2018 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot: The Players who will be 'one-and-done' this year
There are 11 players not expected to receive the 5 percent necessary to stay on the ballot
The 2018 National Baseball Hall of Fame class will be announced on Jan. 24. In the days leading up to that announcement, we here at CBS Sports will profile one Hall of Fame candidate per day, provided that player is expected to receive the 5 percent of the vote necessary to remain on the ballot another year.
So, with that in mind, our 2018 Hall of Fame coverage begins today with the "one-and-done" players. These are the players not expected to receive the minimum 5 percent of the vote, and will thus drop off the ballot. Excellent players who had long careers, all of them. But they won't get serious Hall of Fame consideration.
This year's Hall of Fame ballot features 33 total players, including 19 first-timers. According to Ryan Thibodaux's public ballot tracker, three of those 19 first-timers (Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel) are already above the 5 percent threshold. Four others are expected to reach it soon (Johnny Damon, Andruw Jones, Scott Rolen, Johan Santana).
The remaining 11 players are our "one-and-dones." This is their first and likely last year on the Hall of Fame ballot. Here are those 11 players, presented in alphabetical order.
Carpenter's story is one of perseverance. The veteran right-hander had Tommy John surgery, shoulder surgery, and thoracic outlet syndrome surgery during his career, yet still played 15 years with the Cardinals and Blue Jays. He retired with a 144-94 record and a 3.76 ERA (116 ERA+). Carpenter won the 2005 NL Cy Young award and also finished second (2009) and third (2006) in the voting in his career. He won a pair of World Series titles with St. Louis (2006 and 2011), and in four career World Series starts, Carpenter allowed six runs in 27 innings. He was the definition of a bulldog.
Less than two years after defecting from Cuba at age 20, Hernandez was pitching in the big leagues. The crafty righty spent 17 seasons in show and pitched for nine teams -- Livan broke in with the Marlins and spent the most time with the Expos/Nationals -- going 178-177 with a 4.44 ERA (95 ERA+) in the process. He had his best years from 2000-04, throwing 1,171 innings with a 4.01 ERA (106 ERA+). Hernandez finished second in the 1997 NL Rookie of the Year voting and was a two-time All-Star. He won a World Series title with the 1997 Marlins and was named MVP of the both the NLCS and World Series that year.
The O-Dog suited up for six teams in his 11 seasons and retired as a career .273/.341/.412 (97 OPS+) hitter with 1,319 hits, 93 home runs, and 85 steals. Hudson did his best work in the field -- he was a four-time Gold Glover who is top 20 all-time among second basemen in defensive WAR. Although he never did win a World Series title, Hudson hit .313 with two home runs in 11 career postseason games.
Huff had a long and productive big league career. He played for five teams in parts of 13 seasons, and retired with a career .278/.342/.464 (114 OPS+) batting line. Huff finished with 1,699 hits and 242 home runs. Although he never went to an All-Star Game, he received MVP votes in three different seasons and was a key member of the 2010 Giants World Series team. He was also part of their 2012 championship team as well.
The most productive member of Generation K wrapped up his career with 300 saves on the nose and three Tommy John surgeries. Isringhausen spent most of his 16 big league seasons with the Mets and Cardinals, throwing 1,007 2/3 innings with a 3.64 ERA (115 ERA+). He went to two All-Star Games and, despite all his time in St. Louis in the mid-2000s, he never did win a World Series. Izzy did post a 2.78 ERA in 26 2/3 career postseason innings, however. He was a rock solid ninth inning man for more than decade.
The man they call El Caballo finished his career with 2,273 hits and 358 home runs to go with his .285/.339/.483 (113 OPS+) batting line. Defense was an issue, sure, but Lee was a two-time All-Star who received MVP votes in three different seasons. He played for five teams in 14 seasons but only once played in the postseason. At his peak from 2002-08, Lee was one of the game's finest RBI men.
Few closers were as utterly dominant as Lidge at his peak. From 2004-08, he saved 163 games with the Astros and Phillies -- that includes a perfect 41 for 41 in save chances in 2008 -- and threw 376 2/3 innings with a 2.92 ERA (150 ERA+). Lidge spent 11 seasons in the show with three teams, and retired with 225 saves and a 3.54 ERA (122 ERA+) in 603 1/3 innings. He struck out 799 batters. Despite some high-profile blow-ups, Lidge had 2.18 ERA in 45 1/3 postseason innings, and closed out Philadelphia's 2008 World Series victory.
Godzilla joined the Yankees in 2003 following 10 dominant seasons with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan. He hit .282/.360/.462 (118 OPS+) with 175 home runs in 10 MLB seasons, seven of which were spent in New York, and he was named MVP of the 2009 World Series. Matsui was a two-time All-Star and runner-up in the 2003 AL Rookie of the Year voting. He also received MVP votes in two different seasons. Between Japan and MLB, Matsui had 2,643 hits and 507 home runs in his professional career.
Millwood broke into the big leagues as the fourth starter behind Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz with the Braves. He played 16 seasons in the big leagues, including six with Atlanta, and retired with a 169-152 record and a 4.11 ERA (106 ERA+). Millwood won an ERA title (2.86 in 2005) and a WHIP title (0.996 in 1999), received Cy Young votes in two different seasons, and holds the rare distinction of throwing a solo no-hitter and being part of a combined no-hitter. He never did win a World Series though, believe it or not.
Gosh, what could have been. Wood was electrifying early in his career, and had one of the prettiest curveballs you will ever see. On May 6, 1998, in his fifth career start, Wood tied the MLB single-game record with 20 strikeouts. By Game Score, it is the best pitched nine-inning game in baseball history.
Injuries derailed Wood's promising career, but he still finished with an 86-75 record and 63 saves in parts of 14 MLB seasons. He owns a career 3.67 ERA (117 ERA+) with 1,582 strikeouts in 1,380 innings. Wood's career 10.3 K/9 is the fourth highest in history among pitchers with at least 1,000 innings pitched. He went to two All-Star Games and was named the 1998 NL Rookie of the Year. Wood never did win a World Series, however.
Wood and Mark Prior were supposed to lead the Cubs to the promised land, but it was Big Z who established himself as the staff ace in the mid-2000s. Zambrano spent 11 of his 12 big league seasons with Chicago and went 132-91 with a 3.66 ERA (120 ERA+) in 1,959 innings before injuries ended his career at age 31. Along the way he went to three All-Star games, thrice finished in the top five of the NL Cy Young voting, and won three Silver Sluggers. He also threw a no-hitter. Zambrano will be best remember for his temper, but the man could pitch.
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