Although longtime Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez didn’t come close to Hall of Fame election in his first appearance on the ballot, he earned enough votes to remain on next year’s ballot.
Rodriguez received votes from 42 of the 387 writers who cast ballots. His total of 10.8% was above the 5% threshold to remain on the ballot.
None of the other former Angels who were on the ballot for the first time made the cut to return. Right-handers John Lackey and Huston Street and catcher Mike Napoli each received one vote, while right-hander Jered Weaver was shut out.
Outfielder Bobby Abreu, who was on the ballot for the fourth time, nearly doubled his support, improving from 8.6% last year to 15.4% this year. Outfielder Torii Hunter improved from 5.3% to 6.9% in his third year on the ballot.
Rodriguez’s total could be seen as encouraging, because it’s about the same as the 10.5% that closer Billy Wagner received in his first year on the ballot, in 2016. Wagner improved to 68.1% this year, his eighth year on the ballot, continuing to make progress toward the 75% required for election.
Rodriguez has 437 career saves, which is fourth on the all-time list, to go with a career ERA of 2.86. Rodriguez also holds the single-season saves record of 62, set with the Angels in 2008. Wagner ranks just behind him, with 422 saves. He has a 2.31 ERA.
Relievers have traditionally had a tough time winning election to the Hall of Fame, but Wagner’s eventual inclusion could help Rodriguez’s chances.
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