Opening Day is just a few weeks away, and now is the time to think about everything the Yankees could achieve in 2018. Last year’s team was surprisingly good, but this year’s squad could make a run at the World Series. There are also several Yankees who are approaching career milestones this year. Here is a look at some of the accomplishments that Yankees pitchers could reach this season.
At 37, Sabathia is the oldest Yankee on the team. After 17 years in the majors, he moves closer and closer to MLB and franchise milestones with every pitch. He has started 255 games for the Yankees and sits just outside of the top ten in franchise history. Barring any injuries, he should make his way up to the seventh spot this year, right between Waite Hoyt and Lefty Gomez. He’ll likely pass Andy Pettitte on the all-time starts list and make his way into the top 35.
Sabathia has also racked up an astounding number of strikeouts as a Yankee. He’ll start the season with 1,453, and just needs 74 to move behind Ron Guidry for fourth place in the franchise. CC is only 154 away from 3,000 career strikeouts. He might get close this year, but he’ll probably need to play in 2019 to hit that number. Sabathia has 120 wins with the Yankees, and needs just 12 more to pass Allie Reynolds and move into the Yankees’ top ten.
It was a pleasant surprise when Tanaka decided not to opt out of his contract over the offseason. During his four years with the Yankees, Tanaka has started 105 games. He should move up the franchise list to the mid-30s this year, right around Phil Hughes’ 132 games. More impressively, Tanaka will start the season with 639 strikeouts, and should be able to pass Ray Caldwell for the 20th spot on the Yankees’ list.
To say that the end of last season was a struggle for Betances is an understatement. If he can right the ship, he will pass 600 strikeouts this season and move into the Yankees’ top 30. Betances was used in a career-low 66 games last year, but has already appeared in 291 games during his Yankees career. He just needs to make it into 50 games in 2018 to move into the Yankees’ top 15.
The Yankees reunited with D-Rob at the trade deadline last year, and he was better than ever. He is just 15 strikeouts away from 600 with the Yankees. Notably, Robertson has appeared in 432 Yankees games and he should easily make his way into the team’s top four this year, right between Whitey Ford (498) and Mike Stanton (456).
Since Mariano Rivera held down the closer role for so many years, there aren’t too many pitchers in franchise history who have more than 50 saves. Assuming that Chapman stays the team’s closer, he will pass the 50-save mark and should end 2018 in the ninth spot (behind John Wetteland). Chapman’s 204 career saves place him 46th in MLB history, and he should make his way into the top 40 this year.
There aren’t too many veteran position players left on the team, but check back next week for a look at the milestones that some of the hitters could reach this year.