I’m sure most of us remember Joe Maddon uttering this expectation:

“If there’s one kind of a goal, I’m not going to say it too often, but it’s to see this group get 1,000 innings,” Maddon said Tuesday. “That’s a nice,realistic goal just based on doing your work, your training, staying together with your weights, exercises, etc. If they can stay with that, these guys are capable of all that.”

Well with a little over a month to go, I thought it would be a good time to see how close we were to reaching this highly-placed bar. First, here’s the chart:

Under the Actual sub-group, we can see the number of starts and innings that each pitcher has gone as a starter. This data yields the innings per start column. The right-hand subgroup shows some projections that I don’t feel require a large leap of faith. Assuming these five continue to pitch in the same order then these are how many starts each has left. Multiplying these starts by the inning per start column gives us a reasonable approximation of how many innings each guy will accrue over the rest of the year with the last column showing totals of the actual and projecting innings pitched.

As you can see we’re projected to have 3 pitchers clocking over 200 innings, quite the accomplishment, but Jeff Niemann is also right there, just missing the magic number due to his stint on the Disabled List. Wade’s short starts and brief stay on the DL are the biggest reason that we look to fall about 19 innings short of Maddon’s goal, but to get this many innings out of your five best pitchers is a huge reason for why the Rays sit in their current position. Perhaps you’re wondering how many teams get at least that many innings out of ALL their starters. Here’s a list of all the teams that have accomplished this since 2004:

Here’s some breakdowns. The White Sox starting pitchers through at least 981 innings every single year of this period, while many other teams had three years with that many innings, and 13 teams have yet to do it, including the Rays who have had this:

As you can see we’ve made some pretty nice strides. Fingers crossed, but I don’t see us meeting this lofty goal this year. It doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a hell of a season thus far.

**Data comes from **Fangraphs.com** and is current through 9/1/10. *

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Oh, well. I was kinda hopping that they’d reach their goal, and get 1,000 innings, but it looks like they will fall just short. But, like you Jason, I still feel that the Rays pitcher’s have had a hell of a year regardless. Just because they won’t get to 1,000 innings doesn’t mean that they did bad.

From reading your graph, I see that only 11 teams that have reached that mark. So that leads me to believe that this is kinda hard to do. I do hope they reach 1,000, but I know it would be highly unlikely that they will be able to.

To me, the Rays should not be disappointed by this at all. They came close enough. A lot of other teams haven’t even come close to doing this, unlike the Rays.

Great post Jason! I enjoyed reading it!

Thanks Gb, keep in mind that this only looks at our five best starters, while the numbers for other teams includes all starting pitchers on their staff. If we had done this it would have been truly historic.

Here’s the teams that totaled 1,000 SP innings with pitchers number 6, 7, etc… making less than five starts:

2006 White Sox

2005 Cardinals

2005 Indians

2004 Athletics

2004 Red Sox

It’s kind of interesting that the first two on the list had this season the year after winning the World Series and the Red Sox won it all in 2004.