It's spring and that means feral optimism is available in bulk. Soon a barrage of articles proclaiming any and every team a potential surprise contender will surface, and so will pieces predicting big seasons out of players young and old alike. There will be articles like this one, too, which deals with the next 300-game winner. There's no real science to it. Pick a youngish pitcher with a track record of success and build him up. By the time that pitcher fails to win 300 nobody will remember anyhow. Still, pieces discussing the next 300-game winner can be fun.
Take Mike Fast's debut article at Baseball Prospectus, from October 2010, in which he introduced the Glavine Line. Fast's creation was based on the idea that its namesake took the slacker's route to 300 wins by doing the minimum required and no more. The measure deals in simplicity instead of complexity and allows you to get a feel for a pitcher's pace relative to Glavine by comparing his actual wins with a crude projection (15.5 wins from his age-22 season onward). It's a clean, tidy, and ineffective way of identifying the next 300-game winner—as Fast admitted in the original piece.
With the understanding that we're aiming for preservation rather than projection, I took the time to update the results of the Glavine Line. A lot has changed in the past 28 months, of course: Fast is now in the Astros front office and some of the article's information looks dated. Justin Verlander, who, in the original piece was 10 wins below the Glavine Line, has since won 41 games and evened things up. Meanwhile Jon Garland and Carlos Zambrano, two pitchers with lower deltas than Verlander at the time, are now off the radar. Undoubtedly these results will age poorly, too, but here are the active pitchers with 50-plus career wins that are above or within 10 games of the Glavine Line:
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