Weekly Mailbag: Andujar, LeMahieu, Urshela, and German!

Weekly Mailbag: Andujar, LeMahieu, Urshela, and German!

A lot of good stuff in this week’s mailbag. We’ll talk about Andujar’s trade value, LeMahieu’s batted ball profile, and German’s performance. Oh, and I hold back a bit on a response to Urshela’s performance. Read on for the questions and answers in this week’s mailbag!

(Photo Credit: Julie Jacobson, AP)

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Hall-of-Fame Reaction: Mike Mussina

Hall-of-Fame Reaction: Mike Mussina

Baseball’s Hall of Fame and the process through which players gain entry into this elite fraternity has garnered significant scrutiny in recent years due to a flawed voting process that has provoked some head-scratching results, both in favor of some seemingly undeserving players while leaving out players who deserved to be first-ballot Hall-of-Famers.  With the selection of Mike “Moose” Mussina, one such error has been rectified.

Moose has steadily picked up votes during each of his 6 years on the ballot.  It seems that many voters did not view Mussina as an “inner-circle” Hall of Fame player.  While the voters have now voted Moose in, I think that both statistics and the eye test indicate that voters waited 6 years to give Mussina the honor of enshrinement in Cooperstown.

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Yankees Pitchers Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina Elected to the Hall of Fame!

Yankees Pitchers Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina Elected to the Hall of Fame!

Jeff Idelson, the President of the Baseball Hall of Fame, made the official announcement of the 2019 Hall of Fame induction class earlier today on MLBNetwork. This year, the Today’s Game Veterans Committee and the BBWAA have elected 6 players to forever be remembered in the annals of Major League Baseball History. Joining them, will be two great Yankees pitchers, with their inductions into the halls of Cooperstown, NY.

These two amazing Yankees pitchers will join 26 other Yankees players, executives, and managers in Cooperstown this summer.

The first Yankee announced to be joining the 2019 Hall of Fame class, who will spur much debate about what cap he will be wearing in Cooperstown, with 76.7% of the vote, starting pitcher: Mike Mussina.

In his 18-Year Career, Mussina collected 83.0 WAR, pitched to an ERA of 3.86, and a WHIP of 1.192 over 3562.2 innings while pitching exclusively in the AL East. Even with his 5 All-Star Games, and 7 Gold Glove awards, Mussina’s case for the Hall of Fame had been greatly debated.

The second Yankee announced to be joining the 2019 Hall of Fame class, and the first ever player to be elected unanimously by the BBWAA, with 100% of the vote, and is- without a doubt- the greatest relief pitcher in baseball history: Mariano Rivera.

In his 19-Year Career, Mariano collected 56.2 WAR, set the career record for Saves with 652, and pitched to an ERA of 2.21, and a WHIP of 1.000 over 1283.2 innings. In addition to his 13 All-Star Games, and 5 World Series Rings, Rivera’s advanced stats also paint the picture an amazing pitcher.

Mariano Rivera and Mike Mussina join fellow BBWAA 2019 Hall of Fame Inductee’s: Roy Halladay (RHP) and Edgar Martinez (DH/3B); alongside Veteran’s Committee Inductee’s: Lee Smith (RHP) and Harold Baines (DH/OF).

Congratulations to all the players above on Baseball Immortality and Welcome to Cooperstown!

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Three Yankees for the Hall of Fame

Three Yankees for the Hall of Fame

Six one time Yankees are on the Hall of Fame ballot this year. The six Yankees are: Roger Clemens, Johnny Damon, Andruw Jones, Hideki Matsui, Mike Mussina and Gary Sheffield. A seventh, Fred McGriff, was traded to the Blue Jays for a journeyman pitcher named Dale Murray while still in the minors. That remains one of the worst trades in Yankee history. The six Yankees include one very good player, Mastui, who despite his heroics in the 2009 World Series, is not a serious candidate and will likely get little support. Another candidate, Roger Clemens, has unequivocal Hall of Fame credentials as the best pitcher of his generation, but has been associated with PED use. The debate around Clemens is essentially a steroids debate about which pretty much everybody has already made up their mind. My position is that If I had a vote, I would vote for Clemens and Barry Bonds, but the remaining five candidates on the ballot are all more interesting from a purely baseball perspective.

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Luis Tiant and Tommy John for the Hall of Fame

Luis Tiant and Tommy John for the Hall of Fame

The Cooperstown case for John is based on having had a long and very good, if never quite great, career and for the larger impact he had on baseball. For Tiant, his very impressive peak, relative longevity, including 229 wins and just short of 3,500 innings pitched, are a big part of his case, but there is more to Tiant than that. He was a reliable big game pitcher and one of the first great Cuban stars to make it to the big leagues. Starting pitchers are not well represented in Cooperstown. Tiant and John are among the best of their era who are not in yet, so electing them would begin to rectify that and perhaps open the door to even more qualified pitchers, like longtime Yankee Mike Mussina, from later eras. And, for what its worth, both were better pitchers than Jack Morris who may just get in on some kind of strange sympathy vote this year.

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