Six men were named to the HOF over the weekend. We will list those men. We will also discuss some minor moves with guys like Dahl, Duplantier, Galvis, Moran and Pillar. There are also notes about the health of Lance McCullers and the Braves who might be losing Freddie Freeman?
The 2022 Hall Of Fame Vote
This wasn’t the regular HOF vote, so let’s be clear about that right off the top. This was the Early Baseball Era Committee and The Golden Days Era Committee votes. These two groups meet to, basically, see if the regular vote missed anyone worth of inclusion in the Hall. In this instance, both groups said the answer to that question was “yes.”
The Golden Days Era Committee elected four.
Minnie Minoso’s SARB BIO can be found here.
Gil Hodges’ SABR BIO can be found here.
Jim Kaat’s SABR BIO can be found here.
Tony Oliva’s SABR BIO can be found here.
The Early Baseball Committee elected two.
Bud Fowler’s SABR BIO can be found here.
Buck O’Neil’s SABR BIO can be found here.
I applaud Kaat for his honestly, but as his own quote points out, he probably didn’t deserve enshrinement. “I never was a No. 1 pitcher,” Kaat said. “The Hall of Fame rewards dominance. [Sandy] Koufax, [Bob] Gibson, [Juan] Marichal. I wasn’t dominant. I was durable, I was dependable. I was your No. 2 guy or No. 3 guy. But I’m grateful to the committee that they chose to reward some durability.”
Dick Allen missed by one vote (his SABR BIO can be found here). Allen was the ROY, an MVP, a 7-time All-Star. He led the league in OPS four times and had an epic 1972 season that he led the league in homers, RBI, walks, OBP, SLG and OPS. From his rookie season of 1964-72, his average effort was .298-300-94-94-11 with a .936 OPS that was worth an OPS+ of 164. He was surely and did things his own way, but he could mash.
THIS AND THAT
David Dahl has been invited to spring training by the Brewers, the team he signed with back in August if you missed it (don’t blame you if you did). The last time he was good was 2019 as injuries have wrecked his career, but it is surprising to note that per 162 games his average effort would be .272-21-79-3-8. He’s always hit righties well (career: .283/.332/.494 for an .826 OPS), so perhaps he platoons in the Brewers outfield with someone else… IF he can stay healthy.
Jon Duplantier agreed to a minor league contract with the Giants. In 2018 and 2019 he was a top-100 prospect in baseball according to Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus. Injuries have crushed him though. He threw only 21 innings last season and his last 100-inning campaign was 2017. The Giants are taking a shot on the talent and hoping that they can find a way to keep him healthy and to help him locate his stuff (his BB/9 rate is over four per nine as a professional). Fingers crossed, but low expectations.
Freddie Freeman didn’t sign a contract extension with the Braves before the lockout, so he’s officially still a free agent. Sounds like there is some worry that the Braves will be able to bring him back which seems bananas to me, especially with Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna being signed for so cheap (listen to more on that topic in this podcast). If they have to make a move, Ken Rosenthal reports that they would love to add Matt Olson, who we all know the Athletics are willing to deal. Gotta think the Braves bring back Freeman, like it would be stupid for them not to. Of course, it’s also stupid that the A’s would move Olson, but that’s the state of the game right now.
Freddy Galvis is looking to play in Japan, and it has been reported that he will sign with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. He’s 32 and never been a difference maker, but he’s been a solid pro for a decade. Always seemed to find a way to playing time, didn’t he? He will now do his thing across the Pacific.
Lance McCullers (forearm) who was shut down in his final start of the year has continued to have his arm monitored. The good news is that his surgically repaired UCL still looks like it is doing ok, so there is no further surgery indicated at the moment. He hopes to ramp up to throwing in about a month. For the first time as a big leaguer he cleared 130-innings pitched this past season hitting 162.1. That’s obviously a big jump from his previous best and more than 100 innings higher than his 2020 mark of 55. He’s an undeniable talent, but one that comes with considerable risk in 2022, though, you can always say that about Lance.
Colin Moran was designed for assignment by the Pirates and he ultimately has chosen to become a free agent. He can play both corner spots, and he’s not a bad player with a career .267/.329/.418 line. The issue he deals with is that he does nothing truly well, and a corner infielder with an eight percent launch angle, his mark the last two years, isn’t exciting. Needs to be platooned, but he can help some lower division team against righties (career .280/.341/.440).
Kevin Pillar has surgery to fix his nose. If you recall, he was hit in the face in May by a fastball. He should be fully healthy by the start of next season. He got his normal 15 homers this past season in just 325 at-bats, but the steals, not so much. He stole at least 14 bases every season from 2015-19. The last two years he’s swiped nine bases over 178 games. With such a blah offensive game, he really needs those 14-15 steals to offer much of anything. He turns 33 next January so the steals may never come back.