The results of the first poll are in, and it was a tie between Mark Teixeira and Miguel Cabrera among AL hitters. The next poll is National League pitchers. I excluded Johan Santana because I felt he was the most obvious choice. I also excluded young candidates such as Cole Hamels and Tim Lincecum because they have not yet pitched five seasons. Thus, four candidates emerged:
1) Jake Peavy: 87 wins, 2007 Cy Young winner, 2 All-Star appearances
2) Brandon Webb: 87 wins, 2006 Cy Young winner and runner up in 2007 and 2008, 3 All-Star appearances
3) Carlos Zambrano: 97 wins, 3 All-Star appearances, two-time Silver Slugger, no-hitter in 2008
4) Roy Oswalt: 129 wins, 3 All Star appearances
To this author, none of these four are a slam-dunk candidate for the Hall at this time. I also considered adding Tim Hudson to this poll (146-77, 3.48 career ERA), but with his Tommy John surgery I am hesitant to predict the future for him. Of these four, Brandon Webb seems to be the most likely to continue improving his game. Both Peavy and Oswalt have taken a step back in recent years, and Zambrano is volatile.
So this should be an interesting poll. Vote early and vote often.
The Opening Day Cubs of the 1970s
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