing out a big deal to a player that has never played the position will come back to bite them. Transitioning to first base is not an easy thing to do. Transitioning to first base takes a lot of work, and players often fail making that move and Desmond will fail. Bad move from the Rockies.


steve-01-288x300Steve: If, there is one position that a good player can transition to, it has to be first base. I think, Desmond will be fine once he gets the reps in and works the position every day.

I had never played first base when I was a shortstop, but, I did just fine after a week or so back when I played.

3) In your opinion, which team has made the best individual free agent signing so far in this season’s Hot Stove action? Who and why?

archie1-300x277Archie: I went thru team by team and honestly cannot see a single standout offseason for anyone. There was movement but not many that made sense.

Maybe, and, again maybe, Houston by acquiring veteran talent in McCann, Beltran and resigning of Gattis.

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: Edwin Encarnacion to the Indians.

Cleveland signs Edwin Encarnacion to 3-year deal
Cleveland signs Edwin Encarnacion to 3-year deal

The Clevleland Indians pick up a big bat at a reasonable price… 3 years, $65 million is a good deal for a team that came close to winning the World Series.

steve-01-288x300Steve: As mentioned earlier, Melacon is a good pick up for the Giants, but, I don’t think that completes them.

I think, Edwin Encarnacion going to Cleveland is the best pick up because it adds much needed power to an already good lineup, and, a solid pitching staff. EE may just push the Tribe over the top and maybe pick up their first World title in over half a century.

4) Last week MLBRT mentioned that Chipper Jones and Jim Thome were going to be on the HOF ballot for the first time in 2018 and the consensus opinion was that Jones would be a 1st ballot member of the Hall, if not, both he and Thome.  

Another notable name who will be on the HOF ballot for the 1st time in 2018 will be Johnny Damon. Damon was a two-time All-Star and he ended his MLB career with 2,769 career hits and 408 stolen bases over 18 major-league seasons, during which time he batted .284/.352/.433.  

He in all likelihood will not be elected to the Hall in 2018, but, does he ever get into the Hall without first buying a ticket? Why or why not? 

archie1-300x277Archie: I don’t think he gets in. His ERA+ is barely above average. He fell short of the “magical” 3000 hits club. He hit less than 300 HRs and only made the ASG twice.

No, I liked JD as a player, but, I don’t see him getting in.

Damon hits a grand slam vs Yankees in 2nd inning of game 7 of the ALCS
Damon hits a grand slam vs Yankees in 2nd inning of game 7 of the ALCS

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: Johnny is going to have to buy a ticket in my opinion.

Good player, great numbers, but I don’t think he’s getting into the Hall of Fame. If, he does make it, it will be like a Tim Raines situation where he is down to his last shot, but I don’t think he’s getting in at all.

steve-01-288x300Steve: No, Johnny Damon is not a Hall of Famer in my opinion. He had a nice career but I can’t see him even getting the 5% to keep him on the ballot. He is like a Jim Edmonds kind of player, even though I think Edmonds should be given more consideration.

Only one moment stands out for me for Johnny Damon and that was Game 7 of the LCS against the Yankees when he all but clinched the ALCS and the incredible comeback for the Red Sox, after hitting a Grand Slam in Yankee Stadium.

Some nice moments, a nice career, but, nowhere near the Hall of Fame.

5) Leaving Roger Clemens out of the discussion as well as the HOF class of 2015 when Randy JohnsonPedro Martinez and John Smoltz were deservedly elected into the Hall… in the Hall of Fame elections from 2000 through 2017, only Bert Blyleven and Dennis Eckersley got the requisite 75 percent for induction into the hall. And, Eckersley may have earned more notoriety as a reliever than he did as a starter.  

Why is that it appears starting pitchers are having a struggle in getting enough support from the BBWAA to be elected into the Hall of Fame? 

archie1-300x277Archie: Hold On. Glavine got in with an ERA+ of 118 and two CYs. Roger has 7 of those bad boys and the ONLY thing keeping him out is the hypocritical BBWAA. Period. When you pull up Clemens page on there is enough bold ink to print a newspaper.

What exactly makes a starting pitcher Hall worthy?
What exactly makes a starting pitcher Hall worthy?

Fuck the BBWAA for not already doing their job and putting him in.  I no longer care to know what those asstards are doing.

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: I think it’s solely because of the era that we are in. We are in an era of specialists, pitchers going less innings, five or even six man staffs, and, other actions meant to reduce wear and tear. Pitchers, now, don’t necessarily have the same workload as those who came before, and, in some eyes they are going to struggle a bit to warrant induction.

steve-01-288x300Steve: I can only guess that the reason pitchers are having a hard time is because of the numbers they are up against. Pitchers in recent time don’t typically pitch more than 6 or 7 innings, and ,when they do, it is considered to be a “gem.”

Back in the day, even going back before the turn of the century, pitchers were work horses and could be relied on to go out and pitch a complete game, and, pick up a deserved win for their team. You don’t, and you won’t, see that in today’s game.

And, that is why pitchers are being left out in the cold. The pre-requisite for pitchers is held to a much higher standard than position players.

Extra Innings…

In 1876… The National League is officially formed with franchises located in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Hartford, Louisville, New York, Philadelphia, and St. Louis.mlb1876

The National League’s eight original members full names were… the Boston Red Stockings, Chicago White Stockings, Cincinnati Red Stockings, Hartford Dark Blues, Louisville Grays, Mutual of New York, Philadelphia Athletics and the St. Louis Brown Stockings.

By 1880, six of the eight charter members had folded. The two remaining original NL franchises, Boston and Chicago, remain in operation today as the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs… yep… not the Red Sox or the White Sox but the Braves and the Cubs.

When all eight participants for 1881 returned for 1882…the first off-season without turnover in membership…the “circuit” consisted of a zig-zag line connecting the eight cities: Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Troy, Worcester, Boston, and Providence.

In 1883 the New York Gothams and the philadelphia Phillies began National League play. Both teams remain in the NL today, the Phillies in their original city and the Gothams (later renamed Giants) now in San Francisco.




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