I realize this isn't specifically a Cubs question, but it does relate to who would be eligible for rookie of the year. I have a question that is related to the Matt Garza rookie status issue. I am actually trying to determine whether Clay Hensley of the San Diego Padres was a rookie in 2006. I've always used the USA Today Sports Weekly to see who had rookie status, and for basic sortable stats, I use the ESPN statistics page, using 'rookie' as a sortable option. Neither of these listed him as a rookie, even though numerous writers considered him a 'rookie pitcher' last year. When I use the Baseball Prospectus 'VORP for Rookie Pitchers' report for 2006, they list 241 rookies. ESPN's sortable report shows 182. I know ESPN uses Stats Inc. for their information, and I assume BP maintains their own info, but I can't figure out who to trust.
As for the specifics on Hensley, his situation is very similar to Garza's. In 2005, Hensley pitched 47 innings, which is less than the 50 1/3 innings pitched rule; he was recalled from Portland on July 18th, 2005, and that would give him exactly 45 days on the 25 man roster before the September 1st roster expansion date. He never pitched in the majors prior to that, so I don't see why he wouldn't have been considered a rookie in 2006.
What authority determines the rookie status of MLB players? For instance, if you are a member of the BBWAA and want to vote for Matt Garza for ROY in 2007 but another person tells you he isn't a rookie, who do you ask to decide the outcome of the debate? I can't get a straight answer from anybody. If you have any information, I'd really appreciate your input.