It’s one of those baseball statistics that’s hard to believe.
I checked it a couple times to make sure I hadn’t missed anyone. And I really believe I haven’t.
According to baseball-reference.com, there are 44 active major league pitchers who have at least 80 career wins – a modest accomplishment, but impressive considering all who have played the game.
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Of that group of 44, none has played for the Orioles.
Think about that for a moment. I’m not talking about none of the 44 plays for the Orioles right now. I am talking about ever. Not a couple wins here or there with Orioles by some journeyman before moving on elsewhere. And, let’s face it, the Orioles have had plenty of journeyman come through here and move on. But guys like Kevin Millwood and Jamie Moyer and Arthur Rhodes aren’t active.
The former or current Oriole who is highest on the active wins list is Joe Saunders, who spent a month-plus in Baltimore last year – and recorded the club’s first playoff win since 1997 – before leaving for Seattle this offseason as a free agent.
He has 79 wins – three with Baltimore. The next highest ex-Oriole on the list is Bruce Chen, who has 72 in his career, 15 with the Orioles.
That could change momentarily, however. There soon may be an Orioles’ pitcher who jumps into the Top 10 for active wins.
Freddy Garcia, the 36-year-old right-hander who has started four times for the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk this month and agreed to make five starts in the minors before forcing the big league club to make a decision, is ninth on the active list with 152 wins.
New York Yankee lefty Andy Pettitte, at age 41, is the active leader with 248 wins. I believe roughly 200 of those have come against the Orioles (I am barely exaggerating).
The funny thing is that the list of active pitchers with 80 wins or more is littered with players the Orioles have targeted – or have been rumored to have targeted -- over the years: A.J. Burnett, Aaron Harang, Brett Myers, Ervin Santana, Joe Blanton, etc.
But for one reason or another they never ended up with those guys.
The current Oriole with the most big league wins is 30-year-old righty Jason Hammel, who has 44 wins in parts of eight seasons.
I looked that one up, too.