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Chris Sale Is Not Making The Hall Of Fame

The 2022 season will end for Chris Sale as it began. He'll be on the Injured List. He's made 11 total starts over the past three seasons. His elbow is the main culprit for him missing so much time but in that time period, he's also had a pinkie injury and now he's broken his wrist while riding his bike.

Sale was wildly dominant in his 20's going 103-62 with a 2.89 ERA. He finished in the Top 6 in Cy Young voting seven times and made the All-Star Team each of those seasons as well. He led the league in strikeouts twice and even won a World Series in 2018. Since Sale turned 30, he's been 11-13 with a 4.09 ERA with 36 starts over four seasons. 

People were predicting the downfall of Chris Sale long before he turned 30. It was said he was too skinny to last very long in the majors. Others said his pitching motion would doom his career. But Sale was pretty durable for a few years and averaged almost 30 starts a year from 2012-18. He threw the last pitch of the 2018 World Series and then signed a 5 year extension with the Red Sox worth $145 million. 

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Then he turned 30 and it all fell apart.

Giphy Images.

Next year he'll be 34 and he only has 114 career wins. While 300 wins was the benchmark for pitchers making the Hall of Fame, that's now a 200 win touchstone. Roy Halladay was a first ballot HOFer and he only had 203 career wins. Pitchers like Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw are all expected to have induction ceremonies at Cooperstown and won't hit 300. 

Winning less than 200 will make getting elected tough. Sandy Koufax was elected in 1972 and only won 165 games. But he won three Cy Youngs, an MVP and multiple World Series. I'm a biased Mets fan but I put Jacob deGrom more in this camp. He won't win 200 games in his career (only has 78 currently) but if he can get over 125, he's got a chance. I don't think Sale has been as dominant. 

Jacob deGrom: 78-53, 2.50 ERA, 200 GS, 1272 IP, 1523 K, 2 Cy Youngs, 4 All-Star Games, 42.7 WAR

Chris Sale: 114-75, 3.03 ERA, 243 GS, 1678 IP, 2078 K, 7 All-Star Games, 1 WS Title, 45.5 WAR

They look pretty even so let me explain. If deGrom retires today, I don't see him getting in but if he can get 50 more wins I think he has a chance. Like Sale, he's also been fragile of late but unlike Sale, he's looks more impressive in his return. But I'm guessing we can all agree that if either guy never pitches another game, neither are getting in.

That goes back to to my core issues with Sale in regards to the Hall of Fame. I don't have confidence he can return as a regular everyday pitcher and the last time he was one, he wasn't elite. For several years, he was in that Verlander/Scherzer/Kershaw camp and was a consistently great pitcher. It just wasn't for a long enough time.