Chicago White Sox's Cooper sees Hall of Fame numbers for Buehrle
Former Chicago White Sox ace Mark Buehrle should be considered for the Baseball Hall of Fame, veteran pitching coach Don Cooper said Tuesday.
Speaking in the Guaranteed Rate Field dugout before Tuesday's game against the Miami Marlins on the 10th anniversary of Buehrle's perfect game against Tampa Bay -- the 18th perfect game in MLB history -- Cooper said the shifting standards for pitchers in today's power-arm era reflect positively on a successful, soft-tossing workhorse like Buehrle, a left-hander who won with guile and location rather than velocity.
Buehrle completed a 16-year major-league career in 2015 with a 214-160 record, a 3.81 ERA, 1,870 strikeouts and 734 walks. He went 161-119 with a 3.83 ERA in 12 seasons with the White Sox.
Asked if Buehrle is a Hall of Famer, Cooper said: "For me, he is. I certainly know he's a Chicago Hall of Famer."
The 18th-year pitching coach also said he thinks Jim Kaat (283-237, 3.45 ERA) and Luis Tiant (229-172, 3.30 ERA) should be inducted, and that Bert Blyleven should have been voted in long before his eventual inclusion in 2011.
"I've said for a long time, and we've seen it for a long time, guys dominate different ways," Cooper said. "Everybody thinks domination is through velocity, but it could also be changing speeds, hitting the location and movement ala (Tom) Glavine, ala Buehrle, ala (Greg) Maddux. There's three right there, and two of them are Hall of Famers, right?"
Beyond Buehrle's credentials like playing a key role in the White Sox's 2005 World Series victory and his 2007 no-hitter against Texas, Cooper made an argument for Buehrle due to his consistency. He averaged 205 innings a season and threw at least 200 innings for 14 straight between 2001-2014. That stretch is matched only by Hall of Famers Christy Mathewson, Phil Niekro and Maddux. Buehrle threw a league-best 245⅓ innings in 2004 and 236⅔ in 2005.
"When you do that for two, three, four years and another six or seven, you're a stud, a physical stud," Cooper said. "Because nobody is handing out innings. You have to do well enough in those games to stay in those games to accrue those innings. You just have to be good, man, to go out there on that basis, steady. And he was good for 6 innings every single time. Penciled him in.
"There is value to that, knowing before the year starts, OK, Buehrle is going to pitch his 200. Can we get a few more guys to do that?
"Buehrle's consistency and his (214) wins, I think it warrants a look. It warrants a good look."
Anderson on to rehab:
Tim Anderson left Chicago on Tuesday morning to begin a minor-league rehab assignment at Class-AAA Charlotte.
The White Sox shortstop has been on the injured list with a right high-ankle sprain since June 25. He could rejoin the team within a week after running the bases pain free Monday, though Sox manager Rick Renteria was unwilling to put a timeline on his return.
"It's going to be determined on how he's feeling and how things are going along," Renteria said. "But right now he's been going out there and everything's positive to this point in terms of physically how he's feeling."
Anderson, named the American League Player of the Month for April, is batting .317 (86-for-271) with 14 doubles, 11 home runs and 37 RBI.