Part of what makes baseball such a great sport are the milestones players reach every season. Each passing year, new players etch their names into the baseball history books and create records of their own just waiting to be matched or broken. So, with spring training in full swing, the time has come to mentally prepare ourselves for the milestones some players may reach over the course of the 2018 season.
We’re going to do this in two separate posts. Up first are the major career plateaus and milestones within reach for several pitchers during the upcoming campaign.
250: Bartolo Colon (10 away); CC Sabathia (13 away). Even if Colon and Sabathia do not reach 250 wins, both could move into the top 50 in career wins if each makes it into the high 240-win range. The last pitcher to reach the 250 win plateau was Andy Pettitte in 2013.
3,000: CC Sabathia (154 away). With nine strikeouts, he will tie Jim Bunning for 17th place on the career strikeout list. Of the 17 pitchers ahead of Sabathia on the all-time strikeout list, 15 are in the Hall of Fame. Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling are the only two of the 17 ahead of Sabathia not enshrined.
2,500: Bartolo Colon (46 away); Justin Verlander (84 away); Felix Hernandez (158 away)
2,000: Ervin Santana (95 away)
400: Justin Verlander (15 away); Zack Greinke (19 away); Ervin Santana (24 away); Felix Hernandez (25 away)
300: Scott Kazmir (3 away); Max Scherzer (4 away); Clayton Kershaw (10 away); Yovani Gallardo (11 away); Edwin Jackson (12 away); Johnny Cueto (17 away); Adam Wainwright (23 away); Gio Gonzalez (25 away); Edinson Volquez (31 away)
900: Chad Qualls (56 away). It should be noted that Qualls has not pitched in at least 50 games in a season since 2015 and only appeared in 19 games in 2017 for the Colorado Rockies. There are currently only 25 pitchers who have appeared in 900 or more games. Francisco Rodriguez is the active leader in games pitched, appearing in 948 contests in his career.
300: Craig Kimbrel (9 away). Despite the save’s increasingly dismal reputation as a reliable statistic, Kimbrel would become just the 29th pitcher in baseball history to reach 300 career saves. It is also very likely that Kimbrel will top 800 career strikeouts in 2018 (enters with 772), which is quite remarkable given he has only thrown just over 470 innings.
Home Runs Allowed
On the negative side, Bartolo Colon may move into the top ten on a list no pitcher wants to be on: home runs allowed. Colon has served up 407 home runs in his career to this point, tied with David Wells for 12th most in history. Seven batters would need to take him deep in 2018 for Colon to move into the top ten on that infamous list.
We will take a look at some of the hitters who are approaching major milestones later in the week.