Days ago Randy Johnson was the happiest man wondering around in the Giants clubhouse in Miami. The ‘Big Unit’ have a good reason why. A week ago he became the 24th pitcher to reach one of baseball’s most revered milestones. Join the 300-win club.
“It’s been a long road,”Johnson said. “I guess the one word that would sum it all up is that I’ve persevered”.
Johnson (5-5) became the sixth left-hander to win 300 games, and the first to do it on his first try against the Washington Nationals since Tom Seaver in 1985.
The towering 6’10″ hurler now is in the history books but now the immediate question is who’s next? Whom can we forecast is able to be ready for another long road and in time be number 25.
The closest active pitchers at this moment are Phillies’ Jamie Moyer (250 wins) and Yankees’ Andy Pettite (220 wins). Both will not. Moyer is 46 year-old and Pettite have express in numerous occasions this is his last season in the Majors.
Could be a latino? It could be but remember Johnson’s words “is a long road”. And not easy. Dennis Martínez in 23 seasons won 245 games. Hall of Famer Juan Marichal in 16 seasons won 243. Luis Tiant in 19 seasons won 229. The recently retired Pedro Martínez won 214.
Bartolo Colón, 36, and Liván Hernández, 34, both at this moment with 153 career wins are down hill in their careers. Local Javier Vázquez,33, have 131 career wins but have never had a 20-win season.
Most possible. Maybe. Johan Santana and Carlos Zambrano. Both are 30 years-old and with over 100 career wins. Both are young and if healthy can go at least 10 more seasons. However, at least they have to average 18 wins a season. And after that stay healthy enough to try to complete the mission.
Does Johnson was the last of the 300-win plateau club? It’s no easy task but only time will tell.
This column was also published by The Puerto Rico Daily Sun / MLB Commentary