CC Sabathia: Next 300 Game Winner?

Chris Jaffe at THT provided an interesting list yesterday, highlighting the 25 winningest liveball-era pitchers prior to turning 31. Here is the top 10, click through to see the entire list:

202 (224) Catfish Hunter
192 (266) Bob Feller
191 (207) Hal Newhouser
190 (193) Wes Ferrell
189 (286) Robin Roberts

185 (209) Don Drysdale
174 (268) Jim Palmer
173 (237) Waite Hoyt
171 (???) CC Sabathia
171 (223) Mel Harder

As you can see, CC Sabathia is in the top 10 all-time for wins at his age, coming in at 9th with 171 victories before the age of 31. While his odds for actually reaching 300 wins are still not that high, as you can tell by the fact that no one else in the top 10 (and only 4 of the top 25) got there, this does suggest that he is set up nicely to take a run at that milestone. In fact, it seems fairly likely that he will be the next pitcher to take aim at the number, as a look at the active wins leaders illustrates:

1. Tim Wakefield (44) 199 R
2. Roy Halladay (34) 181 R
3. Tim Hudson (35) 174 R
4. CC Sabathia (30) 172 L
5. Livan Hernandez (36) 171 R
6. Derek Lowe (38) 163 R
7. Bartolo Colon (38) 160 R
8. Kevin Millwood (36) 159 R
Javier Vazquez (34) 159 R
10. Mark Buehrle (32) 156 L
11. Roy Oswalt (33) 154 R
12. Barry Zito (33) 145 L
13. Freddy Garcia (34) 142 R
14. Chris Carpenter (36) 139 R
15. Jeff Suppan (36) 138 R
16. Johan Santana (32) 133 L
17. Jon Garland (31) 132 R
18. John Lackey (32) 125 R
19. Carlos Zambrano (30) 123 R
20. Josh Beckett (31) 121 R

The only other likely contender to approach 300 wins is Roy Halladay, and that would require him to play another 6-8 years while notching 16-20 wins a season. While Halladay seems to be more machine than man and I would not put anything past him, it is fair to say that the odds do not favor him reaching 300. Which leaves CC as the only real contender, excluding the inevitable surprise candidate or two who make mid-career surges up the leaderboard.

While this potential chase is a long way away, I wonder whether the Yankees might raise it during CC’s contract negotiations this offseason. Being a Yankee is likely to give CC his best chance to climb the 300 win mountain, as he is certain to be on a regular contender that will provide him with plenty of run support. I doubt that this would be a major factor in any decision, but it cannot hurt to raise it as another point in the Yankees’ favor.

6 thoughts on “CC Sabathia: Next 300 Game Winner?

  1. Moyer’s injury-shortnened 1989, 1991, 2006, and 2010 plus not playing this year has really hurt his chances of winning 300 games. I don’t see him winning 33 games in 2012-13 to get 300. He’d need to average 11 wins a season for 3 seasons to reach 300 which means he’ll have to pitch 2011-12 and win at least 22 games going into 2014 to be on pace then win 11 more. He may not even make it through 2012 or 2013. The guy’s 47.

    As for Sabathia, he’s 128 wins away from 300. That means he’ll need to average 16 wins a season for the next 8 seasons minus x amount more wins he collects this year. It will be very difficult esp. if he misses a year’s worth of starts (to me 33 starts) during that time. The less years he pitches, the more wins he has to collect in the time he pitches to be on pace. He has to lose weight or maintain it for his career to last 8 more seasons.

    As for his Hall Of Fame credentials, two more Cy Young Awards even with just 2009 as his lone World Series ring or two more World Series rings (one or both with the Yanks esp. both) and one more Cy with at least 250 wins and he’s in. He’d be a winner by career wins (250 or more), results (at least one World Series ring), and personal achievement (two or more Cy Young Awards.) He already has an awesome name and physical presence.

    Fun question:

    If Johann Santana wins another Cy Young Award for a third Cy, is he a Hall Of Famer? I say yes despite his recent times injuries. Three Cys, two in the AL, one in the NL, one after a career-threatening or at least major injury, and how many guys have three Cys or more?

  2. Koufax, Seaver, Palmer 3 Cy Young Awards each

    Carlton, Maddux 4 each

    Randy Johnson 5 (4 with Arizona an NL team, 1 with Seattle an AL team)

    Clemens 7 (6 with Boston, Toronto, and the Yankees, all AL teams, one with Houston an NL team)

    If Halladay doesn’t win another Cy, Santana would be the only pitcher besides RJ and Clemens to have at least three Cys and Cys in both leagues.

    Halladay and Lincecum are one more Cy each away from the Hall Of Fame, too.

  3. Pettitte probably had a decent chance, as he hit the 200-win mark at the same age (35) as Wynn and Spahn. This year, at age 39, he would likely have hit 250 wins, still on pace with Wynn and at the same age as Gaylord Perry. The sheer innings pitched by starters has dropped since those trod the mound, but he would have been in good company. I still think Mussina could have gotten there, but he chose to walk away on his own terms, so good for him!

    After CC, maybe Verlander has the next best shot — he should reach 100 wins this year, at the same age as Glavine and only a year older than Carlton, Sutton, Seaver, Clemens, and Maddux. But of course, a lot can happen over those next 200!

    Regarding the HOF, I think CC, Halladay, and Santana are already excellent candidates. Santana will need to pad his career stats, but he did have a very impressive peak.

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