Updates: Mark Buehrle is halfway there, Adam Engel is on board

Ryan Thibodaux’s Hall of Fame ballot tracker collected its 100th vote, and Mark Buehrle is running at 10 percent. If you were praying for first-ballot success, he only needs to appear on about 97 percent of the remaining votes to gain induction.

As for the more modest goal of hanging round for a second ballot, Buehrle’s in better shape. He’s about halfway to the required raw vote total. Thibodaux is estimating 396 votes cast, which means that Buehrle only needs 10 more votes over the remaining 75 percent of the ballots to clear the 5 percent threshold.

His initial ceiling is going to have a fairly low clearance, because of the 10 votes he’s received, half of them are from the Chicago market (Joe Cowley, Chris DeLuca, Bruce Miles, Rick Morrissey, Phil Rogers), with another from Scot Gregor on the way. The Athletic’s 10-ballot dump is probably a more representative sample of Buehrle’s fortunes. He went 0-for-10, with Dan Hayes the only guy who covers the AL Central.

That said, homerism isn’t the only thing going for Buehrle, because he’s already doubled Paul Konerko’s vote total. His success in Chicago is reflective of a case that has a little more meat on the bone. It’s just going to be a challenge for Buehrle to gain headway until the greater share of the electorate realizes that starting pitchers have turned into an every-five-years phenomenon. For the time being, his vote totals will probably reflect that of a local legend who needs a break to finally hit it big.

* * * * * * * * *

The White Sox came to terms with another arbitration-eligible player, signing Adam Engel for one year and $1.375 million. That’s just $250,000 short of the upper-end projection that MLB Trade Rumors gave him, so it’s another data point confirming that arb salaries would be based off extrapolated 162-game totals.

The contract is also a pleasant reminder of Engel’s progress. When he had a .260 OBP over his first 800 plate appearances before the 2019 season, I would have assumed that the White Sox would have churned him off the roster by now. Thanks to improvement against lefties and more help lessening his duties against righties, his second two years with the White Sox are reflective of a whole new player:

  • 2017-18: .207/.260/.314, 57 OPS+, 4.6% BB, 31.7% K
  • 2019-20: .257/.312/.410, 93 OPS+, 5.0% BB, 28.4% K

When Tony La Russa’s former players and coaches rave about his ability to put players in a position to succeed, this is what it looks like. But Engel is a reminder that Rick Renteria probably would have done more of that if the White Sox front office gave him more playable options.

(Photo by Keith Allison)

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Marshall comes in at 2 mil, beating MLBTR projections


Only Lopez and Giolito still to go. Wonder if Giolito has been offered an extension as some of the other core players were?