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08/25/2004 Archived Entry: "MLB news: Rivera moves to No. 9 on saves list"

MLB news: Rivera moves to No. 9 on saves list
Milestones update

By Michael Toeset

WILSON ALVAREZ recorded his 100th win on July 29. Alvarez had a great start to his career but then was derailed by injuries, and he hasnít been the same since. In Alvarezís first four seasons as a starter, he compiled 50 wins. Since 1996, though, he hasnít reached double-digit wins. Last year and this season heís performed well for the Dodgers splitting time between the rotation and bullpen, but heíll never be the superstar he was expected to be at the outset of his career.

SHAWN GREEN collected hit No. 1,500 on July 29. Green has had somewhat of an odd career (19 homers last year but 42 the year before, for instance), but heís always hovered pretty much around a .285 average, enough to slowly push him up the hit list. His season high is 190, which he wonít best this year.

Doubles hitters are much underappreciated in todayís game, as mentioned in a previous article, but theyíll get their due here. One of those players is ERIC YOUNG, who hit his 300th double on July 29. Young doesnít hit a lot of home runs, so he has always been seen as nothing more than a leadoff (or even No. 8 or 9) batter, but when given playing time, Young has racked up the doubles. His bests are 43 in 2001 and 40 in 2000.

MARIANO RIVERA is moving up the all-time saves list with yet another phenomenal season, and on July 30 he moved to 10th on the list with his 319th save. Rivera has 43 saves this season, giving him 326 for his career and bumping him to No. 9 all time. Heíll soon move to No. 8 by overtaking his former bullpen mate John Wetteland. The 34-year-old Rivera has an excellent shot at overtaking Lee Smith at No. 1; he only needs 152 more, about four seasonsí worth.

SAMMY SOSA drove in his 1,500th run on July 30. Sosa isnít the RBI machine he was just several years ago, as he only has 60 this year (although he has been injured). The previous three years Ė including the current one Ė Sosa only has 271 RBI, which he easily topped the two years prior to those. On Aug. 10, Sosa also passed another milestone by hitting his 546th home run, moving to No. 8 on the all-time list, past Reggie Jackson. Next up is Harmon Killebrew, who had 573 homers. Sosa also is trying to catch Jackson in the strikeout department. With 103 strikeouts in 94 games this year, Sosa is at 2,080 Ks, not too far behind Jacksonís record 2,597.

CHIPPER JONES is at that stage where he seems to hit a milestone every day. Thatís what skills and longevity will do for you. On July 31, Jones scored his 1,000th run, on Aug. 15, he drove in his 1,000th run, and on Aug. 16, he hit his 300th home run. Jonesí skills seem to be declining rather rapidly, and he may not be around to even reach home run No. 400, which is a shame, considering he was THE third baseman of the 1990s.

JOSE CRUZ keeps chasing his fatherís stats, and he advanced another base toward Cruz Sr.sí steals mark on July 31 by swiping his 100th base. He still has quite a ways to go, though: Cruz Sr. had 317.

Speaking of 100 steals, CRISTIAN GUZMAN reached that mark on Aug. 1. Guzman has blazing speed, but heís never been a terror on the basepaths; his season high is 28 and he only has 8 this year.

WOODY WILLIAMS reached the century mark in wins on Aug. 1. Williams somehow won 18 games last season, which definitely propelled him toward the mark, but itís doubtful heíll ever get to 200. His 2003 season looks like a great big aberration.

JEFF KENT scored his 1,000th run on Aug. 1. Kent has topped the century mark in season runs only twice in his career, but heís been such a reliable slugger that it isnít a detriment, and he may yet put up stats that will push him to the Hall of Fame.

Quirky-batting TONY BATISTA slugged his 200th home run on Aug. 3. Every year it seems as if Batista is written off by a handful of teams, but then one decides to take a chance on him and theyíre rewarded with 20 or 30 homers (although it does come with a despicable .240-ish average). This season he has 21 homers for the Expos.

MARK KOTSAY collected his 1,000th hit on Aug. 3. Kotsay has been a fairly reliable player over his career, and heíll likely hang around for a while in at least a platoon role, but heíll never get to 2,000 hits.

Just before KEN GRIFFEY had yet another season-ending injury, he hit his 400th double. On Aug. 4, he reached that number. As a Reds fan, itís hard to write about Griffey without breaking into tears, but Iíll at least mention the fact that Griffey has never been a doubles machine; he only topped 40 once, collecting 42 in 1991, when he was young and healthy. (Sigh)

On to happier Reds news: SEAN CASEY collected his 1,000th hit on Aug. 5. Casey has always been a Mark Grace-type player, and the stats for the two match up fairly accurately (the main discrepancy being the power Casey has displayed), so if Graceís career is any indication, Casey will end up with about 2,500 hits.
Joining Casey in the 1,000-hit club are BILL MUELLER and DEIVI CRUZ. Mueller reached the mark on Aug. 6, and Cruz got there Aug. 21. Neither of these two are hitters like Casey, so donít expect their hits totals to come anywhere near 2,000.

RAY DURHAM, however, has a decent shot at 2,000 hits. On Aug. 7, he recorded hit No. 1,500. Durham has become somewhat fragile in his golden years, but I predict heíll be a Julio Franco-type player as he gets older, and he should be able to cross the 2,000-hit threshold.

It seems like JASON SCHMIDT should be approaching win No. 200 anytime soon now, but heís actually only at 100, which he reached Aug. 6. Schmidt has been playing since his short 1995 rookie season, but he was never a star on a good team until he went to the Giants in 2001. His best win totals are 17, 15 (this seasonís number), 13 and 13.

Joining the 500-RBI club in recent weeks were PRESTON WILSON, MIKE LOWELL and LANCE BERKMAN. If I had to predict which of these guys would end up with the most career RBI, my guess would be Berkman.

JOSE VIDRO hit his 100th home run on Aug. 18, and nobody noticed Ė because he plays for the Expos. If thereís one reason better than all the rest to move the Expos out of Montreal, itís Vidro. Heís put up solid numbers for several seasons now, but he doesnít get mentioned all that often as one of the top second basemen. Hereís to relocation!

MATT CLEMENT struck out his 1,000th batter on Aug. 18. Clement isnít a strikeout king like Roger Clemens, but he should top 200 this year, which would be the second time heís topped that mark. To date he has 176.

MIKE JACKSON keeps moving up the games list, as mentioned not too long ago on this Web site. And on Aug. 18, he pitched his 1,000th game, becoming only the ninth pitcher ever to do so. With game No. 1,003, Jackson will move to No. 8 on the list, ahead of Goose Gossage.

JOHN SMOLTZ saved his 142nd game for the Braves on Aug. 19, setting a new franchise record. Smoltz, who took the crown from Gene Garber, has had a very Dennis Eckersly-like career, and we all know where that got Eck Ė in the hallowed Hall.

Power-speed package BOBBY ABREU stole his 200th base on Aug. 20, and along with his 163 home runs, that makes him one of the best power-speed packages in the game today. While weíre on the subject, on Aug. 23, CARLOS BELTRAN joined the 30-30 club for the first time. Beltran has 139 home runs and 181 steals in his career.

e-mail questions or comments to mtoeset@baseballguru.com

Replies: 1 Comment

Way to go, Mike. Love these stats.

Posted by Max Blue @ 08/25/2004 08:20 AM EST

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