As we anxiously await for the Cardinals to make an offseason acquisition, 430 writers from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America received their Hall of Fame ballots today. The 33 man ballot includes some of the best ballplayers that have ever played the game (Barry Bonds, Roger Clemons, Chipper Jones, etc.) down to above average players (Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero, Larry Walker, Curt Schilling, etc.). Three former Cardinals (Chris Carpenter, Jason Isringhausen, Scott Rolen) highlight the list of first time eligible players for this year’s ballot and all fall somewhere in between.
Chris Carpenter is a Cy Young award winner (2005), two-time World Series Champion (2006, 2011), three All-Star Game appearances, and had the lowest ERA in the NL in 2009 (2.24). At his peak, he was arguably the top pitcher in the game and was one of the most feared pitchers in the game. Carp was the definition of the baseball term “gamer”. He always seemed to come up big for the Cardinals and was never afraid of putting his body on the line (see below Game 1 2011 World Series).
Let’s look at where Carpenter rates in some of the standard ratings for Hall of Fame consideration pulled from his Baseball Reference profile.
Black-Ink- 15 (155), Average HOFer = 40
Gray-Ink- 105 (209), Average HOFer = 185
Hall of Fame Monitor- Pitching 70 (177) = Likely HOFer = 100
Hall of Fame Standards- Pitching 26 (210), Average HOFer = 50
JAWS SP (235th) w/ 34.5 career WAR / 29.6 7yr-peak WAR / 32.0 JAWS,
Average HOFer P (out of 62) 73.9 career WAR /50.3 7yr-peak WAR / 62.1 JAWS
Is that enough to be a Hall of Famer? Unfortunately, I don’t think so. Injuries derailed Carpenter’s shot at reaching certain “counting stat” thresholds that many writers use to help determine Hall of Fame status. But does that really matter? Carpenter didn’t seem to be the type of player that was playing for individual accolades, he wanted to win and did everything he could to do so. Two World Series titles and one Red Jacket probably will suffice for him. Hopefully he’ll make a few more appearances in the Cardinals dugout next season to help groom this next generation of Cardinals pitchers.
One of only 28 pitchers in MLB history to record 300 saves, Jason Isringhausen gets his first crack on the ballot this season. Only five relievers have been inducted into the Hall of Fame (Eckersley, Gossage, Sutter, and Wilhelm) and all of them but Wilhelm recorded more saves than Izzy. This doesn’t bode well for his chances on getting enough votes to be on future ballots, but the all-time leader in saves for the Cardinals (217) put together a career to remember. Isringhausen also holds the Cardinals record for games finished in a career (332) and a season (66), and is 2nd in saves in a season (47). I can envision media members across Cardinals Nation debating next season whether Ray Lankford or Isringhausen should be in the Cardinals Hall of Fame before the other.
Many around the game of baseball believe that Mike Schmidt was the best 3B of all-time. Schmidt has stated multiple times that Rolen was “the best third baseman he’s ever seen.” High praise. Automatic entry into the Hall of Fame? Not so fast my friends, and it’s not because he doesn’t have the numbers to get in. It’s the Chipper Factor. Will Rolen experience the same fate as former Cardinals 3B Ken Boyer? I sure hope not, but 3B has been one of the most underrepresented positions in the Hall of Fame.
Let’s look at where Rolen rates in some of the standard ratings for Hall of Fame consideration pulled from his Baseball Reference profile.
Gray-Ink- Batting 27 (899), Average HOFer = 144
Hall of Fame Monitor- Batting 99 (171) = Likely HOFer = 100
Hall of Fame Standards- Batting 40 (170), Average HOFer = 50
JAWS 3B (10th) w/ 70.0 career WAR / 43.5 7yr-peak WAR / 56.8 JAWS,
Average HOFer 3B (out of 13) 67.5 career WAR /42.8 7yr-peak WAR / 55.2 JAWS
It looks like Rolen has a shot but it’s going to be close. Hopefully he will receive enough votes to stay on the ballot a few times and eventually get enough votes. If it weren’t for the “Korean Babe Ruth” hee Sop Choi, Scott Rolen would have been a first ballot Hall of Famer. The BBWAA ballots are due on December 31st. While we wait to see the fate of Scott Rolen, Jason Isringhausen, and Chris Carpenter, take a moment to watch some of Rolen’s career highlights below. We’ll be seeing Rolen in a Red Jacket at Busch in the near future regardless of the BBWAA ballot results.