WHO WILL BE THE NEXT 300 GAME WINNER IN BASEBALL?
Last baseball season, Randy Johnson became the 24th pitcher to win 300 games in the Major Leagues. He joins an elite membership that includes members that were pioneers of the game of baseball. Johnson is arguably the most intimidating pitcher of this generation and is definitely a first ballot hall of famer. When I started thinking about this milestone I started to wonder. Will we ever see another 300 game winner?
I have read that some experts believe that we will not see one again. With teams relying on specialty relievers more than ever, starters are not always in line for wins like they used to be. Good pitchers are also very expensive. To protect their investment clubs are now even more inclined to monitor pitch count and innings. There are many factors that go into a pitcher winning more than three hundred wins. Most of the pitchers who do have over three hundred wins started at a young age with a few exceptions. (FUN Fact: Phil Niekro only had 31 Wins at the 30!!) Keeping reasonably healthy also is a big key. At some point in time everybody is going to get injured, but having several major injuries might prevent a pitcher from getting to the magic total. I think playing for a winning team also helps a lot because extra wins will be able to be obtained with good run support.
I do think they is a good chance that we will see another 300 game winner in the next ten years. What players have a good chance to achieve this milestone? I narrowed down the list to five pitchers. My selection process was as follows: I looked at pitchers who had over 100 wins and who were younger than 38. Obviously the older they were the more wins that they had to have. This list then would not include the Jon Lester, Tim Lincecum, Felix Hernandez, or Zach Greinke. I feel that these guys are not further enough along in their careers yet to really start to project their wins.
THE FAB FIVE
My nominee at the fifth spot is Josh Beckett.I give an honorable mention to Roy Oswalt who I had to leave off this list.
At the beginning of the 2011 baseball season Josh Beckett has 112 wins. He turns thirty-one in May and has a contract with the Boston Red Sox for four more years through 2014.
Why he will get 300 wins--
Playing for the Red Sox for the next 4 seasons gives Beckett the opportunity to accumulate a lot of wins because the Red Sox are perennial contenders and have great run support. Beckett usually does pretty well every other year and has won as much as 20 games in one season. He definitely could have around 170-175 wins by the end of 2014 at the age of 34. This would give him a reasonable amount of time to get to 300 wins.
Why he will not get 300 wins--
I almost left him off this list but because he plays for the Red Sox (my favorite team) I left him on. Beckett has been an inconsistent performer in his career and is injury prone. He is one of those pitchers who needs to be babied and have an extra day off once in awhile. This of course cuts down on his potential for wins. This wil be a big year for Josh to see if he can bounce back.
Ranking at number 4 on my list is Johan Santana. At the beginning of 2011, the left handed Santana has 133 wins. This 32 year old has a contract through 2013 with the New York Mets with a possible option for 2014. He was a dominant pitcher with the Twins and has continued his success with the Mets.
Why he will get 300 wins-- Playing in th National League gives Santana the ability to pitch to less powerful line ups and he also plays for the Mets who at least should be one of the better teams every year. It is reasonable to say that he could have around 190 wins by the end of his contract with the Mets at the age of 35.
Why he will not get 300 wins-- Santana has started to become injury prone. He is currently out with a shoulder injury and may not pitch in 2011. One has to wonder if he is starting to break down.
My 3rd nominee is Mark Burhle of the Chicago White Sox-This guy is a machine and is soon to be 32 years old. At the beginning of the 2011 season he will have 148 wins. This lefty if the model of efficiency and has nine straight seasons of 30+starts and 10+wins. He is signed through the year 2011.
Why he will get 300 wins-- Mark is my dark horse canidate.This guy has been very consistent so far in his career and has yet to suffer and injury. He does not have a crazy windup and pitches in the low 90's max .He is also a lefty which is always in demand. By the time his contract is up in Chicago in 2011 he could easily have around 165 wins at the ripe old age of 32.
Why he will not get 300 wins-- He does give up a lot of hits and has a tendency to give up a lot of runs (career era 3.83.). He has also stated to the press last year that he does not want to play baseball much longer because he is homesick. (He has a young family)
My number 2 pick to get to the 300 win milestone is Roy Halladay. This may be a little bit of a stretch because of his age but I am a big fan.This right handed pitcher for the Phillies has been the model of consistency for both the Blue Jays and now the Phillies. Halladay is soon to be 34 years old and has contract through 2013 with the Philadelphia Philiies. He starts the 2011 season with 169 wins.
Why he will win 300 games-- Switching over to the National league will help Halladay get even more wins (not that he had a problem in the American League) because he will face less powerful lineups. He should definitely have around 200 wins at the end of his contract at the age of 36.
Why he will not get 300 wins-- Like everybody on this list he could get injured or could just decide not to play anymore. He really needs some big win totals in the next few years of his prime to really pad his win total. Never the less he should make the hall of fame and is a great pitcher.
My number 1 pick to get to 300 wins is none other than CC Sabathia. This left handed pitcher entered the league at a young age and is just going to be thirty one years years old at the end of the 2011 season. At the beginning of 2011 season he already has 157 wins under his belt. He is signed with the Yankees through 2015 allowing to play with a winning team.
Why he will win 300 games-- Playing for the Yankees will definitely help his win total but he seems to win games anyways. He rarely misses starts and is always eager to take the ball. At the end of the 2015 season he could definetely have at least 230 wins and probably will have more. He would still be just 35 years old.
Why he will not win 300 games-- He is a very big guy and that may hamper his career once he hits his mid- thirties. Because he pitches a lot of innings and frequently pitches in the playoff this increases his risk for serious injury.
HEY TAKE MY POLL!!!
WHO WILL BE THE NEXT 300 GAME WINNER IN BASEBALL?
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