In the last post, I wrote about some career achievements that will, or at least might, be made by position players this year. This will list some for the pitchers. Away we go:
Justin Verlander has 71.4 bWAR. That’s #30 all time among pitchers; this year he could plausibly surpass Ole Hoss Radbourn (73.2), Tom Glavine (73.9), Jim McCormick (76.0), and possibly even Curt Schilling (#26 at 80.5). I’ve repeatedly stated that pitcher wins are not a very meaningful stat unless a pitcher racks up a lot of them. Verlander has a lot of them, 225–that’s #70 all time. Bartolo Colon is #50 at 247, not impossible but next year is more likely. He has 3008 K’s, good for #18 all time. He could pass: John Smoltz, CC Sabathia, Curt Schilling (#15 at 3116), Bob Gibson, Pedro Martinez, and Fergie Jenkins (#12 at 3192)…#11, Phil Niekro is probably out of reach this year (3342).
Zack Greinke, #26 on the all time strike out list at 2622, moves into the top 25 as soon as he passes David Cone’s 2668. He has 66.7 bWAR too, #39 all time among pitchers. He could get to top 30 by reaching Ole Hoss’ 73.2, and in doing so would pass Ted Lyons, Red Faber, Jim Palmer, Vic Willis, Rick Reuschel, Kevin Brown, Don Sutton, and Carl Hubbel (68.6). He also has 205 wins, and will continue to climb that list.
Clayton Kershaw has 2464 K’s, so will pass 2500 this year. He has 169 wins and should thus pass 175. He has 65.4 bWAR (tied with Roy Halladay at #43), and will move into the top 40, at least, when he passes Stan Covaleski, Luis Tiant, and John Smoltz…then it’s on to the other names listed in the Greinke paragraph.
Max Scherzer has 58.7 bWAR (#69, tied with Cole Hamels) and can also be counted on to continue climbing the list. He is #24 on the all time K list with 2692…Mickey Lolich has 2832 at #20, so I expect him to get there this year…#19 Jim Bunning at 2855 too.
Jon Lester has 190 wins and 2355 K’s; he could get to both 200 wins and 2500 K’s this year. David Price has 1981 K’s, probably reaches 2K before the season is two weeks old. Also within possible reach of 2k K’s this year are: Ervin Santana (1924), Gio Gonzalez (1826), Francisco Liriano (1815), Madison Bumgarner (1794), and Adam Wainright (1776).