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Big Sexy Career Milestone Watch: 244 Wins

As I predicted, on Monday night, Texas Rangers SP Bartolo Colón notched his latest career milestone with victory number 244, surpassing high-kicking Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal to become the winningest Dominican-born pitcher in major league history. Colón now has the second-most wins of any Latin American pitcher, behind four-time All-Star Dennis Martínez, born in Nicaragua (245). Given that we are not yet halfway through the season and Colón has a history of durability with an average of over 200 IP throughout his 21 big-league seasons, we are likely to see him surpass Martínez sooner than later.

“Big Sexy” has now surpassed the wins total of a Hall of Famer and is threatening to make history yet again this season but, as discussed in my prior post, baseball talking heads dismiss his worthiness for enshrinement in Cooperstown because he does not possess electrifying stuff. When taking a moment to look up Dennis Martínez, the winningest Latin American MLB pitcher, I was surprised to learn he is not a Hall of Famer, so I decided to compare his career with Colón’s.

Dennis Martínez

  • Number of Seasons: 23
  • Record: 245-193 (.559)
  • ERA: 3.70
  • SO: 2,149
  • Average IP/Season: 217
  • Career ERA+: 106
  • Career SO9: 4.8
  • Career WHIP: 1.266
  • Career SO/W: 1.84

Bartolo Colón

  • Number of Seasons: 21 and counting
  • Record: 244-180 (.575)
  • ERA: 4.07
  • SO: 2,503
  • Average IP/Season: 211
  • Career ERA+: 107
  • Career SO9: 6.6
  • Career WHIP: 1.307
  • Career SO/W: 2.68

Although Martínez has a lower ERA and both pitchers have a similar ERA+, I would argue that Colón has been more successful as reflected by his higher winning percentage and the fact that it has taken him fewer seasons to near Martínez’s victory total. Colón also has higher strikeout numbers, which is very important for success in today’s major leagues.

Now, let’s take a look at a Hall of Famer and Dominican baseball legend, Pedro Martínez.

Pedro Martínez

  • Number of Seasons: 18
  • Record: 219-100 (.687)
  • ERA: 2.93
  • SO: 3,154
  • Average IP/Season: 217
  • Career ERA+: 154
  • Career SO9: 10.0
  • Career WHIP: 1.054
  • Career SO/W: 4.15

In comparison to Dennis Martínez and Colón, Pedro Martínez is obviously in another category when it comes to not only ERA and ERA+, but also winning percentage and strikeout numbers. While I believe Colón has been better than Dennis Martínez, he cannot hold a candle to Pedro Martínez. So, if we’re going to consider Pedro Martínez as the type of elite pitcher who is Hall of Fame-worthy and Dennis Martínez as a successful pitcher who is not elite enough to be inducted into the Hall, then Colón would fall more towards the Dennis end of the scale than the Pedro end. However, I believe dismissing a pitcher’s worthiness for the Hall of Fame based on how hard he throws is peabrained. As you may know, Greg Maddux had a Hall of Fame career (with over 3,000 strikeouts) as a control pitcher.