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Upcoming milestones for the 2020 season

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A look at some Phillies players on the cusp of achieving some nice, round numbers for their careers

St Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Everyone loves a good milestone. From 300 strikeouts to 2,000 wins to 10,000 losses (sorry), round numbers stand out across baseball as benchmarks of success, or lack thereof. But there’s also some beauty to be found in numbers that are a little less neat: 762, 511, and 4,256 come to mind, too. Whatever the exact figure, the league and its teams and players all have their own significant numbers to celebrate.

A new season brings a new slate of games with which to make a little history. So which Phillies players are closing in on their own notable career totals? Here are a few, in no particular order and with many more arbitrary plateaus sure to be missed.


Hitting

Andrew McCutchen: 1,000 Runs Scored (Currently: 942)

Cutch needs to cross the plate 58 times in 2020 to reach 1,000 for his career. If he’s healthy and doing well enough to stay atop the lineup, this won’t be a problem at all; Cutch scored 45 times in just 59 games last season before his injury.

Bryce Harper: 250 Home Runs (Currently: 219)

Not only is this one already both impressive and doable, it comes with a bit of a chase element. Harper won’t turn 28 until mid-October, putting him in the mix to be one of the youngest Major Leaguers to hit 250 dingers. He could end up roughly anywhere between 22nd- and 25th-fastest to the mark, hanging around with the likes of Ralph Kiner, Manny Ramirez, and Reggie Jackson. Not bad company.

Rhys Hoskins: 100 Home Runs (Currently: 81)

If healthy, even if he’s struggling, Hoskins could trip and fall into 19 homers this season. He should get this one by the summer months.

Jean Segura: 200 Doubles (Currently: 191)

Another easy one. Segura would be the 112th MLB player to hit at least 200 doubles with 900 or more games played as a shortstop, a filter that will hold up no matter where he plays for the Phils in ‘20.

Jay Bruce: 1,500 Hits (Currently: 1,432)

To get the 68 hits he needs, Bruce would have to top last season’s total by 1, when he went 67-for-310 (.216) between Seattle and the Phillies. It’s doable, especially if someone gets hurt and Bruce gets plugged in, but achieving that number in a mostly-bench role would require him to be Greg Dobbs-ian. Funny enough, Dobbs had exactly 68 hits in his folk hero 2008 season.

McCutchen & Segura: 200 Stolen Bases (Currently: 187 & 181)

Players certainly don’t steal as frequently as they did even 10 years ago, and McCutchen’s injury may limit how much extra running he’ll be doing, but 13 and 19 steals are reasonable totals that could be reached this year.

Pitching

Jake Arrieta: 1,500 Innings Pitched (Currently: 1,469.1)

Ideally, this is one that gets checked off at the end of April or early May. Arrieta has averaged about 5.2 innings per start over the past three seasons.

Arrieta: 1,500 Strikeouts (Currently: 1,318)

This one’s going to be a little bit tougher to reach. In Arrieta’s Cy Young heyday, when he averaged more than one K per inning over the course of four seasons, this would have been a much more reasonable ask. With his Phillies K/9 to date of 7.2, he’d need to pitch almost 230 innings to get the 182 punchouts he needs. That’s...probably not happening this year.

Aaron Nola: 1,000 Strikeouts (Currently: 826)

Nola has easily topped 174 strikeouts in each of the past three seasons, including more than 220 in each of the last two. He would become only the second Phillies pitcher (Cole Hamels) to reach 1K by his age-27 season. Shouldn’t be a problem.

Hector Neris: 100 Saves (Currently: 67)

Only five pitchers have racked up 100 career saves with the Phillies: Jon Papelbon, Jose Mesa, Steve Bedrosian, Mitch Williams, and Brad Lidge. Hector has never reached 30 saves in a season, and the Phillies may not go back to old school bullpen deployment under Joe Girardi, likely opting instead to deploy pitchers to face certain hitter sequences rather than dedicate them to an inning. Stretch goal here.

Appearing

Didi Gregorius: 1,000 Games Played (Currently: 851)

If he avoids the IL, this one is reasonable. Didi’s played in 150-plus games twice in his career, most recently in 2017 with the Yankees, and figures to be the Phils’ everyday shortstop. And since PH appearances count toward games played, hey, 149 feels eminently doable.

Any 4 Returning Opening Day Starters From 2019

This one’s a little out there, but you’ve probably noticed how much turnover the Phillies have undergone since the re-tooling of the post-Utley/Howard/Rollins heyday. But the degree of instability in Phillies Opening Day lineups over the last 10 years is almost staggering:

  • 10 (!!) different RF
  • 9 (!) different LF
  • 5 different C
  • 5 different 1B
  • 4 different 2B, 3B, SS, CF

In fact, it’s been five years since even four members of the previous year’s Opening Day starters made a back-to-back appearance. With Realmuto, Hoskins, and Harper locks to retake their positions, all that’s left is for McCutchen to be ready to start in LF and voila. This doesn’t count Segura, who’d repeat but at a different position. Topsy-turvy is an understatement.