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Franchises with the most pitchers with 120 ERA+ (minimum 1000 IP)

Posted by Andy on March 30, 2011

Here is the full list (1901-present, Gerry) of players with a career ERA+ of 120 or better (minimum 1000 IP):

Tm #Matching
Boston Red Sox 13 Roger Clemens / Lefty Grove / Tex Hughson / Ellis Kinder / Dutch Leonard / Derek Lowe / Pedro Martinez / Carl Mays / Mel Parnell / Babe Ruth / Frank Sullivan / Smoky Joe Wood / Cy Young
Chicago Cubs 10 Pete Alexander / Mordecai Brown / Bill Hands / Orval Overall / Jack Pfiester / Ed Reulbach / Jack Taylor / Hippo Vaughn / Lon Warneke / Carlos Zambrano
New York Yankees 9 Tiny Bonham / Spud Chandler / Russ Ford / Whitey Ford / Lefty Gomez / Eddie Lopat / Carl Mays / Dave Righetti / Mariano Rivera
St. Louis Cardinals 9 Al Brazle / Harry Brecheen / Chris Carpenter / Mort Cooper / Dizzy Dean / Bob Gibson / Max Lanier / Howie Pollet / Curt Simmons
Chicago White Sox 8 Mark Buehrle / Eddie Cicotte / Thornton Lee / Billy Pierce / Johnny Rigney / Reb Russell / Jim Scott / Ed Walsh
Detroit Tigers 8 Al Benton / Tommy Bridges / Harry Coveleski / John Hiller / Hal Newhouser / Dave Rozema / Ed Siever / Dizzy Trout
San Francisco Giants 7 Johnny Antonelli / Matt Cain / Carl Hubbell / Sal Maglie / Juan Marichal / Christy Mathewson / Jason Schmidt
Cincinnati Reds 6 Ewell Blackwell / Bob Ewing / Noodles Hahn / Dolf Luque / Jose Rijo / Bucky Walters
Cleveland Indians 6 Bartolo Colon / Stan Coveleski / Bob Feller / Wes Ferrell / Addie Joss / Gaylord Perry
Los Angeles Dodgers 6 Don Drysdale / Sandy Koufax / Jeff Pfeffer / Preacher Roe / Dazzy Vance / Whit Wyatt
Oakland Athletics 6 Lefty Grove / Tim Hudson / Eddie Plank / Eddie Rommel / Rube Waddell / Barry Zito
Baltimore Orioles 5 Ned Garver / Harry Howell / Mike Mussina / Jim Palmer / Urban Shocker
Atlanta Braves 4 Tom Glavine / Greg Maddux / John Smoltz / Warren Spahn
Philadelphia Phillies 4 Pete Alexander / Jim Bunning / Steve Carlton / Curt Schilling
Pittsburgh Pirates 3 Sam Leever / Kent Tekulve / Vic Willis
Toronto Blue Jays 3 Roy Halladay / Jimmy Key / Dave Stieb
Arizona Diamondbacks 2 Randy Johnson / Brandon Webb
Kansas City Royals 2 Kevin Appier / Bret Saberhagen
Minnesota Twins 2 Walter Johnson / Johan Santana
New York Mets 2 Al Leiter / Tom Seaver
Seattle Mariners 2 Felix Hernandez / Randy Johnson
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1 Dean Chance
Houston Astros 1 Roy Oswalt
Washington Nationals 1 Dennis Martinez
Colorado Rockies 0
Florida Marlins 0
Milwaukee Brewers 0
San Diego Padres 0
Tampa Bay Rays 0
Texas Rangers 0
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 3/30/2011.

Among the teams with nobody:

  • The Padres got screwed by my arbitrary criteria, as Trevor Hoffman finished with 952.1 IP and Jake Peavy finished his Padres career with a 119 ERA+. They have nobody else close to qualifying (and active).
  • The Rockies seem fairly likely to add Ubaldo Jimenez to this list in 2012, as he's currently at 133 ERA+ over 728 IP.
  • For the Marlins, Josh Johnson is well on his way. He's currently at 138 ERA+ and 665 IP. Two more solid, healthy seasons would do it.
  • Dan Plesac is the only Brewer with at least 500 IP and an ERA+ of 120, and he only had 524.1 IP with the team. Teddy Higuera was a near miss at 117 ERA+. Nobody else is active and close.
  • The Rays have nobody close at all.  In fact there are only two pitchers (James Shields and Andy Sonnanstine) with at least 500 IP and still with the team.
  • The Rangers don't have a single pitcher with at least 500 IP and an ERA+ of 120.  They don't even have any active pitchers with 500 IP and an ERA+ of 100.

25 Responses to “Franchises with the most pitchers with 120 ERA+ (minimum 1000 IP)”

  1. stan cook Says:

    Catfish Hunter?

  2. Andy Says:

    What are you asking? He doesn't come close to qualifying.

    2456.1 IP with Oakland, with a 105 ERA+
    993..0 IP with Yankees with a 103 ERA+

  3. Genis Says:

    Is Randy Johnson the only pitcher that shows up for multiple teams?

  4. stan cook Says:

    I was just curious about Hunter. I didn't know how to break it down by team. Career wise he is really close by IP and ERA to El Tiante.

  5. Andy Says:

    On each player's page, you can get his summary by team right below his main stats (in bold face text just under the career totals.) That's how I got Hunter's breakdowns so quickly.

  6. Corey Says:

    Phil Niekro for the Braves is right on 120 ERA+ with a ton of innings for Atlanta

  7. Mets Maven Says:

    Pete Alexander is on two teams as well. I love it that Babe Ruth makes this list!

  8. Mets Maven Says:

    Lefty Grove, too.

  9. Doug B Says:

    Teddy Higuera might have squeeked in as the lone Brewer but his attempted comeback to justify his big contract slid him down to 117.

    Hopefully his countryman Gallardo will make the list in a few years for the Brewers.

  10. Andy Says:

    #9 True dat for Higuera

    For 1985-1991 and before his "comeback" in 1993 and 1994, Higuera had 1291.1 IP and a 124 ERA+

    Untrue dat for Gallardo. He's got 505 IP and just a 113 ERA+, including a 103 last year. Now 25 years old, it seems unlikely he'll pitch at the 130 or so for the rest of his career required to reach 120 for his entire career.

  11. Jon Says:

    Do you know how many White Sox pitchers I would have named before I would have thought of Johnny Rigney?

  12. Chris Says:

    I'm surprised to see a franchise that has been around as long as the Senators/Twins have only two pitchers who meet this criteria. I checked Blyleven's stats, and apparently he just missed the cut.

  13. John Autin Says:

    Andy, a question re: setting the ERA+ floor in the Play Index:

    I have only recently realized that, whereas B-R player pages round the ERA+ and OPS+ to whole numbers, the P-I looks at the underlying value.

    Thus, a P-I search on "ERA+ >= 120" will not find pitchers whose ERA+ appears as "120" but is actually calculated as 119.65, or something.

    You're probably all over that, but it was news to me, so I just thought I'd mention it.

  14. MikeD Says:

    Interesting that the two teams known for having very hitter friendly parks throughout the years top the list with the most pitchers with ERA+'s above 120. Then again, the way that ERA+ is calculated means it's not a surprise.

  15. John Autin Says:

    Followup to my #13:

    The list is slightly different if you use "ERA >= 119.51" in order to include those whose ERA+ rounds up to 120.

    For instance, the Cubs now have 11 such pitchers, and the Yankees 10. Welcome to the party, Claude Passeau and Red Ruffing!

  16. Andy Says:

    JA, I did know that, but thanks for mentioning it.

    I have utilized that "feature" in the past when trying to create lists that I know certain players should be on, but they don't show up because the number appearing in their stats is rounded, as you say. There have been some posts I have made here in the past where I said, for example, OPS+ of at least 130 where in fact I searched for 129.5 because some player listed right at 130 was excluded because his value was actually 129.7.

  17. John Autin Says:

    Andy, when you do a franchise-based search like this, how do you get the results to exclude the Federal League teams? Or do you just edit them out manually before posting?

  18. Andy Says:

    I edited them out manually.

  19. John Autin Says:

    Ach -- yet another reason to hate the Newark Pepper, St. Louis Terriers, etc.!

  20. Gerry Says:

    Federal Leaguers were never going to show up for this question anyway, not with that 1000 IP minimum, but what's the reason for editing them out when they do show up on other lists?

  21. Detroit Michael Says:

    I've been a Tiger fan for a long time, and I had no idea that Dave Rozema was good enough to make this list. Turns out he just barely made it both in terms of ERA+ and IP. The Tigers apparently didn't regard him as that spectacular given that he seems to have been used as a swingman for more years than he was used strictly as a starter.

    He still shows up occasionally at Tiger alumni events or autograph sessions in the Detroit area. It's nice to be notable for more than a Kung Fu kick.

  22. Detroit Michael Says:

    Off topic, but is there a FAQ page that tells how to change the Honus Wagner avatars that most of us were defaulted to? I looked for it a few weeks back and couldn't find how to do that.

  23. Andy Says:

    Go to and register your email address with them, and put whatever photo you want as your avatar. Then when you post here with that email address, it'll show whatever gravatar you have uploaded there. (Your email address will still NOT be visible when you post here.)

  24. Detroit Michael Says:


  25. koma Says:

    Carl Mays did it with the Yankees and with the Red Sox