There Aren’t Any Great Pitchers Anymore

I was talking to a friend of mine early last week about active potential Hall of Famers – notably Phillies players such as Chase Utley and Roy Halladay – when something struck me. Going through all the guys in the majors who are locks or near locks to get in (Pujols, Griffey, Rivera, Jeter, Chipper, Pudge Rodriguez, Hoffman, A-Rod/Manny if the steroids thing doesn’t hold them back, Ichiro, Thome, Sheffield, Vladdy, Rolen, Andruw Jones, Helton), there weren’t any starting pitcher in the list. Sure there are a lot of great starters in the game today, but nobody with a body of work so good that it seemed they had already punched their ticket to Cooperstown (reasonably speaking). I couldn’t remember a time when that was the case. I checked that out at Beyond The Box Score. An excerpt’s below; click through for the full version.

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“First, some of the active candidates. Current leaders in Wins, with seasonal age in parentheses:

Jamie Moyer (47) – 258
Andy Pettitte (38) – 229
Tim Wakefield (43) – 189
Livan Hernandez (35) – 156
Kevin Millwood (35) – 155
Roy Halladay (33) – 149
Tim Hudson (34) – 148
Derek Lowe (37) – 142
Javier Vazquez (34) – 142
Roy Oswalt (32) – 137
Mark Buehrle (31) – 136
CC Sabathia (29) – 136
Jeff Suppan (35) – 135
Barry Zito (32) – 134
Johan Santana (31) – 123

300 wins is probably out of the question for anyone here, but even 250 might be a stretch (not including Moyer). Pettitte said he may retire after this season, though it’s possible the Yankees provide him with enough run support to win 21 games. Wakefield has a shot at 200, but unless he’s still floating ‘em up there at age 50, 250 isn’t happening. Livan, Millwood, and – further down – Suppan are way too fair into their declines to get to 200. Doc can get to 250 with 20-21 win seasons through age 38 or 15 win seasons through 40. Lefties Mark Buehrle and CC Sabathia have a good base from which to start and are pretty young/durable – I suppose those would be the two I’d bet on to reach 250 wins.

Wins, of course, aren’t a great way to judge pitchers.”