Consistency puts Adrian Gonzalez, Rockies on verge of MLB milestones

Every week throughout the 2017 regular season, we’ll handpick impressive, embarrassing and peculiar feats for you to witness across Major League Baseball. The following MLB milestones could be achieved from June 12-18, so adjust your viewing schedule accordingly. All stats current entering games of June 12.

Colorado Rockies: biggest divisional lead, Rockies franchise history

When it could happen: June 15-18 (vs. San Francisco Giants)

With some uncharacteristic spending in the free-agent market, the Rockies made it clear that they wanted to seriously compete in 2017. But even their most devoted fans probably didn’t foresee this. Colorado has thus far been immune to slumps, yet to lose more than three games in a row or drop more than six in any 10-game span. That’s how you ascend to first place over the four-time defending NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers. In their 25th season of existence, the Rockies still haven’t captured the crown themselves, never even opening up a lead larger than five games (July 25, 1995). They could challenge that this week, as the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks both embark on road trips to the eastern time zone. Meanwhile, the Rockies’ finish up a trip of their own against the cellar-dwelling Pittsburgh Pirates before hosting a mediocre San Francisco Giants team for four games.

Adrian Gonzalez (Los Angeles Dodgers): 2,000 career hits

When it could happen: June 13-15 (vs. Cleveland Indians)

I’ve been harsh on A-Gon, and his eroding power remains a legitimate concern. Even so, this marks the 12th consecutive season that he’s topping MLB’s overall batting average. Not something you typically see from a first baseman, especially in today’s game. Consider every player who has debuted in the past 25 years and spent their entire careers at the position. Only three members of that groups—Todd Helton, Paul Konerko and Carlos Delgado—exceeded 2,000 hits. Gonzalez seeks four more against an Indians pitching staff that has allowed a .271 batting average to left-handed batters this season (sixth-worst in the majors).

Jose Reyes (New York Mets): 500 career stolen bases

When it could happen: June 12-14 (vs. Chicago Cubs)

Reyes has picked up the stolen base pace lately, with four attempts (three successes) last week alone after only six during the previous two-plus months of the season. He’ll need to continue demonstrating this aggressive and efficient baserunning to keep a significant role on the Mets—infielder Amed Rosario, the organization’s top prospect, is nearly ready for a promotion. The Cubs come into town having allowed the most stolen bases in the National League and nabbed opponents at the NL’s second-lowest percentage. The veteran switch-hitter is three away from 500.

Edwin Jackson (Baltimore Orioles): most MLB franchises played for in a career

When it could happen: TBD

Players themselves generally aren’t as fixated on MLB milestones as I am, but this case might be the exception. Edwin Jackson wants this even more than me, because the alternative is probably unemployment. He performed decently out of the bullpen as recently as 2015 (3.07 ERA in 55.2 IP). The 33-year-old failed to impress the Orioles, however, as they designated him for assignment on Sunday after only five major league appearances. It’s no longer a question of where Jackson has been before, but rather, which uniforms haven’t we seen him wear yet?

If Jackson gets one more team to take a chance on his talented arm, he’d tie Octavio Dotel, who sampled 13 different MLB workplaces.

Pending MLB milestones featured in previous weeks

  • Giancarlo Stanton (Miami Marlins): highest career slugging percentage, Marlins franchise history
  • Curtis Granderson (New York Mets): 300 career home runs
  • Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants): career hits leader at AT&T Park
  • Ryan Zimmerman (Washington Nationals): career home run leader, Nationals/Expos franchise history
  • Justin Verlander (Detroit Tigers): 10,000 career batters faced

Featured Image: 2017 Topps Baseball Series 1, gold parallel