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The Hall of Fame Case for Ron Santo (Part 1 of 3)

On Monday December 8th, the Baseball Hall of Fame will announce the voting results of the Veterans Committee.  In a three part series, guest columnist and reader, “Dying Cub Fan” takes a look at the candidacy of former Cubs third basemen, Ron Santo. We ran this piece two years ago, but it's lost in Internet limbo and well, Santo deserves it, so we're running it again. Plus, the voting process has changed this year, as there are only 10 players for the committee to consider, so here's hoping this is the year.

“Red Sox Nation: In your opinion, who’s the best player not in the HOF?
Bill James: Ron Santo”

10/27/04 Interview with Bill James on RedSoxNation.Net, 1

Ron Santo has a meritorious case for election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. There are currently thirteen third basemen2 in the Hall of Fame: Frank “Home Run” Baker, Wade Boggs, George Brett, Jimmy Collins, Ray Dandridge, Judy Johnson, George Kell, Freddy Lindstrom, Eddie Mathews, Brooks Robinson, Mike Schmidt, Pie Traynor and Jud Wilson (who was inducted in 2006). When compared to the ten major league third basemen currently in the Hall of Fame (leaving aside, for purposes of this discussion, the three Negro League players, Johnson, Dandridge and Wilson), Santo’s offensive numbers fit squarely in the middle of that group. The offensive numbers demonstrate that Santo was better than five of the major league third basemen currently in the Hall of Fame. The numbers indicate that Schmidt, Mathews, Brett, Baker and Boggs (in roughly that order) were better than Santo. Santo has a clear edge on everyone else.

During his career Ron Santo was a nine-time All-Star. He finished in the top ten in MVP voting four times. He had the fifth highest RBI total of all major league players during the 1960s (topped only by Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Harmon Killebrew and Frank Robinson). During that period no player in the National League drew more walks. 3 He won five consecutive Gold Gloves at third base, and led NL third basemen in putouts, assists, chances and double plays in many seasons. He was among the league leaders in on base percentage and slugging percentage throughout the 1960s; he finished in the top 10 in both categories in his league in every season from 1964 through 1967. He hit more home runs in his career than any third baseman currently in the Hall of Fame other than Mike Schmidt and Eddie Mathews. He combined power and defense to a degree that was unprecedented for third basemen. He coupled that with an ability to draw walks that added value in a manner that has often gone unappreciated.

In his 2001 Historical Baseball Abstract Bill James ranked Santo as the 6th best third baseman of all time; he ranked Robinson 7th. He ranked Traynor as the 15th best third baseman (behind Stan Hack, Darrell Evans, Sal Bando, Ken Boyer, Graig Nettles and Al Rosen), Collins 17th (after Ron Cey), Kell 30th and Lindstrom 43rd.

Santo fits squarely within the middle of the group of third basemen in the Hall of Fame. Santo was arguably the best player at his position in the major leagues for an extended period of time, a dominant hitter and a great defender. He should be in the Hall of Fame.

Understanding Context

One of the difficult things in evaluating players is determining what statistics mean in different eras. Yet understanding the context in which Santo played is important to understanding how good he was, and understanding what the game was like during the time Collins played, or when Lindstrom or Traynor played, is important to understanding what their numbers mean. Santo never hit .379 like Lindstrom did in 1930, or .366 like Traynor did that same year. In what was an off-year for him, he hit .246 in 1968, the “Year of the Pitcher,” with 26 homers (6th in the league) and 98 rbi (2nd) when the league batting average was .243, the average team scored 3.43 runs a game and the league ERA was 2.98. In 1930, the league batting average in the NL was .303, the average team scored 5.68 runs per game and the league ERA was 4.97. In 1930, Bill Terry hit .401, Babe Herman hit .393, Chuck Klein hit .386 and Lefty O’Doul hit .383;4 Lindstrom’s high batting average that year was fifth in the league, Traynor’s ninth. In 1930, the New York Giants’ team batting average was .319; the Cubs had a team on base percentage of .378 and a team slugging percentage of .481. The 106 rbi that Lindstrom had in 1930 did not rank in the top ten in the league that year; Traynor’s 119 rbi that year were 8th in the league. In Lindstrom’s other big year, 1928, the average team scored 4.70 runs per game, the league batting average was .281 and the league ERA was 3.99. In 1967, the NL batting average was .249, the average team scored 3.84 runs per game and the league ERA was 3.38. Santo hit .300 with 31 homers (3rd in the league) and 98 rbi (7th) that year. Santo and Lindstrom finished in the top ten in batting average the same number of times, three. Traynor, Lindstrom and Collins all played before the color line was broken. Traynor, Lindstrom and Collins did not have to face Koufax, Drysdale, Marichal, Gibson, et al. in the mid-to-late sixties, or contend with night baseball. Santo did.

In January 1963, the strike zone was expanded by rule. After 1968, a year in which the American League batting champion hit .301, rule changes were instituted lowering the height of the mound from fifteen inches to ten and reverting the strike zone to its 1962 dimensions. In the 2001 Historical Baseball Abstract, Bill James described the 1963 strike zone change in this way:

The effect of this redefinition was dramatic. The action was taken . . . because there was a feeling that runs (and in particular home runs) had become too cheap. Roger Maris’ breaking Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record contributed to that feeling. The thinking was that, by giving the pitchers a few inches at the top and bottom of the strike zone, they could whittle the offense down just a little bit.

The action cut deeper than anticipated. Home run output in 1963 dropped by ten percent, and total runs dropped by 12%, from 4.5 per game to 3.9. Batting averages dropped by twelve points. Baseball’s second dead ball era had begun. (2001 Historical Baseball Abstract, p. 249)

James has also noted that some teams (the most notable example being the Dodgers) took advantage of the fact that mound height was not closely regulated during the ’60s to build mounds even higher than the fifteen inches the rules then permitted, giving power pitchers even more of an advantage. Santo’s best years coincided exactly with this period.5

One of the best ways of trying to assess the historical context of a player’s numbers is to examine that player’s performance relative to his contemporaries. Of readily available statistics, the OPS+ stat does this pretty well. The correlation of OPS (compiled by adding a player’s on base percentage to his slugging percentage) to a player’s ability to produce runs has been well demonstrated. OPS+ measures a player relative to the OPS league average on a scale based on 100. A 100 OPS+ in any year is the league average. When evaluated in terms of OPS+, as will be shown below, Santo stands out. Another way of evaluating historical context is by using Win Shares. Here as well Santo stands out.

As will be shown below, Santo had a much higher level of peak offensive performance than every major league Hall of Fame third baseman other than Schmidt, Mathews, Brett, Baker and Boggs. In this analysis, he is very close to Baker and Boggs, however, closer to them than the third basemen below him are to him. His career numbers stack up solidly in the middle of all major league Hall of Fame third basemen as well.

Career Statistics

Here are the career offensive statistics for the ten major league Hall of Fame third basemen (with Santo included) ranked by career OPS+:





































































































































Santo is behind only Schmidt and Mathews in career home runs. He ranks behind Schmidt, Mathews, Brett and Robinson in career RBI, but Brett and Robinson each had nearly 2,000 more career at bats than Santo.

Peak Value

Santo put up more big years, relative to his contemporaries, than did Robinson, Collins, Kell, Lindstrom or Traynor. What follows is an evaluation of how Santo and the ten current major league third basemen in the Hall of Fame performed offensively when compared to their contemporaries, using the OPS+ statistic on a season-by-season basis.

Here are the ten major league Hall of Fame third basemen (with Santo included) listing number of seasons with an OPS+ over 110, 130 and 150 (or 10%, 30% and 50% better than league average):


Seasons Over 110

Seasons Over 130

Seasons Over 150













































As this table shows, Santo had more big years, relative to his contemporaries, than did Lindstrom, Collins, Traynor, Robinson or Kell. From 1964 though 1967, Santo’s numbers stacked up favorably with the very best offensive players in the National League; at the same time he was winning Gold Gloves at a key defensive position. During the ’60s, Santo was third in the entire National League in RBI, with 937; the only players with more were Aaron and Mays (Frank Robinson had more as well, but he was traded to the AL after the 1965 season). Santo was a dominant offensive player for a sustained period, something that cannot be said of Lindstrom, Collins, Traynor, Robinson or Kell. Robinson had one year when he performed at such a level (1964).

Kell, Traynor and Lindstrom were similar players offensively: despite high batting averages, none of them had much power and none of them walked very much. Santo’s power and plate discipline give him a clear edge over these three players.

The Bill James Win Shares analysis supports the conclusion that Santo was a dominant force in the ’60s, having at least 30 win shares in 4 consecutive years (1964-1967). According to James, a 30 win share season is “in general, an MVP-candidate season.” (2001 Historical Baseball Abstract, p. 335). Santo never won an MVP, but a reasonable argument can be made that he was the best player in his league in several years, particularly in 1964 and 1966. Neither Traynor nor Kell ever had a 30 win share season. Robinson, Collins and Lindstrom each had one.


1 Bill James has written several times on Santo’s merits for Hall of Fame induction. See James, The Politics of Glory: How Baseball’s Hall of Fame Really Works, Macmillan (1994) at 343-44; James, 2001 Historical Baseball Abstract, Free Press (2001) at 541-42. For another piece supporting Santo, see

2 See list at There are fewer third basemen in the Hall of Fame than there are players from any other position, even after giving effect to the induction of four third basemen in the past ten years (three from the major leagues and one, Jud Wilson, from the Negro Leagues).

3 Decade stats courtesy of

4 Klein and O’Doul were teammates on the Phillies in 1930. Their high batting averages helped the Phillies to a last place finish with a 52-102 record. The Phillies scored 944 runs (over six runs per game), but gave up an astronomical 1199 runs (nearly eight runs per game).

5 For an interesting take on the large strike zone era, see; and


It will always bother me, using contemporary stastical analysis to examine players who played 40 to 90 years ago. You should evaluate players for the HoF on how they were evaluated at the time. It's not the Hall of Stastically Superior Players based on Analysis Begun in the 1980's. It's the 'Hall of Fame'. How many of these guys would have had higher OBP's if their managers told them to have higher OBP's?

[ ]

In reply to by The Real Neal

I wasn't looking at league wide OBPs. I showed the leaders from year to year and the career leaders. We are having a discussion of Hall of Famers. You indicated that we shouldn't look at OBP for those who played before it was a popular stat because those players wouldn't be trying to have a high OBP. I demonstrated, convincingly, that the top players who played before OBP was popular put up equivalent if not better OBP numbers than players who played after. This, in my mind, makes consideration of OBP for potential Hall of Famers from previous eras, such as Santo, entirely valid.

[ ]

In reply to by WISCGRAD

I don't think you're grapsing what I am saying. If you watched or listned to a baseball game for 100 years (one hundred years!), there would very rarely be any mention of OBP, and if there was it was only sort of a curiosity. If you want to build a case for Santo being a hall of famer - build it around how he was measured when he played - good defense, OK, good baserunning - not so much - good power - OK - good BA skills - solid but not spectacular. Good RBI man. If you take the facets of the game that he was judged at when he played, and this is the part that seems to elusive to many - he was a good, occasionally great player. Is the hall of fame for good occasionally great players, who don't have particuarly long careers? No. Now if you throw in his OBP - which I am not denying at all helped the Cubs win a lot of games - or lose them by less runs - he certainly had a streak of great years - However, since no one recognized it at the time - he did not accumulate 'Fame' - thus he is not one of the most famous baseball players and consequently falls a bit short of the Hall of Fame. Maybe I am not playing the game that you and the guys over at BP want to play - but I think it's a silly game. Another way to look at it. Without looking it up, who were the top 10 OBP guys from the 70's? The 80's? The 90's? The '00's? I bet you will do a lot better at listing the guys from this decade than the previous three. And the guys who you do list from the previous three, you're going to know from one of two reference points - a new found appreciation of the value of OBP, which you've discovered over the last five years or the guys who had typically high BA's. Had I asked you in October of 1989 who were the decades best 10 OBP guys, I doubt you could name four - and two are gimmees.

[ ]

In reply to by The Real Neal

The reason I didn't grasp what you are saying is because you are saying something quite different now that you did earlier. Earlier you indicated that players themselves changed their stats based on what is popular. Now you are saying the stats are roughly the same over time but we focus on different ones. I get what you are saying now. I, however, disagree. We revise how we analyze history all of the time. Quite a few negro league players have been enshrined in the Hall despite not being appreciated or having much "fame" during their time. We have better perspectives and better tools to measure players' value now. I don't see anything wrong with reevaluting performances from previous eras based on these. If you truly believe it's about "fame" and popularity, then you maybe wouldn't want to do this. I think the Hall is for honoring the players who played the game the best. If we can show that some guy who played long ago is in fact one of the best players ever but was overlooked during his time because the ways of measuring players' values was myopic, then I say do it. Also, I cannot name the top OBP people from most of those decades because I was not alive then, but that's not the point. If you want to cling to antiquated ways of examining and comparing players, that is fine with me. But absent the OBP discussion, I think you are way off with Santo. You say this: "However, since no one recognized it at the time - he did not accumulate 'Fame' - thus he is not one of the most famous baseball players and consequently falls a bit short of the Hall of Fame." and this: "he was a good, occasionally great player. Is the hall of fame for good occasionally great players, who don't have particuarly long careers? No." I disagree with those two points. He was a NINE-time All-Star and 5-Time Gold Glove Winner. This sounds like he was in fact recgonized at the time and did have some "fame" during his playing days. Being an All-Star for a decade doesn't to me mean he was occassionally great. Let me put this another way. Can you name players from the 1980s and 1990s that made 9 or more All-Star Games? I also don't think long careers should have anything to do with it. You basically just contradicted your own point. You said it was about fame and not padded stats by a long career. So by your own argument being GREAT and FAMOUS for 10-12 years would be better than being occassionally great and having a long career. Oh, and here is a list of those players who were All-Stars in 9 years or more durin their career: Hank Aaron, Roberto Alomar, Luis Aparicio, Ernie Banks, Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, Wade Boggs, Barry Bonds, George Brett, Rod Carew, Steve Carlton, Gary Carter, Roger Clemens, Roberto Clemente, Dave Concepcion, Bill Dickey, Joe Dimaggio, Bobby Doerr, Carlton Fisk, Nellie Fox, Jimmie Foxx, Bill Freehan, Steve Garvey, Tom Glavine, Joe Gordon, Goose Gossage, Ken Griffey Jr., Tony Gwynn, Rickey Henderson, Billy Herman, Elston Howard, Carl Hubbell, Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter, Randy Johnson, Al Kaline, George Kell, Harmon Killebrew, Barry Larkin, Fred Lynn, Mickey Mantle, Juan Marichal, Eddie Mathews, Willie Mays, Mark McGwire, Joe Medwick, Johnny Mize, Joe Morgan, Stan Musial, Mel Ott, Mike Piazza, Kirby Puckett, Manny Ramirez, Pee Wee Reese, Cal Ripken Jr., Mariano Rivera, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Alex Rodriguez, Ivan Rodriguez, Pete Rose, Ryne Sandberg, Ron Santo, Mike Schmidt, Red Schoendienst, Tom Seaver, Gary Sheffield, Enos Slaughter, Ozzie Smith, Warren Spahn, Joe Torre, Arky Vaughan, Ted Williams, Dave Winfield, and Carl Yastrzemski. I guess if you think Santo looks more like Garvey and Torre on this list then you would think he is not a Hall of Famer. I think he looks more like the Hall of Famers on this list than those few that are not (or won't be). I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

[ ]

In reply to by WISCGRAD

"Quite a few negro league players have been enshrined in the Hall despite not being appreciated or having much "fame" during their time. " White guilt. I am not changing what I am saying, I am just tryint to illustrate it to you differently. Let me try yet again. In 2008 a 5th batter is much much much much much less likely to be taken to task by his manager for taking a two-out walk with runners on base than a fifth place batter in 1965. In 1965 walks were a good thing for one player - the leadoff hitter - for everyone else, they were supposed to get hits and RBI's - not walks. That's generalizing a little, but really not that much. If you talk to some of these middle of the order hitters you hear things like 'expanding the strike zone with ducks on the pond' they were told that their job is to drive in runs , not to take walks. If your job is to drive in runs, and you're taking walks, you're not doing your job. If you're not doing your job, how are you a HoF player? Now that you want to change the discussion to something else, that he was an alll star 9 times. Based on that, it makes a pretty good case for him being a HoF'r. My rule of thumb is 10 times makes a HoF'r.

[ ]

In reply to by The Real Neal

You do change what you say, quite a bit actually. Is it about stats, about fame, about respect by managers during the time? Pick one. If your manager is stupid and is telling you to do something counter-productive to your team, and you don't do it, but are in turn, a more productive player over your career than other players - then why punish the guy because he didn't follow the myopic, counter-productive views of the day? Maybe he was doing his "job" which was to produce and help the team win, it just wasn't realized until later. But it really doesn't matter. You've put up a strawman. It's not like Santo was great at OBP and not great at stats valued at the time. I mean read the 3-part article being posted on this website. It's pretty clear he was one of the best players of his era and of all time at his position based on however you want to measure it. If your cut-off is 10 All-Star game appearances for the Hall of Fame then Maddux, McCovey, Campanella, etc. would all be left out. I will say once again, if you think the Hall of Fame should be much more restricted than it is now, and you have higher criteria for the Hall of Fame than I do, then we can just agree to disagree. But if you agree wih the majority of those in the Hall of Fame belonging then by any measure Santo should be among them.

[ ]

In reply to by WISCGRAD

No I didn't change what I said. You tried to change the topic, which I was nice enough to address for you, but I never changed what I said. I will be very clear here: In 1965 #5 hitters were judged by three things: 1. How many RBI's they had 2. How many HR's they had 3. Their Batting Average They were judged by their GM's that way, by their managers, by the sports writers and by the general public. Ron's job was to drive in 150 runs a year, not to take 100 walks and drive in 98 runs. Bitch and moan about it, but those are the facts. Was it a good idea that his job was defined that way? No. But the context of the coversation is not Hall of WARP3 or Hall of OPS+, it's Hall of Fame and no matter what you say, walks were not valued as highly in the 1960s as they are today, so Ron's accomplishments don't stand out as well. Have you ever heard of the 'Triple Crown'? Notice how it doesn't include Slugging or OBP?

[ ]

In reply to by The Real Neal

I'm not sure where 1965 got into the conversation or #5 hitters, but wtf?

Ron's job was to drive in 150 runs a year, not to take 100 walks and drive in 98 runs. Bitch and moan about it, but those are the facts. Was it a good idea that his job was defined that way? No. But the context of the coversation is not Hall of WARP3 or Hall of OPS+

when has anyone ever been expected to drive in 150 runs a year?

and Santo batted 4th for most of his career and most of 1965, he finished 8th in RBI's in the NL that year, which was 3rd best on the team.

during his peak of '64 to 70, he finished, 2nd, 8th, 10th, 7th, 2nd, 2nd, 7th in RBI's in the NL. I'm sure there's somewhere on the web that would tell you who had the most RBI's during that period or the 60's and he'd be up near the top of both lists (the entire decade of the 60's might be tough since he only played a half season in 1960).

The biggest problems for Santo making the Hall aren't his stats, it's that he was widely considered the 3rd best player on his team, the 2nd best third basemen of his time and his career was cut short because of diabetes.

[ ]

In reply to by Rob G.

Oh, so he was a cleanup hitter who never lead the league in RBI's and that's his claim to being a HoF'er? You're making the case worse, not better. "The biggest problems for Santo making the Hall aren't his stats, it's that he was widely considered the 3rd best player on his team" No. That's 100% wrong. The biggest reason he doesn't make the HoF now is because he was widely disliked. The biggest reason that he didn't make the HoF with the BBWAA is because he never lead the league in a triple crown category or won an MVP. Take a look at Wiscgrad's list of 9 time all-stars, how many can you say the same thing about? You are right about one thing. His career being cut short due to the ravages of diabetes effected his total stats, and that hurts him as well. I am not even arguing that he shouldn't be a HoF'er - I am just pointing out why he's not.

[ ]

In reply to by The Real Neal

Hank Aaron 1, 10 Luis Aparicio0,0, 9 SB titles Ernie Banks 2,4, Johnny Bench 2,5 Yogi Berra 3,0 Wade Boggs 0,5 Barry Bonds 7,5 George Brett 1,3 Rod Carew 1,7 Steve Carlton 4,10 Gary Carter 0,1 Roger Clemens 6,16 Roberto Clemente 1,4 Dave Concepcion 0,0 Bill Dickey 0,0 Joe Dimaggio 3,6 Bobby Doerr 0,0 Carlton Fisk 0,0 Nellie Fox 1,0 Jimmie Foxx 2,9 Bill Freehan 0,0 Joe Gordon 1,0 Goose Gossage 0,0 3 saves titles Tony Gwynn 0,8 Rickey Henderson 1,0, 12 SB titles Billy Herman 0,0 Carl Hubbell 3,7 Reggie Jackson 1,5 Al Kaline 0,1 George Kell 0,1 Harmon Killebrew 1,9 Mickey Mantle 3,6 Juan Marichal 0,3 Eddie Mathews 0,2 Willie Mays 2,4 Joe Medwick 1,5 Johnny Mize 0,8 Joe Morgan 2,0 Stan Musial 3,9 Mel Ott 0,7 Kirby Puckett 0,2 Pee Wee Reese 0,0, 1 SB title Cal Ripken Jr 2,0 Brooks Robinson 1,1 Frank Robinson 2,3 Ryne Sandberg 1,1 Ron Santo 0,0 Mike Schmidt 3,13 Red Schoendienst 0,0 1 SB title Tom Seaver 3,11 Enos Slaughter 0,1 Ozzie Smith 0,0 Warren Spahn 3,16 Arky Vaughan 0,1, 1 SB title Ted Williams 2, 14 Dave Winfield 0,1 Carl Yastrzemski 1,5 So there you have it. If Santo gets elected this year, he'll be the first position player elected who played 9 ASG's and never lead the league in a triple crown category, or won an MVP, other than catchers and middle infielders and one closer.

[ ]

In reply to by The Real Neal

If your criteria is someone has to lead the league in a triple crown category or win an MVP to get in the Hall of Fame, then that's your perogative. I think there are many ways to measure a players value and I prefer to use all of them when evaluating their Hall of Fame credentials. When I do so, I see Santo in it. I also think that he was doing his job for the time or he wouldn't have been hitting clean up, winning gold gloves, ranking in the top 5-10 in the league in major statistical categories annually, elected to 9 all-star games, etc. Those all seem like perfectly reasonable ways in which to judge a player against his contemporaries and whether he was doing the job expected of him.

[ ]

In reply to by The Real Neal

You're making the case worse, not better.

I was just pointing out how you were making up shit.

No. That's 100% wrong.

I'm glad you've deemed my opinion 100% wrong and that you've got a survey from the writers and now Vet Committee that proves those are the reasons.

But I do agree, he wasn't particularly liked by the writers from my understanding.  Didn't player, manages and coaches select the ASG during his time? He couldn't have been that disliked by his peers.

I think we all understand your points, many of us disagree, some don't. There's a lot of good reasons for Santo be in the Hall, a few for why he shouldn't. Obviously enough people agree with you at this point, so you got that going for you.

[ ]

In reply to by The Real Neal

Actually, it seems fairly clear that Santo is among the most famous players of his time. Look at all the fan support he has for his Hall bid. It's the writers and veterans holding him up. But it's really not so much the Hall of Fame is it is the Hall of the Best Baseball Players. Santo was one of the best ballplayers of his time, and we shouldn't ignore his OBP. Just because the analysts of his time handicapped their understanding of the game by not considering that facets of baseball doesn't mean we should do the same. Our guest columnist has made a very, very strong case for Santo's inclusion in the Hall of Fame. I still don't think he'll make it, but he should be there considering who is already there.

Well, as an old fart friend of mine said to me while we were watching Ronny play one day, "You know, he ain't no Brooksie maybe, but he is one fine mutha fucka ballplayer." Sometimes stats get in the way a bit. He was damn good in his day, and that's all that matters to me. Analysis has its first four letters there for a reason, sometimes.

Recent comments

  • George Altman (view)

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  • Childersb3 (view)

    AZ Phil, what do you think the chances are that Jed makes a trade before OD?

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  • Arizona Phil (view)

    Here are the pitcher reports from Sunday's Guardians - Cubs game at Sloan Park: 

    FB: 86-88
    CH: 80-81
    SL: 79-80 
    CV: 74 
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    FB: 90 
    SPLIT: 78-83 
    COMMENT: Allowed a lead-off single but then induced an F-7 and an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP... threw 10 pitches (but only five strikes - no swing & miss)... FB velo was down a tick from his last outing and split was a bit off (strike throwing on FB must be better than 50% to get swing & miss on splitter)... 

    FB: 94-95 
    CT: 89-91 
    SL: 85-87 
    COMMENT: Allowed a lead-off single on a 95-MPH FB on his sixth pitch of the AB, but then retired the next three men in a row (P-4, 5-3, K-swinging on a SL)... Needed 18 pitches to retire the side (12 strikes - five swing & miss, including three on SL, one on CT, and one on FB)... 

    FB: 96-98
    SL/CT: 88-90 
    CH: 86 
    COMMENT: Hurled a 1-2-3 6th inning (L-8, 6-3, P-6)... Threw only 50% strikes (12 pitches -six strikes - one swing & miss on a CH - two foul balls)...   

    FB: 93-94
    SL: 81-84
    COMMENT: 1-2-3 7th inning (4-3, K-swinging, 5-3)... 13-pitches (nine strikes - one swing & miss on SL - two foul balls)... FB has good velo but he doesn't get swing & miss with it, so he throws mainly his "plus" slider (which is his "go-to" strikeout pitch)... of all of the Cubs MLB ST LHRP contenders I have seen so far, Escobar is #1 (Luke Little's stuff is more electric, but he still has trouble commanding it and is clearly not MLB-ready)...    

    FB: 94-96
    CT: 91-92
    SL: 80-82 
    COMMENT: Pitched the 8th inning after the Cubs went ahead 4-3 in the bottom of the 7th... allowed a lead-off single on a 1-0 FB and a two-out single on a 1-0 CT, but he did manage to retire the side without allowing a run... struck out two (both swinging)... threw 19 pitches (11 strikes - five swing & miss - one foul ball)... stuff is plus but FB command comes & goes... 

    FB: 86-87
    SLOW CV: 67-68 
    COMMENT: Threw a 1-2-3 seven pitch (five strike) 9th (F-7, K-swinging on an 86 MPH FB, and F-9) to record the save... while he at one-time featured a mid-90's FB, a mid-80's SL, and a mid-70's CV, after enduring heart surgery in 2021 and TJS in 2022 the 6'8 250+ lefty has morphed into an EXTREME soft-tosser, complete with an "eephus" CV that would make Bill "Spaceman" Lee jealous... 

  • Finwe Noldaran (view)

    Agreed, and with the way they've used him in the organization, I'd imagine he'd be fine with a mostly benchwarmer status; and at this point I don't know why Madrigal is still on the roster.......

  • crunch (view)

    you'd think a guy that could play 2nd and 3rd that has more pop than madrigal could at least get a shot at the team while they're busy paying him to be a multi-millionaire minor leaguer.

  • Finwe Noldaran (view)

    Are we able to orchestrate a giant nationwide conspiracy to convince Bote that all the games during the regular season are now also spring training games and don't count?

  • crunch (view)

    jebus...evidently it is ronnie woo woo.  i wish him health and happiness, but i've been over his main-character-syndrome for decades.

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    Fully agree with all of this too. Preach, crunch!

  • crunch (view)

    any time the wish-dot-com arizona version of ronnie woo woo feels like shutting up would be nice.

  • crunch (view)

    alzolay is f'n filthy...