MLB: Will There Be Another 300-Game Winner?
I have been lucky enough over the last few years to see three pitchers get to the 300-win plateau: Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, and Tom Glavine. This is a remarkable feat that is guarenteed to get someone into the Hall of Fame. It is without a doubt the biggest milestone a pitcher can reach—but will we ever see another 300 game winner?
The pitcher closest is Randy Johnson, who is at 288 wins as of May 30. He is 44 years old, and is nowhere near the pitcher that he once was. He has been injury prone over the last few years because of a bad back, and has spent significant time on the disabled list due to this injury. He only made ten starts last year and could be nearing the end of his career.
However, there is one thing keeping his hopes alive—he pitches in the National League. This is an obvious advantage, but his health is the biggest question mark. I would love to see Randy reach this milestone, but will his back hold up?
Prediction: Future 300 game winner.
After Johnson, the next pitcher in line is Mike Mussina, with 257 wins as of May 30. He is 39 years old, and like Johnson, has made several trips to the DL over the past few seasons. Mussina is off to a very good start, being one of the most consistent pitchers for the Yankees thus far. He is 43 wins away, and could potentially reach 300 wins if he is interested in pitching well into his forties.
Moose is the type of player that will pitch until he is no longer productive. Many players will try and catch on with a team just so they do not have to face the reality of walking away from the game.
Prediction: Will pitch three more seasons, and will finish just over 300 wins
Now, we come to the Young Guns...
Most people will agree that Johan Santana is the most dominant pitcher in baseball. He has 99 wins as of May 30. Now, I know what you are thinking: "He needs over 200 more wins, there is no way."
Well, here is why I think he could potentially do it. First of all, he is now in the National League, which as I said before with Johnson, is a huge advantage.
Second of all, as much as the Mets struggle, they have a very good offense, and will give him very good run support.
Thrid of all, the man is a beast. Last year was his worst season since becoming a full-time starter, and he still won 15 games. Over the last five seasons, Santana has averaged 16 wins—and you can only imagine this number will go up now that he is pitching in the Big Apple.
Prediction: Yes. Johan has a long way to go, but he is just getting started.
Next, we come to C.C. Sabathia. He is 27 years old, and has 103 wins as of May 30. He has been in the big leagues since he was 20 years old, and has been a workhorse since day one. Maybe people say that one day he will reach the 300 win club, but there are a couple things that could stand in his way.
The biggest hurdle he will need to get over is the injury bug. He has landed on the DL several times already in his career, and that has what kept him from being one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball until last year.
Another thing that will play a huge role is where he ends up next year. As we all know, Sabathia is a free agent, and he has probably priced himself out of the Indians payroll. If he ends up on the right team that can score a lot of runs, then 300 is a possibility.
Prediction: Sorry C.C.—until you can go a few years in a row without ending up on the DL, I don't see you joining the club.
The final pitcher we will look at is Roy Oswalt. He is 31 years old, and has 116 wins as of May 30. He is one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball and is almost always overlooked.
Oswalt has averaged 16 wins per season over his career, and has always been a solid ace. The more impressive part of his story is the fact that up until this season, the Astros have not had a very good offense.
There are two things holding Oswalt from this illustrious club—age and durability. He is 31 years old. But in today's game that might not mean much, as most pitchers play until their mid-forties.
Early in Oswalt's career he was an injury risk, but over the last few years he has been very durable. As long as the Astros can keep their high powered offense together for a few years, it is a possibility.
Prediction: Oswalt is going to fall a few wins short of the club. His age is playing a big factor. If he is able to adjust and become a finesse pitcher later in his career, then 300 wins is likely, but until then I say no.
There are still some Young Guns who could have made this list. I feel as if these are the guys who have the best chance of all the active pitchers. If there is anyone that you think belongs on this list, please feel free to let me know. I just ask you to back up your answer.
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