Full disclosure: this open thread is simply an opportunity for us to rant about the terrible opinion of an unnamed baseball writer. This individual, quoted by the completely innocent Matt Eddy of Baseball America, was unsure of the Hall of Fame credentials of one Miguel Cabrera. Yes, the same Miguel Cabrera who won back-to-back MVPs in 2012 and 2013, and who clinched baseball’s first Triple Crown in a few decades en route to that first MVP award.
As one might expect, Eddy’s poll was rather lopsided.
I deleted my clumsily worded tweet about Miguel Cabrera's Hall of Fame chances. Poll results below.— Matt Eddy (@MattEddyBA) May 29, 2019
I would vote for him (if I had a vote), but after hearing a writer say he would (probably) withhold a vote for Cabrera, I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.
I wasn't pic.twitter.com/3ozqu2a2lD
Since an open thread titled “Is Miguel Cabrera a Hall of Famer?” would have elicited a similarly one-sided response (on a Detroit Tigers website, no less), we figured the Question of the Day should go in a different direction.
How many Hall of Famers have played for the Tigers since 2006?
My answer: Four, for now. Ivan Rodriguez is the gimme since he’s already in the Hall, while Cabrera, Justin Verlander, and Max Scherzer will join him one day. Verlander’s case for induction was once in doubt, but he has cemented his status among baseball royalty with a resurgence over the past few seasons — yes, even before he joined the Houston Astros and their analytical army in 2017.
Scherzer doesn’t immediately come to mind for some since he has been gone for a few more years, but he has enjoyed an elite peak of his career. He has a 2.94 ERA in over 1,500 innings since 2012, and is currently on pace to lead the league in strikeouts for a fifth consecutive season. He already has three Cy Young Awards, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he won a fourth at any point. He should also reach the 3,000 strikeout plateau by the end of his contract, giving him the counting stats voters crave. He’s in.
Beyond that? It’s tough to single anyone out. Gary Sheffield was on the Hall of Fame ballot for a while, and is a debatable candidate, but I think his résumé falls just short. Ditto Ian Kinsler, who may eventually get a bit more love as the BBWAA slowly starts to evolve, and J.D. Martinez, who probably got off to too late a start to really make a case for induction. Victor Martinez also feels more like a “Hall of Very Good” player rather than someone who will end up in Cooperstown.
There are also a couple of relievers (yes, really) who could get some votes one day. Neither Joe Nathan nor Francisco Rodriguez put up Hall of Fame numbers with the Tigers, but both accumulated a boatload of saves throughout their respective careers, which resonates with many of the BBWAA’s voters. I’ll let the rest of you debate if either of them have enough saves — 377 for Nathan, 437 for Rodriguez — to get in.
And can they put Lou Whitaker in the dang Hall of Fame already?