Here are several links from the past week that will make your Monday a bit more bearable:
Mark Eichhorn, Blue Jays (1986). Pop quiz, hotshot! Of all the rookies who made their debut during the 1980s, which one had the highest total WAR? If you guessed Mark Eichhorn . . . well, I guess it was pretty obvious that Eichhorn was the answer, huh? But anyway: it’s Eichhorn!
Even as I’m writing this, I’m wondering if I should have Eichhorn higher on this list. I have a long-standing bias against relievers when comparing them with other positions, but Eichhorn bore more of a resemblance to the relievers of the 1970s than those we see in the current game. In 1986, he went 14–6 with a 1.72 ERA and a brilliant 246 ERA+, holding hitters to a miniscule 549 OPS. Though he only collected 10 saves (for much of his tenure with the Jays, Eichhorn set up games for Tom Henke), he pitched in 69 games . . . and threw 157 innings. You don’t see that anymore, and it’s the reason his WAR was 7.4.
Yeah, he should be higher on this list, shouldn’t he? Or should he?
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!