The Yankees have done nothing of note in the month of January, so let’s turn our attention to some of the achievements that the Yankees could reach this season. Earlier in the week I focused on the milestones that some of the Yankees position players are approaching. Several Yankees pitchers are also coming up on some milestones.
After eight seasons with the Yankees, every outing moves Sabathia closer to quite a few franchise and MLB milestones. He currently sits in 12th place in the franchise in terms of games started with 228. He needs to make just 22 starts in 2017 to move past Mike Mussina. Sabathia has started 482 games in his career and will likely move into the top 45 all-time this year. Perhaps most impressively, Sabathia has recorded 1,333 strikeouts as a Yankee. Depending on how the season goes, he could move ahead of Lefty Gomez for fifth place in team history. He has 2,726 career strikeouts and should move into the top 20 this year.
Sabathia has already thrown over 1,500 innings with the Yankees, and only needs 49 more to move ahead of Mussina and Vic Raschi. There have been countless debates about the importance of team-based stats like wins, but Sabathia certainly has a lot of them. Sabathia will enter the 2017 season with 106 wins as a Yankee. He needs just 8 more wins to move up three spots into 14th on the Yankees’ list, right below Raschi. With 223 career wins, Sabathia is in the top 75 all-time, and he is 16th place among lefties.
Tanaka is entering his last season before he has the opportunity to opt out of his contract with the Yankees. After three years with the Yankees, Tanaka has thrown 490 innings and should move into the Yankees’ top 75 this season. He also has 445 strikeouts and appears to be on track to move into the top 30 in the franchise if he can stay healthy. Tanaka needs just two more strikeouts to pass Joba Chamberlain.
Although Chapman made it to the majors in 2010, he didn’t start working as a closer full-time until 2012. Still, he already has 182 saves and only needs 11 more to move into the top 50 in MLB history. It will be interesting to see how far he moves up the list during the next five years of his contract.
Betances has only had a major role in the Yankees’ bullpen since 2014, yet he’s already approaching 500 strikeouts. He will start the season with 404, but should easily pass the 500 mark before the year ends. Additionally, Betances has appeared in 70 or more games during each of the past three seasons, making him on track to move into the Yankees’ top 20 this year if he has 64 or more appearances in 2017.