As we wait for spring training to start, I thought I might run some polls regarding some of the guys on the Hall of Fame ballot this year.
Today we are looking at pitcher Mark Buehrle.
Mark Buehrle was one of the last of a mostly-dead breed. A 38th round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox out of Jefferson College in 1998, the lefty made his major league debut in 2000, working mostly out of the bullpen. He was a member of the White Sox rotation to start the 2001 season, and spent the next fifteen years taking the ball every fifth day and giving his team 6+ innings.
Buehrle’s consistency was remarkable. From 2001-15, he started at least 30 games every season, and averaged 32.67 starts per season. He had fourteen straight seasons with at least 200 innings pitched, only failing to hit that market in 2015, when he logged “only” 198.2 innings. He had an ERA+ below league average just twice — in 2006, when he put up a 95 ERA+, and in 2013, when he just missed with a 99 ERA+.
For his career, Buehrle ended up with a 214-160 record in 518 appearances, putting up a 3.81 ERA, a 4.11 FIP and a 117 ERA+. Buehrle ended his career with a 60.0 bWAR and a 52.3 fWAR. JAWS has him 78th among starting pitchers, part of a large group of similar pitchers that includes Hall of Famers like Joe McGinnity and Whitey Ford, along with Tommy John, Orel Hershiser, Andy Pettitte, Frank Tanana, and Cole Hamels.
Throughout his career he was considered an excellent fielder, winning four Gold Gloves, and his defensive ability likely helps explain at least some of the ERA/FIP split. He was definitely a guy who relied on balls in play being handle — for his career he had just a 5.1 K/9 rate, lower than any of the 16 other pitchers who accumulated at least 30 WAR from 2001-10 by a fair margin.
There are three things that really stick in my mind about Buehrle, two relating to the Rangers, one not. First was that he accused the Rangers of stealing signs at Globe Life Field and having someone in the center field stands area flash lights to signal the Rangers batters what was coming. Second was that he threw a no-hitter against the Rangers in 2007, when the only baserunner he allowed was Sammy Sosa, on a walk (and then he picked Sosa off).
Third was that he signed a four year, heavily backloaded deal with the Miami Marlins as a free agent after the 2011 season. Buehrle didn’t get a no-trade clause, but was assured that he wouldn’t be dealt. After the 2011 season, the Marlins sent Buehrle, along with Jose Reyes (also signed to a heavily backloaded deal after the 2011 season), to Toronto in a 12 player deal.
Do you believe Mark Buehrle should be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year?
Cast your vote below...
Should Mark Buehrle be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year?
This poll is closed