A pitcher throwing 300 innings in the MLB nowadays sounds like nothing more than a myth at this point. Last season, the most innings thrown by any pitcher were the 228.2 tossed by National League Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara. Those innings were a whopping 23.2 more than second-placed Aaron Nola.
“A special season in South Beach. Sandy Alcantara is your 2022 NL Cy Young winner!” – MLB
While Alcantara’s innings total was beyond impressive for 2022, those numbers are well below past eras when throwing 300 innings was not an impossible feat.
Although no pitcher has reached 300 innings recently, players would regularly surpass that number in the early days of professional baseball. The all-time record belongs to Will White, who hurled 680 innings for the Cincinnati Reds in 1879.
The last player to throw more than 300 innings was Hall of Famer Steve Carlton in 1980, who finished the season with 304.0 innings. At the end of the 1980 season, Carlton was presented with his third career Cy Young Award, as well as a World Series title with the Philadelphia Phillies.
‘From the SI vault… Steve Carlton in powder blue” – @Garrett82755490
Debuting in 1965, Carlton went on to pitch in 24 different seasons in the Majors, winning four Cy Young Awards and two World Series. At the time of his retirement, Carlton had a 329-244 career record with a 3.22 ERA. He racked up a whopping 4,136 strikeouts, which is fourth on the all-time list.
Thanks to recording over 300 innings twice in his career, his 5,217.2 career innings pitched have him sitting 10th all-time.
“Steve Carlton on positive self-talk and avoiding doubt. ‘It takes commitment to say you’re going to win.'” – Rob Friedman
Who has been the closest to 300 innings in the 2000s?
No pitcher has thrown more innings in a single season since 2000 than the late Roy Halladay, who threw 266.0 innings in 2003 for the Toronto Blue Jays. Halladay finished the 2003 season with a record of 22-7 en route to his first career Cy Young Award.
“He was the best. The best ever, the best I’ve ever caught.” Alex Andreopoulos, the @BlueJays bullpen catcher since 2003, shared his memories of Roy Halladay on the day Doc enters Cooperstown.” – Sportsnet
Hall of Famer Roy Halladay passed away on November 17, 2017. He was 40 years old.