Houston Astros: The trek to 300 wins by Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke of the Houston Astros (Photo by John Sleezer/Getty Images)
Zack Greinke of the Houston Astros (Photo by John Sleezer/Getty Images) /
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Houston Astros
Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Ready for Cooperstown?

Before simply making projections for a pitcher to enter the 300-win club, keep several considerations in mind. Sure, there remains the obvious elephant in the room about what will likely turn out to be a shortened 2020 season making it more difficult for players to accumulate stats. Also, in this era of baseball, starters generally do not get to go as deep into games due to the high-dollar investment of specialized relief pitchers. So waiting for an offense to score that go-ahead run in the next inning to qualify for the win becomes even less likely for starters trying to stay in each game longer in hopes of reaching the 300-win milestone.

Nonetheless, both Astros hurlers could get inducted without reaching 300 wins. Verlander, for example, has won two AL Cy Young Awards and stands as one of only 18 players in MLB history to have thrown 3,000 strikeouts. Moreover, Verlander won Rookie of the Year in 2006, as well as the AL MVP Award in 2011. Such accomplishments should make his second Cy Young Award earned years later in 2019 all the more impressive to voters as it provides evidence of earning top-notch honors that truly span over the duration of his career.

The Astros’ go-to starter has also amassed 14 wins as a pitcher in the postseason, tied for third-place all-time with Hall of Famer, Tom Glavine. Moreover, Verlander remains in a three-way tie for third place for most no-hitters in major league history.

In Greinke’s case, should the right-hander not finish with 300 wins, other factors work toward his favor in the minds of Hall of Fame voters. For instance, Greinke won the NL Cy Young Award in 2009, earned six consecutive Gold Glove Awards for his fielding, and has also made the All-Star team in six separate seasons.

Perhaps most alluring to Hall voters, Greinke will go down as one of the most productive hitting pitchers to be considered for the Hall of Fame of his era. Though Greinke has spent only eight of his 16 seasons as a hitting pitcher in the NL, he has shown an ability to do major damage with the bat. Greinke has homered nine times, as well as hit nearly 30 doubles in his years as an NL starting pitcher. Just imagine how many homers and doubles he could have wound up with had he played nearly every day at another position.