Franchise All Star Teams (Divisional Era Version) - Part V - Teams #11-15

October 8, 2022
Franchise All-Star Teams of the Divisional Era
Teams #11-15
 
This is part V of a multi-part series reviewing all-star franchise teams of the Divisional Era (1969 to present). The kickoff article explains the premise.
 
Picking up the countdown with #15…..
 
 
#15-California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels
 
Team Performance by Decade:

Team
WS Titles
Overall W-L %
1970's*
1980's
1990's
2000's
2010's**
LAA
1
.502
.480
.500
.472
.556
.502
 
The Angels are one of the few teams with a winning record in the Divisional Era (their .502 winning percentage from 1969-2021 is the 10th highest among the 30 teams).   However, they have only made the postseason 10 times. 6 of those 10 times occurred in the first decade of the 2000’s, which was by far their best decade, as well as being the one in which they won their lone World Series (2002). 
 
In recent seasons, what they have mostly been known for is their consistency in terms of missing the postseason despite having 2 of the biggest stars of recent vintage (Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani) at their disposal.
 
Roster Listing:
Pos
Player
Raw Score
Weight
Adjusted Score
C
Bob Boone
33.8
6.00%
30.4
1B
Darin Erstad
56.4
6.00%
50.7
2B
Bobby Grich
61.6
6.00%
55.4
3B
Troy Glaus
54.5
6.00%
49.0
SS
Andrelton Simmons
51.7
6.00%
46.5
LF
Garret Anderson
47.5
6.00%
42.7
CF
Mike Trout
111.6
6.00%
100.5
RF
Tim Salmon
59.9
6.00%
53.9
DH
Shohei Ohtani
56.2
4.75%
40.0
SP1
Nolan Ryan
65.8
5.25%
51.8
SP2
Chuck Finley
74.5
5.00%
55.9
SP3
Frank Tanana
64.0
4.75%
45.6
SP4
Jered Weaver
62.6
4.50%
42.3
SP5
Mark Langston
55.3
3.25%
26.9
RP1
Francisco Rodriguez
70.3
3.75%
39.6
RP2
Troy Percival
65.2
2.75%
26.9
P
John Lackey
53.1
2.00%
15.9
P
Jarrod Washburn
50.5
2.00%
15.1
P
Mike Witt
48.4
2.00%
14.5
Res
Brian Downing
51.8
2.00%
15.5
Res
Jim Edmonds
55.5
2.00%
16.7
Res
Howie Kendrick
50.5
2.00%
15.1
Res
Chone Figgins
50.3
2.00%
15.1
Res
Torii Hunter
50.2
2.00%
15.1
Res
Vladimir Guerrero
54.1
2.00%
16.2
Mgr
Mike Scioscia
n/a
n/a
897.4
 
Grid View:
Pos
Name
 Batting Order
Rotation
Bullpen/Spot
Reserves
C
Bob Boone
 Darin Erstad
Nolan Ryan
Francisco Rodriguez
Brian Downing
1B
Darin Erstad
 Mike Trout
Chuck Finley
Troy Percival
Jim Edmonds
2B
Bobby Grich
 Tim Salmon
Frank Tanana
John Lackey
Howie Kendrick
3B
Troy Glaus
 Troy Glaus
Jered Weaver
Jarrod Washburn
Chone Figgins
SS
Andrelton Simmons
 Shohei Ohtani
Mark Langston
Mike Witt
Torii Hunter
LF
Garret Anderson
 Garret Anderson
 
 
Vladimir Guerrero
CF
Mike Trout
 Bobby Grich
 
 
 
RF
Tim Salmon
 Andrelton Simmons
 
 
 
DH
Shohei Ohtani
 Bob Boone
 
 
 
 
Rankings:
Category
Score
Rank
Team Score
897.4
15
Offense
93.6
27
Defense
60.7
8
Speed
13.3
15
Infield
201.7
26
Outfield
197.1
4
Catching
45.9
25
Starting 9
469.2
21
Bench
93.7
9
Staff
334.5
8
Rotation
222.5
12
4 Starters
195.5
12
Bullpen
112.0
6
Short Relief
82.4
5
 
Position/Roster Notes:
There was a notable lack of quality catchers. I felt comfortable enough that Downing put in enough time and was capable enough behind the plate to have him serve as the backup catcher (along with playing the outfield and DH’ing), but didn’t want to name him as the starting catcher, so I went with Boone.
 
Not sure if others feel like Ohtani’s a bit too early to put on an All-Angels team, but I’m sold. I have him as the DH, and although I didn’t list him among the pitchers, he’s clearly free to help out there if needed. I felt like he had to be on the team.
 
Figgins is one of those super-utility types of players that I love to see on these teams. He can basically play anywhere in the field other than catcher and first base, and he gives the team some nice speed and the ability to get to get on base. Kendrick is another versatile bench player – not nearly as much as Figgins, but Kendrick can help out at 1B, 2B, and OF, and offers a nice bat with decent pop.
 
Erstad split his time between 1B and OF with the Angels, but I didn’t really see a better option at first base, so I installed him there. 
 
Missed the Cut:
Wally Joyner could have made the team, and may have been the best "primary" first baseman, but I went with Erstad to start and have others to back up.
 
Rod Carew got in 7 decent years with the team, but just wasn’t quite the player he was with the Twins, so I left him off.
 
Erick Aybar has nearly twice as many games played as an Angel, but I went with Simmons as the starting shortstop, and Aybar did not make the roster.
 
Jim Fregosi is the best all-time Angels shortstop, but he didn’t get in enough time in this era.
 
"Grand" Club:
Garret Anderson, Tim Salmon, Brian Downing, Mike Trout, Darin Erstad, Bobby Grich, Bobby Grich, Erick Aybar, Albert Pujols, Dick Schofield, Gary Disarcina, Howie Kendrick
 
Mount Rushmore Four:
Mike Trout, Nolan Ryan, Tim Salmon, Shohei Ohtani
 
Vlad Guerrero was one of the MLB Franchise Four that was named several years ago, but I promoted Ohtani over him. Again, might be premature, but I think he’s an appropriate choice.
 
Team Assessment:
Strengths: Short relievers, overall staff, defense
Weaknesses: Offense, catching
 
The Angels have the image of a solid team built around good defense and pitching, but generally lacking in strong hitters, the presence of Trout notwithstanding. They only rank #27 in offense in my scoring.
 
The short relievers (primarily Rodriguez and Percival) are top notch. Percival had over 300 saves with the franchise and Rodriguez had over 200. I went with Rodriguez as the primary closer as I felt he was the more effective of the two, but they’re both excellent short men.
 
The starting rotation is pretty solid as well, led by Ryan, Finley, Weaver, and Tanana. No Cy Young winners, but Ryan, Weaver, and Tanana all had multiple top-5 finishes. And Finley, to me, is one of the more underrated starters of recent vintage. He’s basically in the Kevin Appier/Mark Buehrle family - pitchers with ERA’s in the high 3.00’s, but with good ERA+’s (115 to 120 or so) and good career rWARs (roughly mid-50’s to low 60’s). Good, quality pitchers, but ones who tend to get underrated a bit because their basic ERA’s are kind of high. But he was a terrific pitcher.
 
Futures
Trout and Ohtani are already on the team, and no one else jumps out at me.

#14-Detroit Tigers
 
Team Performance by Decade:

Team
WS Titles
Overall W-L %
1970's*
1980's
1990's
2000's
2010's**
DET
1
.483
.496
.536
.448
.450
.480
 
The Tigers are #14 in my rankings, but their overall winning percentage is only 23rd, a 9-place gap that’s one of the bigger gaps in this review.
 
The Tigers were generally in the upper half of the American League through the 1960’s, and they were the last World Series champion (1968) in the pre-Divisional Era. They continued as a solid team for a few more years, including taking a division title in 1972, but then hit the skids for a few seasons. 
 
1978 was a turning point as they reeled off 11 straight winning seasons behind the emergence of several very good young players, led their long-time double play duo of Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell.  Right around that time (give or take a year or two) they came up with the likes of Jack Morris, Kirk Gibson, Lance Parrish, and Steve Kemp, an impressive surge of good, young, talent. They didn’t make the postseason very often, but they did put it all together in a memorable 1984 campaign where they won 104 regular season games and capped it off with a World Series title.
 
They reached the playoffs again in 1987, but then went 18 straight seasons before finding the postseason again. They reached the World Series in 2006, and then made 4 straight postseasons in 2011-2014, going to the World Series in 2012. From 2015 to the present, they’ve been pretty bad.
 
Roster Listing:
Pos
Player
Raw Score
Weight
Adjusted Score
C
Lance Parrish
56.7
6.00%
51.1
1B
Miguel Cabrera
66.4
6.00%
59.7
2B
Lou Whitaker
80.4
6.00%
72.4
3B
Travis Fryman
54.2
6.00%
48.8
SS
Alan Trammell
78.3
6.00%
70.4
LF
Tony Phillips
62.4
6.00%
56.1
CF
Curtis Granderson
59.3
6.00%
53.3
RF
Chet Lemon
56.2
6.00%
50.6
DH
Kirk Gibson
60.2
4.75%
42.9
SP1
Justin Verlander
78.5
5.25%
61.8
SP2
Jack Morris
65.4
5.00%
49.0
SP3
Mickey Lolich
63.4
4.75%
45.1
SP4
Max Scherzer
55.7
4.50%
37.6
SP5
Dan Petry
43.4
3.25%
21.1
RP1
John Hiller
67.0
3.75%
37.7
RP2
Mike Henneman
47.1
2.75%
19.4
P
Willie Hernandez
41.3
2.00%
12.4
P
Joe Coleman
40.9
2.00%
12.3
P
Dave Rozema
43.5
2.00%
13.0
Res
Bill Freehan
49.7
2.00%
14.9
Res
Cecil Fielder
40.0
2.00%
12.0
Res
Placido Polanco
56.9
2.00%
17.1
Res
Carlos Guillen
47.0
2.00%
14.1
Res
Austin Jackson
57.0
2.00%
17.1
Res
Bobby Higginson
44.3
2.00%
13.3
Mgr
Jim Leyland
n/a
n/a
903.4
 
Grid View:
Pos
Name
 Batting Order
Rotation
Bullpen/Spot
Reserves
C
Lance Parrish
 Tony Phillips
Justin Verlander
John Hiller
Bill Freehan
1B
Miguel Cabrera
 Lou Whitaker
Jack Morris
Mike Henneman
Cecil Fielder
2B
Lou Whitaker
 Alan Trammell
Mickey Lolich
Willie Hernandez
Placido Polanco
3B
Travis Fryman
 Miguel Cabrera
Max Scherzer
Joe Coleman
Carlos Guillen
SS
Alan Trammell
 Kirk Gibson
Dan Petry
Dave Rozema
Austin Jackson
LF
Tony Phillips
 Lance Parrish
 
 
Bobby Higginson
CF
Curtis Granderson
 Curtis Granderson
 
 
 
RF
Chet Lemon
 Chet Lemon
 
 
 
DH
Kirk Gibson
 Travis Fryman
 
 
 
 
Rankings:
Category
Score
Rank
Team Score
903.4
14
Offense
96.5
24
Defense
78.4
3
Speed
5.5
26
Infield
251.3
8
Outfield
160.1
19
Catching
66.0
12
Starting 9
505.3
13
Bench
88.5
14
Staff
309.6
16
Rotation
214.7
15
4 Starters
193.6
14
Bullpen
94.8
20
Short Relief
69.5
16
 
Position/Roster Notes:
Phillips is one of the great "Swiss Army Knife" players of all-time. I’ve got him starting in left field, but he can play all over the diamond. Guillen also offers some nice position flexibility in a reserve role, can back up at several positions.
 
If this were an all-time all-star team, I’d have Freehan over Parrish at catcher, but since it’s Divisional Era only, Parrish rates the edge.
 
There is some flexibility in how to best deploy Cabrera. I went with him at first base, but he could also play third base or DH.  Fielder is also a candidate to play first base and DH if the team wants to get a little more power in the lineup.
 
Granderson and Lemon were both primarily center fielders, but I had them both in the starting lineup, and Lemon played enough right field for me to be comfortable with it. Another option would be to start Gibson in right field and move either Granderson or Lemon to the bench, and install Fielder at DH.
 
I have Scherzer as the #4 starter behind Verlander, Morris, and Lolich. Scherzer with Detroit wasn’t quite the ace he later became with Washington, but he was still pretty good, and did win a Cy Young with Detroit.
 
I haven’t talked much about managers in most of these team reviews, but I did decide to go with Jim Leyland over Sparky Anderson, despite the fact that Sparky won the 1 title and managed twice as many seasons with the Tigers as Leyland did. I think Leyland’s record, all things considered, is better.
 
Missed the Cut:
One of the recurring themes as I went through this exercise is the number of players who are all-time franchise greats but don’t make the Divisional Era team because most of their greatness was realized prior to this era. For the Tigers, the most prominent example is that of Al Kaline. Kaline did get in 6 seasons with the team in this era, but he wasn’t the same player anymore. If you sort Kaline’s seasons by rWAR, his top 12 seasons all occurred prior to 1969. The 1969-1974 version of Kaline was still a decent player, but there’s not enough there for me to include him.
 
Norm Cash is kind of a similar situation – he also played through 1974, but about 80% of his career value is prior to 1969.
 
Ron LeFlore was a notable player and certainly would have helped the team’s speed shortage, but I had others rated above him.
 
Brandon Inge is another interesting multi-position option (mostly 3B and C, some OF) who played with the team a long time (12 seasons), but I opted for others.
 
Todd Jones has the most saves for the Tigers in this era, but he didn’t rate very well in terms of effectiveness (4.07 ERA, 113 ERA+), so I opted for the 3 "H" relievers (Hiller, Henneman, Hernandez) over him.
 
"Grand" Club:
Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammell, Miguel Cabrera, Brandon Inge, Bobby Higginson, Aurelio Rodriguez, Tom Brookens, Chet Lemon, Kirk Gibson, Lance Parrish, Travis Fryman, Mickey Stanley.
 
The Tigers have a bunch of 1,000 game players who didn’t make the roster: Inge, Rodriguez, Brookens, and Stanley.
 
Mount Rushmore Four:
Miguel Cabrera, Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Justin Verlander
 
Team Assessment:
Strengths: Keystone combination, infield, defense
Weaknesses: Speed, overall hitting
 
The strength of the team lies in three-fourths of the infield, with the longest running double play combination in history (Whitaker/Trammell) anchoring the defense, and a sure-fire Hall of Famer in Cabrera over at first base. 
 
The team ranks as pretty solid on defense as well, with Trammell, Whitaker, Parrish, Lemon, and Granderson all rating well in the field. 
 
The top of the rotation’s not bad, with Verlander as the clear ace with two workhorses (Morris and Lolich) behind him and a young Scherzer holding down the 4th slot.
 
The team definitely is a bit on the slow side, and they don’t rank very high in overall offense or the bullpen.
 
Futures
Nobody really jumped out at me. Maybe Gregory Soto, who has 50 career saves and has made a couple of All Star teams could make a run at a bullpen slot.


#13-Philadelphia Phillies
 
Team Performance by Decade:

Team
WS Titles
Overall W-L %
1970's*
1980's
1990's
2000's
2010's**
PHI
2
.495
.493
.501
.470
.525
.487
 
The Phillies have basically had 2 separate clusters of success in the Divisional Era. In the mid-1970’s to mid-1980’s, the Phillies made the postseason 6 times in 8 years, reaching the World Series twice and winning once (1980). We can call that the "Mike Schmidt/Steve Carlton" era.
 
They did get back to the World Series once in the following 20 years (1993, losing to the Blue Jays in an entertaining series). Then, they had a great run from 2007 to 2011 under Charlie Manual from 2007 to 2011 with 5 consecutive NL East crowns, highlighted by back-to-back World Series appearances in 2008 and 2009 (beating the Rays, losing to the Yankees. This I guess could be referred to as the "Chase Utley/Jimmy Rollins" era.
 
Roster Listing:
Pos
Player
Raw Score
Weight
Adjusted Score
C
Darren Daulton
46.5
6.00%
41.8
1B
Ryan Howard
34.5
6.00%
31.1
2B
Chase Utley
83.9
6.00%
75.5
3B
Mike Schmidt
101.7
6.00%
91.5
SS
Jimmy Rollins
62.7
6.00%
56.4
LF
Von Hayes
51.4
6.00%
46.2
CF
Lenny Dykstra
66.2
6.00%
59.6
RF
Bobby Abreu
73.2
6.00%
65.9
DH
Greg Luzinski
57.4
4.75%
40.9
SP1
Steve Carlton
84.2
5.25%
66.3
SP2
Cole Hamels
65.8
5.00%
49.3
SP3
Curt Schilling
63.2
4.75%
45.0
SP4
Aaron Nola
57.1
4.50%
38.6
SP5
Cliff Lee
56.3
3.25%
27.4
RP1
Jonathan Papelbon
63.6
3.75%
35.8
RP2
Tug McGraw
32.2
2.75%
13.3
P
Ron Reed
34.2
2.00%
10.3
P
Steve Bedrosian
33.3
2.00%
10.0
P
Roy Halladay
57.7
2.00%
17.3
Res
Carlos Ruiz
46.2
2.00%
13.9
Res
John Kruk
49.5
2.00%
14.8
Res
Juan Samuel
33.3
2.00%
10.0
Res
Larry Bowa
41.6
2.00%
12.5
Res
Scott Rolen
66.5
2.00%
20.0
Res
Garry Maddox
51.7
2.00%
15.5
Mgr
Charlie Manuel
n/a
n/a
908.8
 
Grid View:
Pos
Name
 Batting Order
Rotation
Bullpen/Spot
Reserves
C
Darren Daulton
 Lenny Dykstra
Steve Carlton
Jonathan Papelbon
Carlos Ruiz
1B
Ryan Howard
 Bobby Abreu
Cole Hamels
Tug McGraw
John Kruk
2B
Chase Utley
 Chase Utley
Curt Schilling
Ron Reed
Juan Samuel
3B
Mike Schmidt
 Mike Schmidt
Aaron Nola
Steve Bedrosian
Larry Bowa
SS
Jimmy Rollins
 Greg Luzinski
Cliff Lee
Roy Halladay
Scott Rolen
LF
Von Hayes
 Ryan Howard
 
 
Garry Maddox
CF
Lenny Dykstra
 Von Hayes
 
 
 
RF
Bobby Abreu
 Darren Daulton
 
 
 
DH
Greg Luzinski
 Jimmy Rollins
 
 
 
 
Rankings:
Category
Score
Rank
Team Score
908.8
13
Offense
107.3
20
Defense
58.0
11
Speed
17.5
7
Infield
254.5
7
Outfield
171.7
12
Catching
55.7
19
Starting 9
508.9
12
Bench
86.7
19
Staff
313.3
14
Rotation
226.7
8
4 Starters
199.2
8
Bullpen
86.6
25
Short Relief
59.3
26
 
Position/Roster Notes:
Catcher was a real dog fight as the Phillies had several good options. I went with Daulton and Ruiz, but Bob Boone (the Angels starting catcher) and Mike Lieberthal were worthy candidates as well.
 
The team has 2 exceptionally strong third basemen in Schmidt and Rolen, with Schmidt as the obvious starter.
 
Halladay made the team because he was the best of the options. He only got in 4 seasons with the team, and only 2 of them were any good, but it was enough for me to include him on the roster, although I had him behind Nola and Lee. Maybe the 3 of them could split 2 of the rotation slots.
 
Missed the Cut:
Shane Victorino got in almost 1,000 games with the franchise and was a strong contender for a slot, but I ran out of room.
 
Jayson Werth was a solid player for 4 years, but there wasn’t enough there for me.
 
Placido Polanco got in 7 seasons with the Phillies and offered some position flexibility, but I opted for others.
 
Pat Burrell was a nice power/walk combination who played over 1,300 games for the Phillies, but I just didn’t have him rated high enough.
 
"Grand" Club:
Mike Schmidt, Jimmy Rollins, Larry Bowa, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Bobby Abreu, Garry Maddox, Pat Burrell, Greg Luzinski, Von Hayes, Mike Lieberthal, Bob Boone, Darren Daulton, Greg Gross, Carlos Ruiz
 
Mount Rushmore Four:
Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley
 
Team Assessment:
Strengths: Speed, infield, rotation
Weaknesses: Bullpen
 
Lots of speed on the roster: Rollins, Samuel, Abreu, Bowa, Dykstra, Maddox, and Hayes all had seasons with more than 30 steals, and several of them had seasons with 40 or more.   Schmidt and Utley were not as prolific, but they had good speed as well, and Utley almost always succeeded when he attempted a steal (88% success rate).
 
Even with Howard not scoring particularly well (his WAR is notoriously low), it’s still a strong infield with Howard, Utley, Rollins, and Schmidt as starters, with 3 of those winning at least 1 MVP award with the team.
 
The rotation rates pretty well with Carlton as a true ace and with Hamels and Schilling backing him up. I think Schilling often tends to be remembered more for his impressive stint with the Diamondbacks as well as his time with Boston (especially the "Bloody Sock" game), but he was quite good with the Phillies. Hamels I think tends to get a little underrated because he lacks some of the glamorous pitching accomplishments (no Cy Young, no 20-win seasons, etc.), but he was a consistently valuable pitcher with the Phillies.
 
Papelbon was pretty effective in his years with the Phillies, but overall the bullpen doesn’t score very well.
 
Futures
Bryce Harper is the first name that jumps out at me. He now has been with the team for 4 years but only has 455 games due to the pandemic season as well as missing a lot of games in 2022. However, he does have an MVP with the franchise and has been very productive when in the lineup, and he’s still only 29. If he stays with the team a few more years, I can see him taking over a spot, maybe even a starting one.

Like Harper, J.T. Realmuto has also now played 4 seasons with the Phillies. I don’t have him on the team yet, and the team does have some other good options at catcher, but a few more years like the one he just had and he’ll make a real push for a spot.
 
Rhys Hoskins is another current Phillies player who could merit consideration. He’s shown consistent power. He needs a few more seasons before he justifies a slot.
 
Zack Wheeler has had 3 pretty good seasons with the team so far. If he can string a few more together, he could make a case.
 
#12-St. Louis Cardinals
 
Team Performance by Decade:

Team
WS Titles
Overall W-L %
1970's*
1980's
1990's
2000's
2010's**
STL
3
.528
.500
.529
.495
.564
.554
 
The Cardinals entered the Divisional Era fresh off a decade (1960’s) where they went to the World Series 3 times in a 5-year span, winning 2 of those. However, despite some competitive seasons, Cardinals didn’t make the postseason in the first 13 seasons of the new era. 
 
Since then, though, they’ve been a regular participant in MLB’s postseason tournaments, making the playoffs 19 times in the 40 subsequent years, reaching the World Series 7 times and winning 3 of those. As the table above implies, they’ve been a pretty consistent winner, finishing under .500 only in the 1990’s (and not that far under at that). I think most would consider the Cardinals to be in the upper echelon of MLB organizations, both in terms of success and reputation.
 
The Cardinals have a bit of a gap between their overall winning percentage in the Divisional Era (they have the 4th best winning percentage of all 30 teams) and their roster rank in my countdown (#12). If you expected them to finish at least in the top 10 of this countdown…..well, so did I, but then evaluating a franchise by assembling an all-star roster isn’t the same as fielding a consistently competitive team in real life. You would expect some correlation, but one doesn’t necessarily translate to the other. 
 
Roster Listing:
Pos
Player
Raw Score
Weight
Adjusted Score
C
Ted Simmons
65.9
6.00%
59.3
1B
Keith Hernandez
62.2
6.00%
56.0
2B
Tom Herr
42.8
6.00%
38.5
3B
Scott Rolen
71.7
6.00%
64.5
SS
Ozzie Smith
78.2
6.00%
70.4
LF
Ray Lankford
58.1
6.00%
52.3
CF
Jim Edmonds
69.2
6.00%
62.3
RF
Brian Jordan
58.4
6.00%
52.6
DH
Albert Pujols
107.3
4.75%
76.5
SP1
Bob Gibson
65.7
5.25%
51.8
SP2
Adam Wainwright
67.7
5.00%
50.8
SP3
Chris Carpenter
59.0
4.75%
42.0
SP4
Bob Forsch
51.5
4.50%
34.7
SP5
John Tudor
56.9
3.25%
27.7
RP1
Todd Worrell
49.9
3.75%
28.1
RP2
Jason Isringhausen
38.6
2.75%
15.9
P
Al Hrabosky
37.7
2.00%
11.3
P
Matt Morris
45.5
2.00%
13.6
P
Lance Lynn
43.5
2.00%
13.1
Res
Yadier Molina
58.3
2.00%
17.5
Res
Joe Torre
51.0
2.00%
15.3
Res
Garry Templeton
51.6
2.00%
15.5
Res
Matt Carpenter
49.1
2.00%
14.7
Res
Lou Brock
36.9
2.00%
11.1
Res
Willie McGee
45.4
2.00%
13.6
Mgr
Tony LaRussa
n/a
n/a
909.2
 
Grid View:
Pos
Name
 Batting Order
Rotation
Bullpen/Spot
Reserves
C
Ted Simmons
 Ray Lankford
Bob Gibson
Todd Worrell
Yadier Molina
1B
Keith Hernandez
 Keith Hernandez
Adam Wainwright
Jason Isringhausen
Joe Torre
2B
Tom Herr
 Jim Edmonds
Chris Carpenter
Al Hrabosky
Garry Templeton
3B
Scott Rolen
 Albert Pujols
Bob Forsch
Matt Morris
Matt Carpenter
SS
Ozzie Smith
 Ted Simmons
John Tudor
Lance Lynn
Lou Brock
LF
Ray Lankford
 Scott Rolen
 
 
Willie McGee
CF
Jim Edmonds
 Brian Jordan
 
 
 
RF
Brian Jordan
 Tom Herr
 
 
 
DH
Albert Pujols
 Ozzie Smith
 
 
 
 
Rankings:
Category
Score
Rank
Team Score
909.2
12
Offense
110.7
19
Defense
109.1
1
Speed
17.8
5
Infield
229.4
13
Outfield
167.2
14
Catching
76.8
7
Starting 9
532.4
7
Bench
87.7
15
Staff
289.1
22
Rotation
207.0
19
4 Starters
179.3
21
Bullpen
82.0
28
Short Relief
55.3
28
 
Position/Roster Notes:
I initially assumed Pujols would be the starting first baseman, but I felt the team overall would be better having Hernandez in the lineup as well, so I moved Pujols to DH. I could have considered Pujols in LF or 3B, but felt he didn’t have enough time there.
 
I also went into this thinking that Brock would be the starting left fielder, as he is among the most iconic of Cardinals, but he is missing several of his better seasons that were pre-1969. I felt that the team was stronger by having Lankford move from center to left, with Edmonds in center, Jordan in right, and Brock as a reserve.
 
Simmons vs. Molina is a close competition at catcher. In essence, it will be a time share, and a strong one at that. I have the duo as the #7 catching tandem in the review, and they offer up some nice balance. Molina is a righty, Simmons is a switch hitter. Simmons is a great hitting catcher, Molina is an outstanding defensive player. Molina isn’t bad offensively, and Simmons is probably better than many remember him defensively, but they definitely offer some different options for the team. 
 
I know this is mere folly, but as a thought exercise….what if you could combine the best attributes of Simmons and Molina? What would you have then? Gabby Hartnett? Bill Dickey? Maybe even better than that? I think a catcher who hit like Simmons and was as good defensively as Molina would probably end up with a career rWAR in the mid-60’s, which place that catcher in the top-5 figure among catchers by that measure. Of course, they aren’t one catcher….but it’s fun to imagine.
 
Torre made the team on the strength of 6 pretty good seasons with the Cardinals, including his memorable 1971 MVP season. He played 1B, 3B, and a little bit of catcher during his time with St. Louis, not that he’d see much time at catcher with Simmons and Molina, but he could do it in a pinch. However, Torre’s presence begs the question of what would the Yankees (who will have Torre as their manager) do if they meet the Cardinals in the tournament? How would Torre the manager approach Torre the player? Something to consider…
 
Carpenter offers some valuable position flexibility, mostly at 3B, 1B, and 2B. Templeton backs up Ozzie (they were traded for each other early in their careers). Even though Templeton played a lot longer for San Diego (10 seasons vs. 6 for the Cardinals), he was a much better overall player for St. Louis.
 
Missed the Cut:
Mark McGwire had a lot of big moments for the Cardinals, but he only played 545 games for St. Lous (which is below the 600 game threshold I set for established franchises). He did hit an impressive 220 home runs in those game, which is an amazing rate of 65 home runs per 162 games played. I could have applied an exception, but decided against it.
 
Jack Clark is another big-hitting first baseman who had success with the team and was a key member of their ’85 and ’87 playoff teams, but he had barely over 300 games played, well short of the minimum I set.
 
Matt Holliday and George Hendrick both had between 800 and 1,000 games in a St. Louis uniform and both provided some nice hitting, but I had them behind the other outfielders that made the roster. Vince Coleman also got in about 900 games, but he was a little too one-dimensional for my tasters.
 
Jose Oquendo was an intriguing option and could play all over the diamond, and he made himself into a halfway decent hitter after his Mets days, but he came up just a bit short for me.
 
Joaquin Andujar, Joe Magrane, and Carlos Martinez all had some pitching success with the Cardinals, but they didn’t make the squad. In the bullpen, Bruce Sutter and Trevor Rosenthal were candidates, but didn’t do quite enough for me to put them on the team.
 
"Grand" Club:
Yadier Molina, Ozzie Smith, Albert Pujols, Willie McGee, Ray Lankford, Ted Simmons, Lou Brock, Matt Carpenter, Keith Hernandez, Jim Edmonds, Tom Herr
 
Mount Rushmore Four:
Albert Pujols, Ozzie Smith, Bob Gibson, Adam Wainwright
 
Pujols and Smith were easy choices for me. Gibson’s missing some key seasons since I’m only including years since 1969, but he still did enough to merit this distinction. Wainwright seems like the best of the remaining options.
 
Two icons that are also in the running are Lou Brock and Yadier Molina. However, since neither one of them is in the starting lineup, I would have felt odd bestowing Mount Rushmore status (at least for this era) upon them, but I wouldn’t argue if anyone felt that either of them would be a better choice.
 
Team Assessment:
Strengths: Defense, speed, catching
Weaknesses: Bullpen, power
 
Welcome to your #1 ranked defensive squad. I doubt anyone is surprised.
 
It starts with Ozzie, who undoubtedly is in the conversation of any discussion of the greatest defensive players of all time. Hernandez is surely the consensus #1 defensive first baseman of all time. Those 2 make for a really strong start.
 
And, even after those two standard bearers in the infield, you also have Rolen at third base, and there weren’t many better than him defensively. He won 8 Gold Gloves, 3 with the Cardinals, 3 with the Phillies, and one in the year in which he was traded mid-year from Philadelphia to St. Louis. That’s 3 elite defenders in the infield. Herr isn’t in the same class defensively as the other 3, but it’s a true lockdown defensive infield.
 
Molina (a 9-time Gold Glove winner) is a virtuoso behind the plate, and Edmonds took home 6 straight Gold Gloves while playing center field in St. Louis. Yes, the Cardinals can play a little defense….
 
Another area of strength is the team speed. With Ozzie, Brock, McGee, Lankford, Herr, and Templeton, there are some fast baserunners on the team.
 
The pitching doesn’t rank very high, and I think that as much as anything might have driven why they didn’t finish higher. Gibson is still a very good pitcher in this era, but he is missing some of his better seasons. Wainwright is a quality pitcher as well, but the 3 through 5 slots (Carpenter, Forsch, and Tudor) don’t stack up as strong as other teams do. 
 
Futures
The Cardinals currently have 2 of the top players in baseball, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, who are already on other all-time teams (Goldschmidt for Arizona, Arenado for Colorado). They are both short of the thresholds I set up for the established franchises (600 games for position players), although Goldschmidt will probably reach that level next year. Arenado is probably 2 years away. Both are having MVP-type seasons in 2022. If they continue to play well for a few more years, it’s possible one or both will merit making the roster.

Tommy Edman is another one of those intriguing multi-position players who could end up justifying a spot on the roster, but it’s a little early in his career. SS Paul DeJong had a couple of big HR-hitting seasons early in his career, but he’s fallen off a cliff the last couple of seasons.
 
#11-San Francisco Giants
 
Team Performance by Decade:

Team
WS Titles
Overall W-L %
1970's*
1980's
1990's
2000's
2010's**
SFG
3
.510
.498
.493
.506
.529
.520
 
The Giants rank 8th among the 30 teams in terms of overall winning percentage in the Divisional Era at .510, with most of the success coming in the back half of the era. 
 
In the first couple of decades, the team was below .500, and from 1969-1986 their only postseason appearance was the NL West title in 1971. They won division titles in 1987 and 1989, making the Series in the latter year, although they were swept by the A’s.
 
Since 1997, the Giants have been a fairly regular participant in the postseason with 9 appearances, highlighted by their every-other-season championships in 2010, 2012, and 2014, despite not winning more than 94 regular season games in any of those seasons.
 
Roster Listing:
Pos
Player
Raw Score
Weight
Adjusted Score
C
Buster Posey
69.9
6.00%
62.9
1B
Will Clark
64.3
6.00%
57.9
2B
Jeff Kent
67.9
6.00%
61.1
3B
Matt Williams
63.1
6.00%
56.8
SS
Brandon Crawford
51.3
6.00%
46.2
LF
Barry Bonds
116.6
6.00%
105.0
CF
Chili Davis
42.3
6.00%
38.1
RF
Bobby Bonds
72.7
6.00%
65.5
DH
Willie McCovey
60.2
4.75%
42.9
SP1
Madison Bumgarner
60.3
5.25%
47.5
SP2
Jason Schmidt
56.6
5.00%
42.4
SP3
Matt Cain
55.9
4.75%
39.8
SP4
Jim Barr
55.5
4.50%
37.5
SP5
Tim Lincecum
48.0
3.25%
23.4
RP1
Robb Nen
59.9
3.75%
33.7
RP2
Gary Lavelle
52.6
2.75%
21.7
P
Rod Beck
36.7
2.00%
11.0
P
Brian Wilson
39.3
2.00%
11.8
P
John Montefusco
46.9
2.00%
14.1
Res
Bob Brenly
36.3
2.00%
10.9
Res
Brandon Belt
50.8
2.00%
15.3
Res
Robby Thompson
58.1
2.00%
17.4
Res
Darrell Evans
45.2
2.00%
13.6
Res
Jack Clark
60.5
2.00%
18.2
Res
Kevin Mitchell
57.6
2.00%
17.3
Mgr
Bruce Bochy
n/a
n/a
911.7
 
Grid View:
Pos
Name
Batting Order
Rotation
Bullpen/Spot
Reserves
C
Buster Posey
Bobby Bonds
Madison Bumgarner
Robb Nen
Bob Brenly
1B
Will Clark
Buster Posey
Jason Schmidt
Gary Lavelle
Brandon Belt
2B
Jeff Kent
Barry Bonds
Matt Cain
Rod Beck
Robby Thompson
3B
Matt Williams
Willie McCovey
Jim Barr
Brian Wilson
Darrell Evans
SS
Brandon Crawford
Will Clark
Tim Lincecum
John Montefusco
Jack Clark
LF
Barry Bonds
Matt Williams
 
 
Kevin Mitchell
CF
Chili Davis
Jeff Kent
 
 
 
RF
Bobby Bonds
Chili Davis
 
 
 
DH
Willie McCovey
Brandon Crawford
 
 
 
 
Rankings:
Category
Score
Rank
Team Score
911.7
11
Offense
166.2
2
Defense
37.9
16
Speed
6.1
24
Infield
221.9
18
Outfield
208.5
2
Catching
73.8
9
Starting 9
536.2
6
Bench
92.6
11
Staff
282.9
25
Rotation
190.6
23
4 Starters
167.2
23
Bullpen
92.3
22
Short Relief
66.4
19
 
Position/Roster Notes:
McCovey had a lot of his good years in the 1960’s, but he did enough in the early part of the Divisional Era (including really strong 1969 and 1970 seasons) to warrant making the roster. I installed him as the DH, with Clark holding down first base.
 
Williams is the starting third baseman, and he’s also the backup shortstop when Crawford needs a break, as I didn’t have a true shortstop on the reserve. Evans would be the primary backup 3B, and Mitchell can play there too.
 
Kent and Thompson had a good battle for the second base nod. Thompson had more years with the team and was a better fielder, but Kent was the better bat, and I wen with him as the starter, with Thompson in reserve.
 
Chili Davis may look a little odd to some who know him more as a DH type, but he played a lot of center field with the Giants. There haven’t been a lot of great center field options since Willie Mays retired. Brett Butler was a consideration, but he only spent 3 seasons there. It’s been a real revolving door for the franchise after Mays left.
 
Missed the Cut:
Some of the more notable players who didn’t make the roster are all-time Giants players who were more in the "1960s" group, including Willie Mays, Juan Marichal, and Gaylord Perry.   All three of those players were still with the team into the early 1970’s, but there just wasn’t enough there to justify being on the team. 
 
Pablo Sandoval is probably one of the bigger names to miss the cut. He was worthy, but I went with Evans over Kung Fu Panda.
 
"Grand" Club:
Barry Bonds, Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Robby Thompson, Rich Aurilia, J.T. Snow, Will Clark, Pablo Sandoval, Matt Williams, Chris Speier, Darrell Evans, Jack Clark, Willie McCovey
 
Mount Rushmore Four:
Barry Bonds, Willie McCovey, Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner
 
Team Assessment:
Strengths: Overall offense, power
Weaknesses: Starting pitching, speed
 
The Giants rank as one of the better offensive teams, with Barry Bonds leading the way. They came out #2 in offense in my scoring. There’s power throughout the lineup. Lot of MVP’s on the team…Bonds (5), McCovey, Kent, Posey, and Mitchell on the bench.
 
Speed is a definite weakness. Both of the Bonds (Barry and Bobby) had pretty good speed, but there’s not much after them.
 
The starting rotation is not a strong suit. Bumgarner/Schmidt/Cain/Barr/Lincecum all had their moments, but overall they don’t stack up. I went with 4 true relief pitchers (Nen, Lavelle, Beck, and Wilson) out of the pen.
 
Futures
Logan Webb has had a couple of good years and is still only 25, so we’ll keep an eye on him.
 
Wrapping it Up
 
We’re heading into the home stretch, with the top 10 still remaining. I’m sure there have been some surprises to date, and I’m sure there’ll be more to come.
 
Thank you for reading.
 
Dan
 
 

COMMENTS (8 Comments, most recent shown first)

DMBBHF
ForeverRoyal,

Thanks for the comment. First of all, speaking of Sutter, I was sorry to hear that he just passed away.

He was definitely in contention, and I certainly could have given more weight to the Cy Young finishes, not to mention the fact that he led the league in saves 3 of the 4 seasons he pitched for St. Louis, both of which are notable and fair consideration.

One of the key things that fed into the scoring I used for pitchers was their WAR per IP rate based on their time with the franchise, and Sutter and Hrabosky were basically even. Sutter definitely had a lot more saves, but Hrabosky with the Cardinals had more seasons, games, and IP than Sutter, plus he was a lefty, and I tried to have at least two lefties on each staff, especially one in the pen, so I gave the nod to Hrabosky.

I also had Worrell and Isringhausen rated higher than Sutter, so that's why I went with them as well. I could have kept Sutter over Lynn or Morris. That would have meant keeping 4 pure relievers and only one starter option out of the pen, which would be OK if it was a clear choice, but I had both Lynn and Morris scored significantly higher than Sutter, so I went with them.

So, your points are well taken, but that's what fed into my decision.

Thanks,
Dan
9:49 AM Oct 15th
 
ForeverRoyal
Still digesting this, but first, thanks again for posting such an entertaining series.

At a glance, I’m a little surprised Sutter didn’t make the Cards. He had 3 top 5 Cy Young finishes while he was there and he closed out their 1982 World Series.
10:21 PM Oct 14th
 
DMBBHF
Bruce,

You got most of them.

The Mariners were already covered at #21.

The ones remaining are, in no particular order
Rangers/Senators
Expos/Nationals
Red Sox
Yankees
Dodgers
Astros
Reds
Orioles
A's
Braves

garywmaloney,

Yeah, the Expos/Nationals and Rangers/Senators are coming up. There really isn't that much difference among a lot of the teams, as we're talking about the best of the best over 50 years, and it's more about what kind of a roster can be assembled vs. the success of the franchises. I also put weight on WAR per 162 rather than total WAR in the scoring. But, really, I think it's mostly that there isn't much difference among a lot of these teams, and therefore there are results that I wouldn't have guessed.

Thanks,
Dan
8:12 PM Oct 14th
 
DMBBHF
Bruce,

You got most of them.

The Mariners were already covered at #21.

The ones remaining are, in no particular order
Rangers/Senators
Expos/Nationals
Red Sox
Yankees
Dodgers
Astros
Reds
Orioles
A's
Braves

garywmaloney,

Yeah, the Expos/Nationals and Rangers/Senators are coming up. There really isn't that much difference among a lot of the teams, as we're talking about the best of the best over 50 years, and it's more about what kind of a roster can be assembled vs. the success of the franchises. I also put weight on WAR per 162 rather than total WAR in the scoring. But, really, I think it's mostly that there isn't much difference among a lot of these teams, and therefore there are results that I wouldn't have guessed.

Thanks,
Dan
8:12 PM Oct 14th
 
evanecurb
Trying to figure out which teams remain, without going back and looking at the first fifteen selections or looking at a list or something like that. I guess it's O's, Red Sox, Yankees, Braves, Dodgers, Nationals (I only know that because of the letter below), Reds, and I'm blanking on which other teams have been done, which ones haven't. I know you did the Pirates because I remember being surprised. Same with the Cardinals. And I seem to remember the Indians, Royals, Cubs, Blue Jays, and White Sox, too, although I wouldn't bet the farm on it. I'll say Astros and Mariners are left, but I'm not sure about those, either.
3:28 PM Oct 10th
 
garywmaloney
STILL no Expos/Nationals or Senators/Rangers? And the lineups you chose ranked higher than the CARDINALS? Wow, you're right, I am surprised.

(PS Love your Series, I'm a Nationals season-ticket holder, this is all just a little weird.)
10:40 AM Oct 10th
 
DMBBHF
Rich Dunstan,

Yeah, I did think long and hard about Willie Mays, and you bring up some valid points. But one thing I did pretty much stick to, with a few exceptions, was to go by the minimum games played thresholds I established. Mays only played 411 games for the Giants in this era, with only 334 of those being in center field, and I was requiring at least 600 games for the established franchises unless I had a compelling reason to override it. As you pointed out, Mays was still a pretty productive player, and you can certainly make a valid case for including him.

To tell you the truth, if I were inclined to make a center field exception for the Giants, I think I'd actually go with Brett Butler. He only had 3 seasons with the Giants, but he was the full-time center fielder in each one, playing 466 games in center field, and he was pretty solid in all three.

Glad you're happy with the inclusion of McCovey. 1969 was when I started following baseball, and he had such a great season that year. I always lump him with Harmon Killebrew and Frank Howard, "gentle giants" who were mashing baseballs in the late 60's and early 70's.

Thanks,
Dan
1:29 PM Oct 9th
 
Rich Dunstan
No complaints, easy to see why you wouldn't pick him in this context, but Willie Mays actually has a case, even just playing his age 38-39-40 years for the Giants in the divisional era. Willie has more WAR in those three years than anyone else has in years where they primarily played center field for the Giants. Davis has more total for the team, but that includes a couple of years when he primarily played right field. Meanwhile, I'm truly gratified to see my personal hero, Willie McCovey, make this team.
6:42 PM Oct 8th
 
 
©2022 Be Jolly, Inc. All Rights Reserved.|Powered by Sports Info Solutions|Terms & Conditions|Privacy Policy