Earlier in the week, we looked at some of the more important Yankee career hitting milestones and which player may be in line to reach them. Below, we delved into the archives to look at the pitching side of things.
“The Chairman of the Board” remains atop the list of Yankees wins leaders. Ford averaged 17 victories across 16 seasons. Whitey led the league in victories three times, two of those included a 25 and 24 win campaign. If not for his excursion to the Houston Astros, Andy Pettitte likely would’ve surpassed this record. Active leader CC Sabathia is 17th with 106 wins and if he wins eight games in 2017, he’ll vault to 14th. With pitch counts and specialization, this record may well stand the test of time.
In 11 of his 19 seasons in pinstripes, Mo recorded an ERA lower than 2.00. This record probably won’t be topped by a starting pitcher. Last season Aroldis Chapman pitched to a 2.01 ERA with the Yankees but he has a long way to go.
Games – Mariano Rivera 1,115
In 19 seasons Rivera averaged 67 games pitched per season. If he holds up and doesn’t eventually bolt to close elsewhere, Dellin Betances might have an outside shot but his 225 games only rank him 36th but he could jump about 10 spots after 2017.
Games Started – Whitey Ford and Andy Pettitte 438
This record looks fairly safe. Sabathia is the active leader and his 228 rank 12th.
Saves – Mariano Rivera 652
Not only is this a Yankees record but it’s an MLB record. Rivera averaged 39 saves across 19 seasons and led the league three times. Mo had two seasons of more than 50 saves and nine with more than 40. This record appears to be safe, relievers can be fickle from year to year and even great closers don’t necessarily stick around.
The Yankees let Rafael Soriano and David Robertson walk and traded Andrew Miller and Chapman in restocking their farm system. Chapman is back in the backend and his 20 saves rank him 34th. Chapman averages 32 saves per season and if he holds up, could be in the top 10 by the end of the 2017 campaign and making a run at Dave Righetti‘s second place standing by the end of his contract.
Considering the difference in era, this record will likely stand the test of time. Pettitte could’ve made a run if he’d stayed in New York his entire career and didn’t retire the first time in 2011. Sabathia and his 1,509.0 innings pitched rank 16th and he could jump to 14th after this season.
Strikeouts – Andy Pettitte 2,020
Not an impossible record to break but a tough one. Pettitte averaged 158 strikeouts per year, with 180 being his career high in 2003. A dominant starter with longevity could make a strong challenge. Sabathia is the active leader at sixth with 1,333 punch outs and could jump to fifth by the end of 2017. Assuming he stays healthy and doesn’t opt out, Masahiro Tanaka and his 445 K’s is young enough where he could make a run at the record.