As we look to the second half of this season, there are a number of players chasing notable career milestones. I’ll take a look at some of them after the jump.
Let’s start with the pitchers.
- Lester is on pace to become the 12th pitcher to record 10 consecutive seasons of 30 starts and 150 strikeouts. Quiz: only one of Roger Clemens, Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Javier Vazquez, Fergie Jenkins and Bob Gibson is in the group: who is it?
- Sale would be the 21st pitcher of the modern era (since 1901) to reach 1500 K’s by age 28, but only the fourth to do so after debuting at age 21 or older. Madison Bumgarner (91 away from 1500) is due to be reactivated this week and could also make it; if he does, he would be the 13th to do so by his age 27 season.
- With a 14-2 record starting the second half, Kershaw stands a reasonable chance to become the first pitcher to record three 20 win seasons with no more than 5 losses.
- With 94 wins as a Red since 2007, Arroyo is the expansion era franchise leader for wins aged 30+.
- With a 23-14 record (.622 W-L%) this season and last, Adam Wainwright could challenge Mark Langston‘s .636 winning percentage (21-12) for best among pitchers with a 4.50 ERA in 300+ IP aged 34-35. Wainwright’s 5.20 ERA this season is not as bad as it looks; most of the damage (an 18.21 ERA) came in four starts allowing 5 or more earned runs, compared to a tidy 2.94 ERA in his other 14 outings.
- Kershaw would become the 8th pitcher since 1980 to reach that milestone before his age 30 season.
- Dickey would become the oldest starting pitcher when reaching 2000 IP.
- Rodriguez needs 24 IP for 1000 for his career. That would make him the fourth pitcher used exclusively in relief to reach that mark by age 35, and the first in the past 25 years.
- If Shields makes it, he will be the first pitcher since Jerry Koosman in 1978 to do so in his first 12 seasons, after debuting aged 24 or older.
Moving on to the hitters.
- Beltre is also the only third baseman with 3000 PA for three different franchises. Quiz: which other player posted 2500 PA for three different franchises while playing a majority of his career games at third base?
- Despite never having 200 hits in a season, Markakis will be just the 10th player since 1901 to debut aged 22 or older and reach 2000 hits by his age 33 season. Quiz: which other player in that group did not have a 200 hit season before reaching 2000 career hits?
- Gonzalez (23) and Phillips (38) could also reach 1000 runs this season.
- Encarnacion needs 12 home runs to become the 11th player with 30 home runs each season aged 30-34. Seven of the other 10 recorded all of those seasons since 1995.
- Braun (who needs 5 home runs for 300) is one of 84 players since 1961 with RBI exceeding 15% of 5000+ PA. If he stays healthy, Braun will need a monster second half to avoid having his first 100 game season with fewer than 80 RBI.
Robinson Cano, like Ryan Braun, needs 5 home runs for 300.
- Cano is on pace to reach 2000 career games this season, including 150 games at second base for the 10th time in 11 years. That would tie him with Nellie Fox (who also did it over an 11 year span) for the most such second base seasons.
- Cano also needs 16 doubles in the second half to extend his career long streak of 30 double seasons to 13 years. That would be the longest streak of such seasons to start a career, and the most by a second baseman, moving past Craig Biggio.
Jose Reyes needs two stolen bases to reach 500.
- Reyes, who passed 2000 hits earlier this season, is the Mets franchise leader in career stolen bases and triples, mantels he claimed in his age 25 season.
Ichiro Suzuki needs 48 total bases to reach 4000, but it’s doubtful that he’ll make it (he has 32 so far this season). Brandon Phillips (19), Ryan Braun (67), Nick Markakis (84) and Hanley Ramirez (92) should all reach 3000 total bases, with Ian Kinsler (131) and Edwin Encarnacion (156) having an outside shot.
- If Ichiro does get to 4000 total bases, he would join Wade Boggs as the only post-war players to reach that mark with fewer than 125 home runs (Rod Carew finished two bases short at 3998).
Andrelton Simmons (6) should pass 150 WAR fielding runs, a mark Jason Heyward reached earlier this season. Simmons and Heyward are both in their age 27 season, with Adrian Beltre the only active player ahead of them in career WAR fielding runs.