Kershaw 300 wins? Bellinger 500 home runs? Betts 3000 hits? Milestones that could be impacted by a 2020 season lost due to the coronavirus.
If Major League Baseball is unable to schedule a 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be bigger problems to worry about than home run or strikeout milestones, as there already are.
However, if we focus our minds on the distraction that is baseball, it is interesting to think about how a lost season might impact Dodger players from reaching historical achievements that require the aid of time and opportunity.
In an article written for FanGraphs earlier this week, Dan Szymborski, who creates the ZiPS projections used on the site, calculated the probabilities of players reaching key milestones based on whether a 2020 season is played, even at a reduced schedule, or entirely canceled. In his assumptions, he included the likelihood that a player would add an extra season to their career if they were extremely close to reaching an important mark.
While advanced statistics have assisted Hall-of-Fame voters in assessing the value of individual players and their worthiness for selection to Cooperstown, there remains a group of unique milestones that have always set players apart in becoming Hall-of-Fame candidates.
Whether it’s 500 home runs, 300 wins, or 3000 hits, power hitters, consistent batters, and winning pitchers have eyed these milestones as benchmarks to reach the hallowed grounds of Cooperstown.
If the 2020 season is lost, who on the Dodgers roster risks losing their chance to reach these sacred milestones? And what about their place on the Dodger all-time leaders list? Who is chasing Dodger history, but could fall short because they ran out of time too soon?