The mark of a truly great starting pitcher used to be 300 wins. It was considered a milestone on par with hitters getting 3,000 hits or 500 home runs. However, due to developments in the strategy of the game and more conservative use of pitching arms to avoid injury, 300 wins is no longer a reasonable expectation of a great pitcher. There are very few pitchers today that appear to have a chance of getting 300 wins, even with great luck. A starting pitcher may not get 300 wins for a very long time, especially not in the current baseball environment.
The primary factor in the decline of the 300-win season is teams’ increased use of the bullpen. The starting pitcher is pitching less innings as managers more frequently pull them out for relievers. Most teams have 6 or 7 relievers: long relief pitchers for when a starter … Read the rest