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2016 Update

2016 Update, RHP

justin-verlander-si2Unlike out lefties, there’s nobody who’s already indisputably in the HoME on the list below, though Eric and I disagree on Zack Greinke’s slam-dunk status. Still, there are a bunch of guys on this list who are going to make a real run (and I have no fear that Greinke will be over my line soon enough).

On this list we have some age in Bartolo Colon. We have some late starts in Corey Kluber and Jake Arrieta. We have some who have fizzled out, perhaps, in Jered Weaver and Matt Cain. And we have some guys like Justin Verlander, those who I thought might have been dead who are very much back on track now.

This is the final in our post-season player updates. Only the managers will follow on Monday. Please check out others in this series: 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, C, RP, and LHP.

Right Handed Pitchers
Zack Greinke
2016 BBREF WAR:
2.6

Rank at the position after 2015:
Miller: 87
Eric: 68

Rank at the position after 2016:
Miller: 77
Eric: 59

Who’d he pass in 2016?
Miller: Nap Rucker, Burleigh Grimes, Jim McCormick, Pud Galvin, Mickey Welch, Wilbur Cooper, Charlie Buffington, Mark Buehrle, Tommy John, Dwight Gooden, and Whitey Ford.
Eric: Eddie Cicotte, Chuck Finley, Tim Hudson, Andy Pettitte, Goose Gossage, Joe McGinnity, Kevin Appier, Red Faber

Who’s next with the same season in 2017?
Miller: Whitey Ford, George Uhle, Bucky Walters, Sandy Koufax, Chuck Finley, and Frank Tanana.
Eric: Hoss Radbourn, Rube Waddell, Johan Santana, Red Ruffing, Orel Hershiser, and Urban Shocker

Current career trajectory:
After an inaugural year in the desert that didn’t meet expectations, some fans are already calling on the D’Backs to deal Grienke away for salary relief. Seems a little far-fetched to me. Grienke has an up-and-down career path. He’s got two seasons above 9 WAR and zero seasons between 5.2 and 9 WAR. Similarly he has zero seasons between 3.9 and 5.0 WAR. Throw in a few below 3.0 WAR and you get the picture. He bounces like a baby boy, so the panic seems a tad premature to me. Of course, as with any pitcher, the end can come suddenly, so let’s be clear-eyed. If he hangs on for another 10 WAR or so, however, he’s going to end up ranking among pitchers such as Don Dyrsdale or Luis Tiant in the mid-low 40s all-time…

HoME Outlook:
…and if the end is here or near, he’s still making the Hall of Miller and Eric. Grienke’s done enough, for me at least, to make it. Your mileage may vary, but he’s just far enough over the line, that I have no question in my mind. His bat, by the way, has helped him a lot.

Felix Hernandez
2016 BBREF WAR:
1.5

Rank at the position after 2015:
Miller: 110
Eric: 92

Rank at the position after 2016:
Miller: 98
Eric: 89

Who’d he pass in 2016?
Miller: Dizzy Dean, Al Orth, Chief Bender, Noodles Hahn, Kenny Rogers, David Wells, Jesse Tannehill, Hippo Vaughn, Billy Pierce, Jim Kaat, Mark Langston, and Eppa Rixey.
Eric: Billy Pierce, Al Spalding, Don Sutton, Tommy John, and Whitey Ford…and was passed by Justin Verlander and Cole Hamels

Who’s next with the same season in 2017?
Miller: Mickey Lolich, Wilbur Wood, Carl Mays, and Roy Oswalt.
Eric: Miner Brown, Kenny Rogers, Mark Langston, Wilbur Cooper, George Uhel, Pud Galvin, Dizzy Dean, Frank Tanana, Jim McCormick, and Bucky Walters

Current career trajectory:
The King got started at the age of 19 and was a star almost from the beginning. For a decade he pitched 200 innings almost every year and started at least 30 games ten straight times. I remember people saying in March that Hernandez was an injury waiting to happen. And then he got hurt. At age 30, for the first time since he was 19, he didn’t make at least 30 starts. So what’s next at the age of 31? His fastball is down over five MPH from its peak and down 1.3 from its lowest point. He’s throwing his change-up more, which makes some sense, but to have an effective you need to have at least a decent heater too. At least that’s usually the case. Hernandez is transitioning into an older pitcher. If he can make a smooth transition next season, he has plenty of years left. If not…

HoME Outlook:
He’s among the best hundred pitchers ever, so he’s approaching the point where we start talking seriously about him. Another 5-WAR season his him nipping on the heels of Whitey Ford. I’m not sure he has another such season in him. But if he wants it, he’ll nearly certainly have the bulk to get to the HoME. Here’s hoping he gets healthy, slows the decline, and shows us why they call him The King.

Justin Verlander
2016 BBREF WAR:
6.6

Rank at the position after 2015:
Miller: 126
Eric: 110

Rank at the position after 2016:
Miller: 84
Eric: 71

Who’d he pass in 2016?
Miller: Dolf Luque, Jack Stivetts, George Mullin, Doc White, Jimmy Key, Bobo Newsom, Waite Hoyt, Jack Quinn, Tommy Bridges, Ron Guidry, Bob Lemon, Frank Viola, Eddie Rommel, Larry Jackson, Cliff Lee, Jerry Koosman, Felix Hernandez, Dizzy Dean, Al Orth, Chief Bender, Noodles Hahn, Kenny Rogers, David Wells, Jesse Tannehill, Hippo Vaughn, Billy Pierce, Jim Kaat, Mark Langston, Eppa Rixey, Mickey Lolich, Wilbur Wood, Carl Mays, Roy Oswalt, Babe Adams, Dizzy Trout, Tony Mullane, Goose Gossage, Nap Rucker, Burleigh Grimes, and Jim McCormick

Eric: Nearly 40 guys, including some interesting names such as fellow active pitchers Cole Hamels and King Felix, recent retires Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee, plus HoMErs Don Sutton, Whitey Ford, Miner Brown, Pud Galvin, Bucky Walters, Early Wynn, and Sandy Koufax

Who’s next with the same season in 2017?

Miller: Pud Galvin, Mickey Welch, Zack Greinke, Wilbur Cooper, Charlie Buffington, Mark Buehrle, Tommy John, Dwight Gooden, Whitey Ford, George Uhle, Bucky Walters, Sandy Koufax, Chuck Finley, Frank Tanana, Kevin Appier, Ted Brietenstein, Tim Hudson, Early Wynn, Bob Caruthers, Mordecai Brown, Orel Hershiser, and Don Sutton

Eric: He’d land in roughly the 50th spot all-time on my lists, passing all the same guys I mentioned for Grienke as well as Bret SAberhaen, Vic Willis, and Dennis Eckersley

Current career trajectory:

Did anyone expect a Cy Young type season from Verlander in 2016? After two years of injuries and ineffectiveness, it seemed as though the Tigers had an innings eater on their hands, at best. But Verlander instead turned in a classic season straight out of his 2009–2012 peak. His K rate shot up, his walk rate was near his career low, and his K/BB was an outstanding 4.46/1. All he did was lead the league in Ks and WHIP while delivering his lowest ERA and highest innings total since Obama won reelection. What’s next? Who knows? But if this is Verlander’s last great season, then let’s project him at about 4.5 WAR next year and a loss of 0.75 per year. That puts him just over 60 career WAR and pushes him up into the high 30s or low 40s all-time, alongside the likes of Drysdale, Reuschel, Coveleski, and Cone.

HoME Outlook:

Verlander is this close to the HoME right now. If he were hit by a bus before the season started, I’d probably still vote for him in five years. I’ve got this little thing I call the Finley Line. That’s as in Chuck Finley. He’s the lowest ranked pitcher that I feel comfortable saying I definitively support him for the HoME. There are other HoMErs beneath Finley, but they are not guys that I’d go to the wall for. Verlander is just a smidgen below Finley after 2016. Enough that there’s a little daylight, and enough that although Verlander could pass Finley next season with a season that’s below his own career average, it won’t necessarily be easy. He needs a 3 or 4 WAR season to do that. Absent something terrible that shut his career down very soon, or a lengthy stretch of simply awful pitching, Verlander will step over the Finley line very soon anyway, so at this point, I’d call him a about 98%+ likely to make it.

Bartolo Colon
2016 BBREF WAR:
3.1

Rank at the position after 2015:
Miller: 136
Eric: 124

Rank at the position after 2016:
Miller: 122
Eric: 112

Who’d he pass in 2016?
Miller: Bob Shawkey, Brad Radke, Herb Pennock, Vida Blue, Carlos Zambrano, Silver King, Jamie Moyer, Lon Warneke, Dennis Martinez, Dolf Luque, Jack Stivetts, George Mullin, Doc White, and Jimmy Key.
Eric: King, Kaat, Noodles Hahn, Hoyt Wilhelm, Javier Vazquez, Brad Radke, Moyer, Tommy Bridges, Eppa Rixey, Bob Lemon, and Larry Jackson

Who’s next with the same season in 2017?
Miller: Bobo Newsom, Waite Hoyt, Jack Quinn, Tommy Bridges, Ron Guidry, Bob Lemon, Frank Viola, Eddie Rommel, Larry Jackson, Cliff Lee, and Jerry Koosman
Eric: Tommy Bond, Carlos Zambrano, Hippo Vaughn, Jerry Koosman, and Waite Hoyt

Current career trajectory:
He’s 43. On the other hand, only once has he had a better season in the last decade. I’d sign him for 2017.

HoME Outlook:
It’s not going to happen for the HoME. There are a bunch of worse pitchers in the Hall though.

Jake Peavy
2016 BBREF WAR:
-0.8

Rank at the position after 2015:
Miller: 175
Eric: 163

Rank at the position after 2016:
Miller: 178
Eric: 165

Who’d he pass in 2016?
Miller: He actually fell behind Curt Simmons, Derek Lowe, and Bob Friend.
Eric: Passed by Max Scherzer and John Lester

Who’s next with the same season in 2017?
Miller: He’d fall behind Milt Pappas and Joe Nathan too.
Eric: He drop behind Bob Friend and Don Newcombe

Current career trajectory:
He seems fork-tender to me. Some team might take a flyer on this free agent to be, however. If so, I’ve got no expectation of anything good coming of it. Maybe he’s a couple runs above replacement?

HoME Outlook:
Negatory.

John Lackey
2016 BBREF WAR:
2.2

Rank at the position after 2015:
Miller: 210
Eric: 196

Rank at the position after 2016:
Miller: 198
Eric: 183

Who’d he pass in 2016?
Miller: Jerry Reuss, Hooks Dauss, Doyle Alexander, Rick Rhoden, Sadie McMahon, Francisco Rodriguez, Jered Weaver, Bill Hutchison, Jon Papelbon, Virgil Trucks, and Charlie Hough
Eric: Fritz Ostermueller, Rick Sutfcliffe, Billy Wagner, Mort Cooper, Chris Carpenter, Grasshopper Jim Whitney, Tom Zachary, Dan Quisenberry, Dave Foutz, John Tudor, Catfish, Andy Messersmith, Bobby Mathews, and Milt Pappas

Who’s next with the same season in 2017?
Miller: Ed Reulbach, Thornton Lee, Trevor Hoffman, Jack Taylor, Dan Haren, Tom Gordon, Ellis Kinder, Dutch Leonard (the older), Tom Zachary, Curt Davis, Joe Nathan, Mark Gubicza, John Candelaria, Sad Sam Jones, and Don Newcombe
Eric: Jim Maloney, Jonathan Papelbon, John Candelaria, Jered Weaver, Curt Simmons, Smoky Joe Wood, Mark Gubicza, Jack Chesbro, Stu Miller, and Mel Stottlemyre

Current career trajectory:
A few years ago I’d have bet that Lackey’s career would have been over by now, yet he’s on a run of thirteen consecutive seasons during which he’s pitched with double figure win totals. He was excellent last year and very good again this season. But he’s 38 now, and let’s face it, must be almost done.

HoME Outlook:
I guess he could go all Bartolo Colon on the league and put up six more seasons. But even if he does that, we’re only looking at a career like Vida Blue’s. He’s not getting into the HoME.

Jered Weaver
2016 BBREF WAR:
-0.8

Rank at the position after 2015:
Miller: 196
Eric: 175

Rank at the position after 2016:
Miller: 203
Eric: 179

Who’d he pass in 2016?
Miller: He fell behind Thronton Lee, Ed Reulbach, John Lackey, Charlie Hough, Virgil Trucks, Jon Papelbon, and Bill Hutchison.
Eric: John Candelaria, but going the wrong way, as well as Jon Lester, Justin Verlander, and Max Scherzer

Who’s next with the same season in 2017?
Miller: Francisco Rodriguez, Bruce Hurst, and Sadie McMahon would also get past him.
Eric: Will there be another season?

Current career trajectory:
Jered Weaver’s been a lot of fun to watch with an unusual dip-and-dive crossfire motion that’s unusual in today’s game. It’s kind like in the auto industry in strange way. The design of production passenger cars has tended over the past thirty years or so to converge. Distinctive designs have become fewer. Why? Because aerodynamic laws and fuel-consumption laws and regulations dictate a certain degree of air-slipperiness that can only be achieved with certain shapes. Cars that have abandoned those egg-like shapes that reduce wind resistance stand out from the pack. At least visually. The same is true for pitchers’ motions, where we replace aerodynamics with ergonomics and regulation with injury prevention. I’m saying all this because Weaver’s career feels kinda over. He fell off the proverbial cliff two years ago and dropped below replacement level this year. He’s a free agent, but who wants to bring him in on a major league deal? He might get an NRI or something. I hope he does, but you got to think that unless he can magically increase his fastball velocity it’s over. Heck, he’d have trouble injuring even Chris Snelling with that “heater.”

HoME Outlook:
I think you can tell my thoughts from the tenor of this entry.

Max Scherzer
2016 BBREF WAR:
6.3

Rank at the position after 2015:
Miller: 209
Eric: 215

Rank at the position after 2016:
Miller: 154
Eric: 155

Who’d he pass in 2016?
Miller: Jerry Reuss, Hooks Dauss, Doyle Alexander, Rick Rhoden, Sadie McMahon, Bruce Hurst, Jered Weaver, Bill Hutchinson, Jon Papelbon, Virgil Trucks, Charlie Hough, Ed Reulbach, Thornton Lee, Trevor Hoffman, Jack Taylor, Dan Haren, Tom Gordon, Ellis Kinder, Dutch Leonard (older), Tom Zachary, Curt Davis, Joe Nathan, Mark Gubicza, John Candelaria, Sad Sam Jones, Don Newcombe, Claude Osteen, Milt Pappas, Jake Peavy, Bob Friend, Derek Lowe, Curt Simmons, Sam Leever, Al Leiter, Jim Perry, Frank Dwyer, Lefty Gomez, Jose Rijo, Jim Maloney, Larry French, Tom Candiotti, Jon Matlack, Jon Lester, Andy Messersmith, Tommy Bond, Adam Wainwright, Schoolboy Rowe, Hoyt Wilhelm, Mel Stottlemyre, Bob Welch, Fernando Valenzuela, Nig Cuppy, Smoky Joe Wood, and Harry Brecheen.
Eric: Too many to list without getting carpal tunnel.

Who’s next with the same season in 2017?
Miller: Al Spalding, Jack Morris, Sam McDowell, Bill Dineen, Bill Donovan, Dutch Leonard the younger, Pink Hawley, Claude Passeau, Red Lucas, Catfish Hunter, Jack Chesbro, Murry Dickson, Camilo Pascual, Mel Harder, Jim Whitney, Steve Rogers, Addie Joss, Bob Shawkey, Brad Radke, Herb Pennock, Vida Blue, Carlos Zambrano, Silver King, Jamie Moyer, Lon Warneke, Dennis Martinez, Dolf Luque, Jack Stivetts, George Mullin, Doc White, Jimmy Key, Bobo Newsom, Waite Hoyt, Jack Quinn, Tommy Bridges, Ron Guidry, and Bob Lemon.
Eric: About another 50 guys, putting him into the top 110 all-time, right where Justin Verlander was at the beginning of 2016.

Current career trajectory:
Scherzer got a bit of a late start, not reaching 200 innings in a season until he was 28. On the other hand, he;s averaged nearly 7-WAR per season over his last four. Chances are he doesn’t have another four like his last four, but if he did, he’d be a no-brainer. Seriously, he’d be in the neighborhood of Bob Feller and John Smoltz. If he could only repeat the last three seasons, he’d be in league with Red Faber and Jim Bunning. Again, that’s clearly over the line. Even if he just repeats his last two, Kevin Appier, Frank Tanana, and Chuck Finley are within his sights. He continues to strike guys out at a very impressive rate, and his heat remains elite.

HoME Outlook:
It’s hard to bet against a pitcher with a K/BB rate over five, which is where Verlander has been over the last four years. On the other hand, it’s hard to bet on a pitcher. I actually think he’s going to get there. He’s been so healthy and so consistently great. Time will tell.

Adam Wainwright
2016 BBREF WAR:
1.9

Rank at the position after 2015:
Miller: 172
Eric: 159

Rank at the position after 2016:
Miller: 163
Eric: 151

Who’d he pass in 2016?
Miller: Jim Perry, Frank Dwyer, Lefty Gomez, Jose Rijo, Jim Maloney, Larry French, Tom Candiotti, John Matlack, Andy Messersmith, and Tommy Bond.
Eric: Red Lucas, Matlack, Murry Dickson, Virgil Trucks, Bob Welch, Candiotti, Herb Pennock, and Jack Powell

Who’s next with the same season in 2017?
Miller: Schoolboy Rowe, Hoyt Wilhelm, Mel Stottlemyre, Bob Welch, Fernando Valenzuela, Nig Cuppy, Smoky Joe Wood, Harry Brecheen Al Spalding, Jack Morris, and Sam McDowell
Eric: Jesse Tannehill, Fernando, Brecheen, Doc White, Jack the Jack, Addie Joss, Jose Rijo, Lon Warneke, and Chief Bender

Current career trajectory:
Waino’s had a lot of injury problems that have broken up what would otherwise be a splendid career. Well, that’s pitching. TINSTAAPP has more than one meaning. It’s always been used to represent “There Is No Such Thing as a Pitching Prospect,” but it could just as easily be “There Is No Such Thing as a Pitching Projection.” We just mentioned earlier that Jered Weaver went off the cliff out of nowhere after losing just enough off his fastball. We also mentioned how Justin Verlander went from hurt and/or ineffective to Cy Young quality overnight. Wainwright’s a guy with annual Cy Young talent who’s lost about two full years of his career to injuries. His comeback last year was, to say the least uninspiring. His K rate is going backward, his command was poor, he gave up a lot homers (for him), and he gave up 22 more hits than innings pitched. Going into his age-35 season, all hope is not lost. Look at Verlander, right? Not so fast. JV is three years younger and has had a lot less surgery. Wainwright is obviously still talented, the question is whether his body was returning to health or has settled into a new phase of health. If the former is true, maybe there’s 10 or more WAR left in that arm. If the latter is true, he’ll be filling a Cupcakes Blanton/Pat Rapp/Brett Tomko roll for the Birds until his contract runs out after 2018.

HoME Outlook:
Obviously, it’s quite mixed. To get to the HoME borderline, he probably needs to pick up 10–15 more WAR. That’s not impossible, but it does appear unlikely for the moment.

Matt Cain
2016 BBREF WAR:
-0.8

Rank at the position after 2015:
Miller: 224
Eric: 207

Rank at the position after 2016:
Miller: 228
Eric: 214

Who’d he pass in 2016?
Miller: He fell behind David Price, Chris Sale, Willy Wagner, and Danny Darwin
Eric: He was passed by the first Dutch Leonard, the only Pat Hentgen, the inimitable Charlie Leibrandt, the K-Rod, the lefty David Price, the Condor (Chris Sale), and Max Scherzer

Who’s next with the same season in 2017?
Miller: Frank Killen, bob Ewing, and Slim Salee would pass him too.
Eric: He’s signed through next year, but will the Giants let him have another season like 2016?

Current career trajectory:
He’s only 32, and he’s back with the Giants next year. If he’s healthy, who knows? Don’t bank on health.

HoME Outlook:
It’s not going to happen, but he should be proud of his career nonetheless.

Johnny Cueto
2016 BBREF WAR:
5.4

Rank at the position after 2015:
Miller: 276
Eric: 287

Rank at the position after 2016:
Miller: 245
Eric: 245

Who’d he pass in 2016?
Miller: Allie Reynolds, Johnny Allen, Tim Lincecum, Sparky Lyle, Adonis Terry, Earl Moore, Dennis Leonard, Lindy McDaniel, Kerry Wood, Kevin Tapani, Lee Meadows, James Shields, Mike Cuellar, Bruce Sutter, Ken Holtzman, Bill Hands, Keith Foulke, Jack McDowell, Jesse Haines, John Franco, Gus Weyhing, John Hiller, Mike Moore, Mike Garcia, Mel Parnell, Jason Schmidt, Firpo Marberry, Freddie Fitzsimmons, Andy Benes, Dean Chance, and Sal Maglie.
Eric: Far, far too many to name, but he’s now right behind Tim Wakefield and Madison Bumgarner

Who’s next with the same season in 2017?
Miller: Larry Dierker, Dave Foutz, Charlie Ferguson, Bobby Mathews, Jarvey Haddix, Lee Smith, Rube Marquard, Willis Hudlin, Tim Wakefield, Stu Miller, Ed Morris, Dan Quisenberry, Slim Sallee, Bob Ewing, Frank Killen, Matt Cain, Danny Darwin, Billy Wagner, David Price, Chris Carpenter, Bob Rush, Guy Hecker, Earl Whitehill, Charlie Root, Rick Sutcliffe, Mort Cooper, Charlie Leibrandt, Rick Wise, Harry Howell, Paul Derringer, Deacon Philippe, Burt Hooton, Jerry Reuss, Hooks Dauss, Doyle Alexander, and Rick Rhoden.
Eric: About another sixty guys, which would leave him where John Lackey and Chris Sale are right now.

Current career trajectory:
Cueto had a really good season in the first of a six-year deal with the Giants. His injury-plagued 2013 washout is behind him after three straight years of at least 210 innings. His K rate is on the way up, walk rate on the way down, and he’s giving up fewer homers to boot. He has beaten his FIP every year of his career as well. To have a shot at the HoME, he needs at least a couple more All-Star type years to level up peakwise, and he probably needs at least double up on his total WAR. Better yet, a couple Verlander-like seasons mixed in with lots of above-average pitching would do the trick.

HoME Outlook:
Cueto has plenty of time and talent. The only question is whether he can reach high enough or go long enough. Or both.

James Shields
2016 BBREF WAR:
-1.9

Rank at the position after 2015:
Miller: 260
Eric: 255

Rank at the position after 2016:
Miller: 265
Eric: 260

Who’d he pass in 2016?
Miller: Keith Foulke, Bill Hands, Ken Holtzman, Bruce Sutter, and Mike Cuellar all passed him.
Eric: He went retrograde with Firpo Marberry, Jason Schmidt, Chris Sale, Madison Bumgarner, and Johnny Cueto all slipping by him.

Who’s next with the same season in 2017?
Miller: Lee Meadows, Kevin Tapani, and Kerry Wood would all get past him too.
Eric: Amazingly he has two years left on the A.J. Preller special he signed before 2015. Still, it’s hard to imagine that the Chisox will give him much rope to hang them.

Current career trajectory:
Lots of innings on that arm. Tough innings. He wasn’t good in 2015, and he was awful in 2016. He’s 34 with control problems, and the White Sox have to pay him $44 million more.

HoME Outlook:
Not even when he was good did he have a real shot.

Jake Arrieta
2016 BBREF WAR:
4.2

Rank at the position after 2015:
Miller: Not on the board yet
Eric: Unranked

Rank at the position after 2016:
Miller: 290ish
Eric: Somewhere between 300 and 350

Who’d he pass in 2016?
Miller: Lots of guys not on the board, and everyone on it up to Paul Splittorff
Eric: A whole mess of no names

Who’s next with the same season in 2017?
Miller: Bob Veale, Candy Cummings, Mike Witt, Jon Lieber, Jim Devlin, Red Donahue, Mike Flanagan, J.R. Richard, Matt Kilroy Spud Chandler, Scott Sanderson, Rollie Fingers, Ice Box Chamberlain, Allie Reynolds, Johnny Allen, Tim Lincecum, Sparky Lyle, Adonis Terry, and Earl Moore
Eric: He’d climb up another 30 spots

Current career trajectory:
Arrieta turned 30 during 2016, so he’s kind of the Jose Bautista of pitchers. He and the Cubs would both like him to the Randy Johnson of today’s pitchers, a dominating late bloomer. Of course, that’s far from likely, but then so was his emergence in the first place. The reality is that we have no idea what trajectory he’s on. There are very few pitchers with his career trajectory.

HoME Outlook:
He’s already bucked the odds considerably, but his HoME odds get even worse with each additional year. He’s at a place in his career where any season that’s not productive, let alone an All-Star year hurts his chances greatly. He’s only had three productive years, his last three, so we know what he can do. His arm doesn’t have a ton of MLB mileage on it either, so there’s some opportunity for him too. Just off the cuff, I’d bet he’s probably a 1000-1 shot to make it.

Corey Kluber
2016 BBREF WAR:
6.5

Rank at the position after 2015:
Miller: Hadn’t considered him yet, maybe about 400?
Eric: Unranked

Rank at the position after 2016:
Miller: 295
Eric: About the same as Arrieta

Who’d he pass in 2016?
Miller: Toad Ramsey, Dick Radatz, Huston Street, and maybe a hundred other guys.
Eric: Jillions of guys we’ve never heard of

Who’s next with the same season in 2017?
Miller: Red Ames, Craig Kimbrel, Ron Reed, Paul Splitorff, Bob Veale, Candy Cummings, Mike Witt, Jon Lieber, Jim Devlin, Red Donahue, Mike Flanagan, J.R. Richard, Matt Kilroy Spud Chandler, Scott Sanderson, Rollie Fingers, Ice Box Chamberlain, Allie Reynolds, Johnny Allen, Tim Lincecum, Sparky Lyle, Adonis Terry, Earl Moore, Jake Arrieta, Dennis Leonard, Lindy McDaniel, Kerry Wood, Kevin Tapani, Lee Meadows, James Shields, Mike Cuellar, Bruce Sutter, Ken Holtzman, Bill Hands, Keith Foulke, Jack McDowell, Jesse Haines, John Franco, and Gus Weyhing
Eric: About 50 more guys

Current career trajectory:
Kluber sort of came out of nowhere three years ago. He was a mediocre pitcher over 24 starts in 2013; then he was a stud in 2013, putting up 7.4 WAR. Since then, he’s been one of the better pitchers in the game. But he’ll be 31 about one start into next season. He’s not a kid. If you’re an Indians fan, you’re going to love him for much of the next five seasons. If you’re hoping for another decade of stardom, it’s not going to happen.

HoME Outlook:
He got too slow a start to his career. Yes, he has some gold and some Mad-Bum-like performances this fall, but he’s ranked too low now to make any real run. A great seventh game might have raised his Hall profile, but it’s going to take a lot more from him to sniff even Cooperstown.

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “2016 Update, RHP

  1. Verlander is engaged to Kate Upton, but in danger of not making your Hall. Let’s see now, given a choice of HoME or Kate, HoME or Kate, HoME or Kate…. Sorry guys. 🙂
    v

    Posted by verdun2 | November 11, 2016, 9:11 am
  2. Of all people, v, you choose something over the HoME? Even Kate Upton? I could see if you were talking Tom Brady and football. Of course. But this is baseball. This is baseball, man!

    Posted by Miller | November 11, 2016, 9:15 am

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