Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Elusive 20 Wins

J.A. Happ was, improbably, a 20-game winner last year (Canada Sports Net)
With all the bullpen specialization and attention to pitch counts that has gone on recently, one would think that only the game's elite pitchers would be capable of winning 20 games in a season anymore. In reality, though, the list of hurlers who've done it recently is kind of a mixed bag. None of them are bad, obviously, but there's a good number of mid-rotation arms mixed in there with the cream of the crop.

Over the last several years, there's been about one pitcher per year who comes out of nowhere to win 20 games. In 2011 it was Ian Kennedy, and the following year it was R.A. Dickey and Gio Gonzalez. In 2015 Dallas Keuchel and Jake Arrieta did it, while last year both J.A. Happ and Rick Porcello reached the milestone. They've rivaled, and in some cases surpassed, the victory totals studs such as Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander and David Price, not to mention this list of pitchers (Cy Young winners starred)who have yet to win 20 games:
This year, Jason Vargas is atop the wins leaderboard, tied with Kershaw at 10 apiece. Rockies rookie Antonio Senzatela is just one behind them. I'm betting only Kershaw makes it, but then I would have said the same thing about Happ and Porcello last year.

No comments:

Post a Comment