Well, thanks to an unusually busy December thus far (which could make for painfully longer January), we’re finally getting around to voting on Washington’s minor-league pitchers, a.k.a. the arms.
Like before, send your Top 10 list to enfieldmass-top10arms[at]yahoo[dot]com (link will open your preferred email client) or post them in the comments.
I’ll then tally the votes, weighting them in reverse order (#1 = 10 points, #2 = 9 points… #9 = 2 points, #10 = 1 point) and then post the results along with the requisite comments and/or snark.
Now, one of the things that came out of Tuesday’s post was a lovely little exchange on Twitter between myself and
his holiness John Manuel of Baseball America. In case he deletes his response (folks have been known to do that), BA ignores service time in favor of ABs for position players (130), IP for starting pitchers (50), and appearances for relievers (30). I bring this up because there is one rather notable pitcher who has exceeded his rookie eligibility – A.J. Cole. If you were under the impression that all September activity does not count, that’s not quite accurate. September doesn’t count towards service time, but IPs and ABs do.
Now, to make matters worse, baseball-reference.com is listing players that I’m 99% sure have not exceeded either limit of service or playing time (like this guy). This may very well explain why BA ignores that loophole; it is easier to calculate.
However, I still think rookie-eligible is the standard because these kind of exceptions usually aren’t a big deal. Let’s be honest:
Cole and Wilmer Difo are in the conversation primarily because the upper levels of the Nationals minors have been thinned (or aged) out.
A.J. Cole is off the table with four other pitchers are gone via trades this month, so this ought to be a very interesting exercise. So vote early (но не часто, спасибо), and let’s see how this goes.
I got the 50 and 45 mixed up in my head. Cole is eligible.