The Many (Arthur) Rhodes To The Hall of Fame For The Mariners Former Reliever

Arthur Rhodes, who played for the Mariners for four and a half seasons, is experiencing his first year on the Hall of Fame Ballot, he did not, however, have a fun experience, receiving zero Hall of Fame votes.

Today Arthur Rhodes received zero Hall of Fame tallies, he will no longer be on the ballot after receiving less than 5% of the votes.

Rhodes spent 20 years over three different decades in the major leagues with nine different clubs.

Originally a second round selection in the 1988 amateur player draft by the Baltimore Orioles, Rhodes spent nine years in Baltimore before signing with the Mariners in the off-season following the 1999 season.

He spent the next four years in Seattle.

Following his stay there, he never spent more than one season with a team, but later returned to Seattle for half a season before being shipped to the Florida Marlins.

The only exception to that being his two years with the Reds in ’09-’10. He made his only All-Star team in 2010 at the age of 40.

All in all, over his four and a half years with Seattle, Rhodes pitched in 312 games throwing 283 innings all in relief. He had an ERA of 3.05, with a WHIP of 1.04, 315 strikeouts, but only recorded nine saves as he was not the primary closer over those years.

Now, will Arthur Rhodes make the Hall of Fame ever? If he does, it certainly won’t happen early on.

Currently, Billy Wagner –sixth on the all-time saves list- is only projected to have 11.6% of 75% of hall of fame votes needed to get into the Hall. Those numbers are according to Ryan Thibodaux the Hall of Fame ballot tracker on twitter. He finished with 10.2% of the votes.

Wagner ranks 324th in career WAR for pitchers; at 27.7. Rhodes is 774th on that list with a WAR of 15.  That’s 24 spots behind another reliever, Joakim Soria.

In Career adjusted ERA+, which factors in a pitcher’s ERA and the ballpark they pitch in, Rhodes is ranked 350th. Former Mariner Doug Fister is 304th on that list.

He ended his career with a strikeout to walk ratio of 2.23 good enough for 216th all time. Former Mariner Carlos Silva ranks 177th on that list, yes that Carlos Silva. See baseball is weird.

Another statistic that could be more exclusive to a reliever is base-out runs saved.  This stat brings into account bases occupied, the situation, and how many runs the pitcher saved.

On that list Rhodes is 164th. Another person on the ballot this year, his fourth year on the ballot, is Mike Mussina. He is still only projected at 60.6% of HOF ballot votes. Mussina finds himself in the ninth spot on this list but ultimately finished with 51.8% of the vote.

It is difficult to see how great a reliever really is. Relievers are mostly valued for saves and Rhodes has a limited number of those, in fact, he only had 33 saves in his career. ERA and WHIP are also good evaluations of relievers the majority of the time. Rhodes had a career ERA of 4.08 with a WHIP of 1.3.

Currently, the average ERA of HOF pitchers is 2.98, the highest belonging to Red Ruffing who was inducted 50 years ago; his ERA was 3.80.

Of the five pitchers in the HOF who have a similar number of starts as Rhodes, four of them have 200+ saves, the other is Satchel Paige.

Another shot in the arm to Rhodes’ HOF chances is Trevor Hoffman, who is second in all-time saves is projected to just miss the cut of being a Hall of Famer, projected to receive 72.2% of votes. He finished with 74% of the vote, 1% shy of the threshold to make it to Cooperstown.

This is Hoffman’s second year on the ballot.

Hoffman should eventually get in but the fact that he hasn’t gotten in already really hurts Rhodes. There are going to be some voters that just will not vote for him because he was only a one-inning reliever.

Win probability added also works against Rhodes, he is ranked 151st with a 13.94 WPA. Billy Wagner checks in at 36th on that same list. WPA is a quality stat that would help a reliever like Rhodes.

But if someone of Wagner’s quality is not getting many votes for the HOF it is difficult to make an argument for Rhodes.

In addition, situational wins is a stat that would be a good assessment for relievers coming to the mound in tricky situations like Rhodes would do and then assessing how well they escape those situations. Rhodes finds himself ranked 165th on this list, while Wagner can be found at 68th all time.

Rhodes could certainly have benefited from recording more saves in his career. His lack of saves and starts in his extensive career deeply affected his chances.

As a reliever, he had limited chances to impact the game. This is a similar argument to Edgar Martinez, but Martinez ranks as one of the all-time great hitters while Rhodes is more of an above average lefty reliever who was able to keep himself afloat in the league for a long time.

There is nobody like Rhodes in the HOF. If he does get voted in he would be the first of his kind.

It is going to be tough for him to get in with all these sabermetrics working against him.

This year won’t be the year that he gets in.

If Rhodes does get in, we are going to have to wait a long time to see it. Maybe we will see something similar to how Bert Blyleven got in, after a certain amount of years new stats will come out that will help his case.

In the meantime, we will just have to reminisce on Rhodes and his shiny earrings distracting Omar Vizquel.

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