Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/23/14
Mlb-apr-braves-mets
Is 200 the new 300? For decades now, 300 wins for a pitcher has been the standard of automatic entry to baseball’s Hall of Fame. However, when Randy Johnson achieved the feat in 2009, many asked the very legitimate question of whether or not the Big Unit would be the very last pitcher to ever hit that mark. Conventional wisdom says Johnson will indeed be the last. History tells us that the Los Angeles Dodgers were the first time to go to a five-man rotation, featuring the likes of Tommy John and Don Sutton. They turned from the four-man staff in the early 1970s, and soon thereafter most of baseball followed suit. Since that point, just 10 pitchers have captured at least 300 victories, only four of those since 1990. In short, starting pitching wins are becoming rarer, and that’s a trend not likely to change any time soon. Beyond the advent of the five-man rotation, the increased importance of relief pitchers and, moreover, the specialization of their roles has played a huge part in the decrease in total wins by starting pitchers. This is why Tim Hudson‘s career is so impressive. On Sunday, the 37-year-old Hudson captured his 200th career win, putting him in rarefied company. Just two other active starting pitchers have hit that total, and they — Andy Pettite and Roy Halladay — are likely to be enshrined in Cooperstown. CC Sabathia, another Hall of Fame candidate, will soon join them, standing with 195 W’s. Mark Buehrle may well get there, too, as the model of consistency has 174 victories at 34 years old. Beyond those five, however, baseball may be hard pressed to produce another 200-game winner any time soon, much less 300. Justin Verlander is the sport’s best bet, with 127 wins thus far. However, at 30 years old and with already-declining velocity, the next 73 are anything but a safe bet. Ditto for Felix Hernandez, who may already be halfway there with 101 and is just 27 years old. However, there will be a lot of variables over the next 99 potential wins. The same can be said for Clayton Kershaw, who, at 64 victories and 25 years of age, may be baseball’s best pitcher right now, but is a long way away from the milestone. The point is, in the context of baseball history, Hudson’s numbers don’t seem particularly spectacular, definitely not Hall of Fame-worthy. However, when viewed through the context of the baseball history through which Hudson actually played, he ends up looking like one of the best pitchers of the era — particularly in terms of longevity. To be sure, longevity is probably Hudson’s best case for Cooperstown, because it’s a fair knock that he was never particularly dominant. Ironically, Hudson’s best showing in the Cy Young race, a second-place finish, came in his sophomore season, which was actually the second-worst of his career. Though he went 20-6 in 2000, Hudson also carried a 4.14 ERA, a mark he only topped in 2006. Throughout his 15-year career, however, Hudson has only garnered Cy Young votes four times. The only meaningful statistic he ever lead the league in — besides those 20 wins in 2000 — was during the 2004 campaign, when his average of 0.4 home runs per nine innings was the best in baseball. Basically, aside from a standout 2003 campaign where he threw 240 innings with a WHIP of 1.07 and ERA-plus of 165, Hudson has never done anything truly special throughout a whole season. Year in and year out, though, overlooking Tommy John surgery-marred campaigns in 2008 and 2009, Hudson has been consistently good. Though consistency and longevity may not mean the same things they did in the era of Satchel Paige, Hudson is, along with Pettite, Halladay, Sabathia and Buehrle, the gold standard of modern times. So, all this being said, it may be too early to say 200 is the new 300. Buehrle’s career, in particular, ought to be an interesting test, once he retires, of the modern-day value of year-to-year consistency. However, Hudson has been a better pitcher throughout his career than Buehrle, Pettite and, perhaps surprisingly, has been virtually the same pitcher as Sabathia, according to park-adjusted ERA. If Pettite and Sabathia are presumed Hall of Famers, then Hudson absolutely deserves his plaque in Cooperstown, too.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Gregg Marshall's show canceled, Bama speculation grows

Report: Shaka Smart in discussions with Texas

Report: Rick Barnes expected to land at Tennessee

Demaryius Thomas planning to skip Broncos' workouts

Rockets GM: We think we can win NBA title despite injuries

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Browns GM Ray Farmer suspended over text messages

Aaron Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box after murder

Byron Scott: Opposing players say they want to play for Lakers

Falcons reportedly will lose pick over pumping in crowd noise

Report: Sam Bradford wouldn't sign extension with Browns

Jimbo Fisher: Winston is victim of ‘character assassination’

PHOTO: Minor league team to wear Jabba the Hutt jerseys

Lions LB DeAndre Levy takes ride on top of a moving plane

Colts owner addresses Indiana religious freedom bill

John Calipari addresses controversial ND comments

Arizona coach Sean Miller rips critics: 'Go cheer for ASU'

Report: NFL could push extra point back to 15-yard line

Urban Meyer: 'No issue' with Braxton Miller's Instagram post

Tiger Woods drops out of top 100 for first time in 19 years

Top 10 stories from NCAA Tourney's second weekend

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: How can every team win?

WrestleMania 31 results: Rollins cashes in, Rousey appears

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Shaka Smart talking to Texas

Rick Barnes to land at Tennessee?

Browns GM suspended for texts

Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box

Mayweather-Pacquiao: It's sparring tall-tale season

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: Can every team win?

Full WrestleMania 31 recap and results

Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Report: Chris Mullin to take St. John's job

Report: NFL looking into more cameras

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.