fbpx

Franchise Greats | Toronto Blue Jays

The All-Teams series takes a trip up north to Canada for the next team. In 1977 the league expanded, adding two franchises to the American League. One in Seattle after the Pilots went to Milwaukee and the other in Toronto as the second Canadian franchise. The Expos had come to Montreal 8 years prior.

The Blue Jays have been a remarkably stable franchise and have had a small taste of success. They have taken 6 division titles and hang 2 AL pennants at the Rogers Centre. In ‘92, they won their first World Series, beating the Braves in 6 games. A Year later, they became back-to-back champs as they defeated the Phillies in another 6 game series. More recently, the Jays have gone through a dry spell with only two playoff berths since 2010.

With only 43 years of history, the Blue Jays have only eight players in the HOF and of them, only three of them played with the franchise long enough to factor in the All-Jays squad. As a result, this group will have more deep cuts, and hopefully, bring to mind some players we may have forgotten about even over such a relatively short period.

Catcher

The Catchers who stand out among their peers are Ernie Whitt, Russell Martin, Greg Zaun, Darrin Fletcher, and Pat Borders

Fletcher and Borders were glove-first Catchers who had solid careers but all 5 of the hopefuls were efficient defensively so they gained no advantage there.

Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Greats C - Greg Zaun

Greg Zaun came to Toronto in the second half of his career. A journeyman extraordinaire, Zaun donned the tools for nine different franchises over his 16-year career. At 33 he signed a series of one and two-year deals with the Jays until he had racked up 535 games with them over five years. A nearly precisely average offensive player, Zaun slashed .255/.354/.399 which didn’t help out much, worth -15.9 Off. On the defensive side, Zaun held up well, saving 32.6 runs over his Jays career. That ranks 20th among 172 qualifying Catchers from ‘04-08. 

Also making a later-career stop, Russell Martin became a fan favorite in Toronto during his four years from ‘15-18. Coming off his best offensive season a year before, Martin was above average for the last time in his career, so far. In ‘15, he slashed .240/.329/.458, a 115 wRC+. His first two years in Toronto he was the defender he had made his money as, saving 21.4 and 17.8 runs consecutively. He dropped off the last two seasons but the 55.9 total was 8th among Catchers during that span. His last season in Toronto was his worst to that point. But Martin’s 11.3 fWAR as a Blue Jay is still 2nd among franchise Catchers.

Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Greats C - Ernie Whitt

The franchise leader among Catchers in fWAR is Ernie Whitt with 21.8. Whitt was an inaugural member of the Jays, though it took a couple of years for him to take over the position. From ‘82-89 he was the primary Catcher and even made an All-Star appearance in ‘85. Not an exciting offensive asset, Whitt earned a 101 wRC+ worth 0.1 Off, couldn’t be closer to replacement level. On the defensive side, however, he was much more valuable. 4x he saved 10+ runs above average and his total of 79.3 as a Blue Jay was 13th among Catchers.

Whitt had twice the impact on the franchise as the next best Catcher, so he’s the starter going away. Of the other two, Martin is literally a better version of Zaun, so the choice is pretty easy.

Catcher – Ernie Whitt and Russell Martin

First Base

1B has several legitimate contenders for the All-Jays. They are Carlos Delgado, Edwin Encarnacion, John Olerud, Fred McGriff, and Willie Upshaw.

Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Greats 1B - Carlos Delgado

One of the more potent lefties of the late-90s/early-2000s was Carlos Delgado. For 12 seasons, he laid waste to AL pitching blasting 304 HRs. He launched 30+ ten-straight seasons, the first seven with Toronto. In 2000 he was otherworldly, he slashed .344/.470/.664, a wRC+ of 179 worth 75.9 Off which led the league. His 57 doubles were the highest total in the AL since 1950 and he trailed only Jason Giambi in OBA. Despite being a premier slugger he played during an era full of them. He only made it to two All-Star games, one in 2000 and the other in ‘03. In ‘03, he led the AL in OPS (1.019) and RBIs (145). He was an XBH machine; Delgado finished his career with 470+ of both doubles and homers, over 330 of each as a Jay. 

After four promising but ultimately nondescript seasons in Cincinnati, Edwin Encarnacion was flipped to Toronto in 2009 along with two others for Scott Rolen. After a couple more seasons of average production, Edwin exploded. He launched 34+ HRs each of his five remaining seasons with Toronto never slipping below 136 wRC+. From ‘12-16, Edwin’s 193 HRs were second only to Crush Davis and his 550 RBIs second to Miguel Cabrera. As his career progressed, Edwin was utilized more and more as a DH. His defensive metrics show that’s where he likely belongs. 

Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Greats 1B - John Olerud

Third in fWAR among Blue Jay 1B was John Olerud. A contemporary with Delgado in Toronto, Olerud had a very different skill set than the two mashers we’ve looked at so far. Famous for wearing a batting helmet even in the field, Olerud was a decent fielder, for a first baseman, and was mostly average at the plate, expect for one insane season. In ‘93, Olerud was the second-best hitter in baseball (by wRC+) behind Barry Bonds. He slashed .363/.473/.599, a 179 wRC+, worth 65.7 Off. Olerud set career highs in literally every offensive category and in most of them by a significant margin. He had some other good seasons, particularly after leaving the Blue Jays, but none quite matched his ‘93 All-Star season, his only invitation to the mid-summer classic as a Jay.

1B - Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff

Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff broke into the majors with Toronto before going on a 19-year six-team tour around the league. By his second season, 1987, he was the primary 1B and began a streak of 10-straight 20+ homer seasons. In fact, remove his first season (3 games), and his last (27 games) Crime Dog only fell below 20 bombs twice and below 30 bombs 7x. All that added up to an impressive 493 homer career. McGriff was remarkably consistent and consistently remarkable. His last three years as a Jay he hit 34-36-35 homers, drove in 100-98-91 runs, slugged .552-.525-.530 with a wRC+ of 156-156-157 worth 40.7-43.2-42.6 Off. That output made him the third-best 1B in baseball over those seasons behind Will Clark and Eddie Murray.

Willie Upshaw spent all but one of his ten years in Toronto but really had only one above-average season. So, the options are Fred, John, Edwin, or Carlos. Olerud was the best once, Fred was the best longest, but Carlos was simply the best. Still bench spots available though.

1B – Carlos Delgado

Second Base

At 2B one of the Blue Jays HOFers has a clear advantage over the other competitors. The five are Manuel Lee, Orlando Hudson, Damaso Garcia, Aaron Hill, and Roberto Alomar.

Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Greats 2B - Roberto Alomar

Roberto Alomar came from good baseball stock. His father Sandy had a solid 15-year career playing up the middle for several teams through the 60s and 70s. His brother, Sandy Jr, was a Catcher and they played together a couple of times during their contemporary careers. The switch-hitting speedster started his career in San Diego before coming to Toronto in a trade featuring the All-Jays shortstop (to be revealed later) and Fred McGriff going back to the Padres in return.

While that was a high price to pay, what the Blue Jays got was the best 2B in the AL over the five seasons he played there. While injuries cut into his last two seasons, during the first three he provided immense value offensively and on the basepaths. His 22.1 BsR (Baserunning Runs above Average) during his Jays career was tops amongst infielders and third overall behind Marquis Grissom and Kenny Lofton. He slashed .307/.382./451, a wRC+ of 125 which is worth 115.7 Off, 2nd behind Lou Whitaker over that span. 

Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Greats 2B - Aaron Hill

None of the other 2B really compare to Alomar: Aaron Hill had one offensive season above average. Damaso Garcia and Orlando Hudson had a couple of particularly effective years with the glove. Manuel Lee was in 5th with only 5.5 total fWAR.

2B – Roberto Alomar

Shortstop

Alomar’s advantage over the other 2B is actually less than the gap between the top and the rest at short. The men are Tony Fernandez, Alex Gonzalez, Marco Scutaro, Jose Reyes, and Tony Batista

Gonzalez, Scutaro, Reyes, and Batista’s fWAR as a Blue Jays combined are 28.8. Tony Fernandez amassed 35.1 all by himself. He broke in with the Jays in ‘83 and was the starter from ‘85-90 before being sent to San Diego in the Alomar trade. Fernandez returned to Toronto in ‘93 for a half-season and again for ‘98-99. He finally wrapped up his career with the Jays in ‘01. Fernandez was league-average with the bat, during his first stint with Toronto he slashed .289/.338/.399, a 102 wRC+, worth 13.1 Off.

Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Greats  Tony Fernandez

However, he was well above-average with the glove saving 110 runs over that same span, 5th among SS. He went to three All-Star games during his first stint and then at age 37, in 1999, again was selected. He finished that season with his best offensive numbers, slashing .328/.427/.449, a 127 wRC+, worth 18.5 Off. A breakout of that kind could be attributed to several things but most noticeably his BB% was double his career rate at 13.4%. The Alomar-Fernandez double-play pairing is a strong look for the All-Jays.

SS – Tony Fernandez

Third Base

A few 3B factor into the final decision, the five are Josh Donaldson, Rance Muliniks, Kelly Gruber, Eric Hinske, and Roy Howell.

Eric Hinske won the 2002 Rookie of the Year award with Toronto but never quite replicated the promise he showed that year. Roy Howell was an All-Star in ‘78 with the Jays but was a below-average starter for his 3+ years in Toronto. 

Kelly Gruber came into the league with the Jays in ‘84 and was a 350+ PA player for six seasons from ‘87-92. He had a plus defensive season in ‘88 (his best overall at 5.6 fWAR) and a plus offensive season in ‘90 (130 wRC+, 24.5 Off), otherwise he was replacement level. 

The owner of that kickin’ stache in the classic Donruss ‘90 card above was second in fWAR among 3B in Jays franchise history. Rance Muliniks came to Toronto from Kansas City in ‘82 and played the remainder of his career with the Jays retiring in ‘92. Rance was slightly above-average slashing .280/.365/.424, a 116 wRC+, over his time with the Jays. He was contemporary with Gruber and spent time as the DH due to his weaker defensive abilities. 

Josh Donaldson was a late-bloomer who only played for Toronto for three and half seasons. However, in that short time, he took over the lead for fWAR for the franchise at 3B. Donaldson, known as the “Bringer of Rain” in today’s Twitter-dominated era, was traded from Oakland to Toronto after the ‘15 season and proceeded to win the AL MVP (the 2nd player to do so in franchise history) with a monster season. He launched 41 HRs, drove in 123 runs, slashed .297/.371/.568, a 154 wRC+, worth 48.8 Off, saved 10.1 runs with the glove and topped it off with a career-high 4.0 BsR.

Amazon.com: 2018 Topps Opening Day #107 Josh Donaldson Toronto ...

His 8.7 fWAR trailed only Mike Trout in the AL and he was better than the Angel’s All-Worlder both in the field and on the bases. He came out in ‘16 and was better at the plate. But his glove and BsR both dropped off as his game has become more one-dimensional. He left for Cleveland during an injury-plagued ‘18 but in that short time with the Jays he became the franchise leader in HRs, the complete slash (.281/.383/.548), and wRC+ (150) among qualifying 3B.

3B – Josh Donaldson

Outfield

Six of the nine Outfielders have a fairly decent claim at a spot. The list is Jose Bautista, Jesse Barfield, Vernon Wells, Lloyd Moseby, Devon White, George Bell, Alex Rios, Shannon Stewart, and Joe Carter

Joe Carter Gallery | The Trading Card Database

Joe Carter is a good example of a player who may have been a little overvalued during his career. Carter was an All-Star for five of his seven seasons as a Blue Jay but only accumulated 7.4 fWAR total. He did however hit the most important home run in franchise history to walk-off Game 6 of the ‘93 World Series over the Phillies. Touch ‘em all Joe. 

Shannon Stewart and Alex Rios had above-average seasons but average careers with the Jays. They were good enough to earn 16.7 and 18 fWAR respectively.

George Bell roamed the Toronto OF from ‘81-90 and had a pair of strong offensive seasons in ‘86-87. The second of which was his career-best when he had 47 HRs, a league-leading 134 RBIs, slashed .308/.352/.605, a 143 wRC+, worth 37.1 Off and was the AL MVP. Setting aside the legitimacy of that – seeing as he was 5th in fWAR in the AL and was a healthy distance from the leader – it was the first MVP in franchise history. His 20.2 fWAR is 6th on the list.   

One of my personal favorites is next in line, edging Bell by .7 fWAR. Devon White came to Toronto in ‘91 in a six-player deal and enjoyed his peak seasons before leaving for Miami after the ‘95 season. A below-average offensive player, White made his money with his legs and his glove. During those five years, no other OFer saved more runs than White (81.5) and he was 6th in BsR (15.7). His career-best season, 1991, he set his career-high in OBA (.342) and it translated to career-best 119 wRC+ and 18.4 Off. A year later his 35.1 Def led all players. 

Like most of the All-Jays hopefuls, just a few seasons of excellence among many seasons of mediocrity is enough to place among the franchise leaders. Lloyd Moseby was no different. He began his career in ‘80 with the Jays and remained with them until ‘89. His best season, ‘84, he was worth 25 Off and 20 Def. He never came close to that mark defensively again while he exceeded 20 Off two other times. He was also very fast, stealing 30+ five years in a row from ‘84-88. Moseby’s 24.6 fWAR is 4th in franchise history coming in just behind the next guy on the list.

Vernon Wells is 3rd in fWAR among Toronto OFers with 24.8. He entered the league in ‘99 and left as a highly coveted free agent after the 2010 season despite being pretty much an average contributor for those 12 years. He is best known for being a disastrous signing for the Angels in ‘11 and retiring three years later having cut his career Off in half with three costly seasons mangled by injury. While a Blue Jay, he had three big seasons and a bunch of average ones. In ‘03, he had his finest offensive season with 33 HRs, 117 RBIs, a .317/.359/.550 slash, a 133 wRC+, worth 29.9 Off.

His finest season overall was in ‘06, when he added valuable baserunning (3.4 BsR), and above-average defense (8.9 Def) to his strong offensive numbers. He hit 32 HRs, drove in 106, with a .303/.357/.542, 127 wRC+, 27.8 Off performance. He won four straight dubiously deserved Gold Gloves, but was generally a valuable defender in his prime. His last season as a Jay was his third-best season at the dish with 31 dingers, 88 RBIs, and a 126 wRC+. His 223 HRs as a Jay is 2nd among OFers and 4th overall in franchise history.

The theme for Blue Jays outfielders has been the two or three seasons that put a guy over the top. Jesse Barfield fits that theme perfectly. A Blue Jay from his debut in ‘81 till being traded to the Yankees for Al Leiter in ‘89, Barfield was nearly exactly as valuable at the plate as he was in the field. His defense was consistently great, as he saved 82.1 runs in Toronto in his full seasons there leading all OFers. In ‘85 and ‘86, his bat was as good as his glove.

Amazon.com: 1988 O-Pee-Chee Baseball #140 Jesse Barfield Toronto ...

The first year he slashed .289/.369/.536, had 27 HRs and 84 RBIs (career highs to that point) worth 32 Off. His 7.0 fWAR was 5th among OFers. Then in ‘86 he was an All-Star and set new career highs with a league-leading 40 HRs, along with 108 RBIs, a .289/.368/.559 slash, 147 wRC+, all worth 36.5 Off. He never quite replicated that success again but finished his time in Toronto with a respectable 29.6 fWAR.

The Franchise position-player leader in fWAR is Jose Bautista. The slugger’s 288 HRs lead all OFers and are second only to Carlos Delgado among Jays. “Joey Bats” had scuffled through four different franchises before being traded to Toronto midway through the ‘08 season for a PTBNL, Robinzon Diaz…I’m sorry Pirates fans. In 2010 something clicked and he transformed into the greatest timing-slugger of a generation. He exploded, hammering 54 HRs, driving in 124, and slashing .260/.378/.617, a 165 wRC+.

That began a dominant six-season run with four top-10 MVP finishes, three Silver Sluggers, and All-Star selections in each. After the 54 HR barrage, that led the league, his next season was his best. He led baseball again with 43 HRs, also tops with 132 BBs, and a killer .302/.447/.608 slash – for a league-best 1.056 OPS. That was a cool 181 wRC+ worth 66.3 Off. He continued to mash ending up with 229.6 Off in his nine full seasons with Toronto, which was 3rd in the AL behind Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout

Bautista and Barfield are locked in for the corners, the question is who plays CF? Wells, Moseby, and White all provided pretty similar value. Although for Wells, it was the bat while with the other two it was the glove. Vernon’s power gives him the slight edge in this case and sets the All-Jays OF.

RF – Jesse Barfield
CF – Vernon Wells
LF – Jose Bautista

Designated Hitter

Shea Hillenbrand, Dave Winfield, Cliff Johnson, and Otto Velez all made contributions to the Jays franchise from the DH spot and are 5th-2nd in the franchises’ fWAR rankings for the position. 

The top contributor also didn’t stick around long, and only had 9.2 fWAR as a Jay, but Paul Molitor was a HOFer, went to two All-Star games in his three Blue Jays seasons, led the league in hits in ‘93, was the runner up in the ‘93 MVP race, was the 1993 World Series MVP with an absurd .500/.571/.1000 slash due to 12 hits in 24 ABs including 3 triples, 2 HRs, and 8 RBIs, and did all that in his 36-38-year-old seasons. 

The other top contenders for the DH-spot are Edwin Encarnacion, Rance Muliniks, and Fred McGriff, but Molitor just meant so much to the Franchise even with such a brief stay.

DH – Paul Molitor

The Bench

The All-Jays carry a standard three-position player bench but leaving off a few of these names was painful.

Bench – Edwin Encarnacion, Rance Muliniks, and Devon White.

Last man off would be Fred McGriff.

Starting Pitching

In the history of the franchise, only two pitchers have 2,000+ innings pitched while a third, the Franchises fWAR leader, came one inning short. However, each of these ten made an impact on the franchise. They are Roy Halladay, Dave Stieb, Jimmy Key, Jim Clancy, Juan Guzman, Pat Hentgen, Roger Clemens, David Wells, Marcus Stroman, and Todd Stottlemyre.

Stroman and Wells both had less than 1000 IP with the Jays and didn’t quite manage to accumulate 20 fWAR. Both marks that preclude serious contention for the All-Jays rotation. Roger Clemens missed both marks as well, though his peripherals are much more noticeable. 41-13 with a 2.33 ERA, 10.16 K/9, and an unbelievable 50 ERA- (meaning he gave up runs half as often as the average pitcher), were all harbingers of the dominant arm he’d prove to be throughout his career. He’ll no doubt factor in a couple other All-Squads. Todd Stottlemyre was from a prestigious baseball family and was a key member of the back-to-back World Series wins. However, his career numbers as a Blue Jay weren’t strong enough to make a case for the All-Jays either.

Pat Hentgen was a Blue Jay from ‘91-99 during which time he won 105 games and notched a respectable 4.14 ERA in 1555.2 IP. He was a 3x All-Star but really peaked in ‘96 and ‘97. Both seasons he led the league in Innings, CGs, and Shutouts. 1996 was his best season as He went 20-10 with a 3.22 ERA over 265.2 IP and won the AL CY. Hentgen also factored into the ‘93 World Series team winning his only start against the Phillies, going 6 allowing 1 run on 5 hits. He was left off the ‘92 playoff roster after appearing in 28 games with only 2 starts in that, his second year in the league. 

Another member of the 90s Jays staff was Juan Guzman. He appeared in both the ‘92 and ‘93 World Series and pitched well despite not managing to earn a win over 3 starts. His best season came later in ‘96. He won the ERA title (2.93) and led the league in WHIP (1.12) but the Jays were bad during his starts and he ended up at 11-8. In the end, he was traded to Baltimore in ‘98 with pedestrian numbers as a Jay. His 1030 K’s were fourth in franchise history but his 4.07 ERA and 1.39 WHIP make his claim on a rotation spot weaker than his contemporaries.  

Jim Clancy was a mainstay in the Jays rotation throughout the 80s. Starting in ‘77 he made at least 20 starts every season but two till ‘88 when he left as a Free Agent. He was an All-Star in ‘82 and was the league leader in starts with 40. He only provided above-average value a couple of seasons in his career, in ‘82 he went 16-14 with a 3.71 ERA over 266.2 IP an ERA- of 78.

His best career season was ‘87 when he went 15-11 with a 3.54 ERA over 241.1 IP. Not a strikeout pitcher, his 6.71 K/9 in ‘87 was his career-high. His 5.0 fWAR that season was the only time he was in the top-10 in the league. Consistency was his calling card but not consistently great, in fact, his 4.10 ERA as a Blue Jays were the highest among pitchers with 2000+ IP over that span. But he stuck around and in the process he won 128 games, the 3rd highest total in Franchise history. 

Another member of the ‘92 World Series rotation was righty Jimmy Key. He debuted in ‘84 and was an All-Star in just his second year of the league. Two years later, in ‘87, he won 17 games with a league-leading 2.76 ERA and 1.057 WHIP over 261 IP and was the runner-up to Clemens in the AL CY race. He alternated between good seasons and less good seasons for the rest of his Blue Jays career and left after going 2-0 in the World Series only allowing 1 run over 9 IP in a start and a relief appearance against Atlanta. The next two seasons for the Yankees were his best. He left Toronto with 111 wins and 3rd in Franchise history among pitchers with 28.4 fWAR.

There’s only been one no-hitter in Blue Jay’s history and it was thrown by Dave Stieb. In 1990, Stieb’s 12th season in the league, he blanked the Indians with 9 K’s and finally had a no-hitter. Amazingly, Stieb had come within one batter of a no-hitter 3x in his career including in back-to-back starts to end the ‘89 season. The losing pitcher was Rockies manager Bud Black. Stieb was a premier starter for a large percentage of his career spent almost entirely in Toronto.

After injuries ruined his ‘91 season he was released part of the way through ‘92, but the Blue Jays awarded him a World Series ring anyway as teams will often do. After a miserable 22 innings for the White Sox in ‘93, it looked like Stieb was done. However, five years later he came back for 19 games at 40-years old in a swan song with the Jays. His 175 wins are 2nd in Franchise history and he is the Franchise leader in IP, K’s, and starts. He was a 7x All-Star, finished in the top-10 CY voting 4x, and was the ‘85 ERA leader. He’d be the greatest pitcher in Jays Franchise history if not for the next guy.

Elected to the HOF in 2019 after his untimely death, righty Roy Halladay is the greatest player in Blue Jays history, as his Franchise-leading 48.6 fWAR would indicate. After four limited seasons, he broke into the Jays rotation in ‘02 and was instantly a star. Other than an injury-shortened ‘04 season and somewhat inexplicable ‘07 oversight, Halladay was an All-Star every year from ‘02-’11. The last two with Philadelphia where he spent the last four years of his career.

Roy Halladay AS (All Star) Toronto Blue Jays 2008 Topps Updates ...

In ‘03 he led the league in wins, going 22-7, led the league in starts (36), CGs (9), shutouts (2), IP (266), and K/BB (6.38) and won the AL CY. He finished in the top-5 in CY voting each of his last four seasons in Toronto. He was a throwback in terms of his endurance, leading the league in complete games 5x, IP 3x, and batters faced 2x. His 3.39 ERA as a Jay is tied with Key for best in Franchise history among pitchers with 1000+ IP. 

Halladay, Key, and Stieb are the obvious choices. The 4th and 5th spots are much trickier. Clancy and Hentgen piled up some counting numbers but neither were as good on average as Guzman. Clemens is also a tempting inclusion because of how dominant his short stay was. In the end, Hentgen and Guzman were instrumental in the World Series wins so they will be the back of the All-Jays rotation.

Rotation: Roy Halladay, Dave Stieb, Jimmy Key, Juan Guzman, Pat Hentgen

Bullpen

Reminder from the earlier articles this list is as much about what a player contributed to the franchise as it is about being the best so only pitchers used primarily as relievers will be considered for the ‘pen.

The All-Jays have a couple of strong bullpen candidates and then others who have their particular claim. The 10 candidates are Tom Henke, Duane Ward, Roberto Osuna, Mark Eichhorn, Paul Quantrill, Mike Timlin, Jason Frasor, Casey Janssen, Scott Downs, and Brett Cecil.

Tom Henke was selected from the Rangers in the ‘85 Free Agent compensation draft after losing Cliff Johnson in Free Agency that offseason. An entire article could be written on the Free Agency draft, and maybe one day it will be. Henke quickly became the Blue Jays closer and kept the role until he returned to Texas after the ‘92 season. He saved 20+ games each year from ‘86-’92 including 5 in the ‘92 playoffs and 2 in 3 games against Atlanta in the World Series. His 217 saves are the Franchise leading mark and despite pitching in over 500 IP K’d 10.29 per 9, and had a stellar 2.48 ERA and 1.02 WHIP.

Duane Ward was acquired from the Braves his rookie year, ‘86, for Doyle Alexander (who would later be traded for John Smoltz). He didn’t start closing until ‘88, and even then shared the 9th with Henke, but from then till ‘93 he piled up 121 saves, second in Franchise history. In ‘93 he was an All-Star and led the league with 45 saves. He also notched a pair of saves in the World Series. From ‘88-93 he led all relievers with at least 300 IP in fWAR with 14.9. Not used exclusively in the ninth, Ward also accumulated more than 600 innings over that span, which also led all relievers.

The rest of the bullpen would be Mark Eichhorn (2.83 ERA, 455 IP), Roberto Osuna (104 saves, 10.21 K/9, .92 WHIP), Paul Quantrill (6.3 fWAR, 3.03 ERA), Brett Cecil (11.22 K/9, 1.20 WHIP), Casey Janssen (2.92 ERA, 1.15 WHIP), and Scott Downs (2.59 ERA, 1.15 WHIP).   

Bullpen – Tom Henke, Duane Ward, Mark Eichhorn, Roberto Osuna, Paul Quantrill, Brett Cecil, Casey Janssen, Scott Downs

Results and Lineup

Presenting the All-Blue Jays:

C – Russell Martin, Ernie Whitt
IF – Roberto Alomar, Carlos Delagdo, Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, Tony Fernandez, Paul Molitor, Rance Muliniks
OF – Jose Bautista, Jesse Barfield, Vernon Wells, Devon White
SP – Juan Guzman, Roy Halladay, Pat Hentgen, Jimmy Key, Dave Stieb 
RP – Brett Cecil, Scott Downs, Mark Eichhorn, Tom Henke, Casey Janssen, Roberto Osuna, Paul Quantrill, Duane Ward

  1. Roberto Alomar 4
  2. Josh Donaldson 5
  3. Paul Molitor DH
  4. Jose Bautista 7
  5. Carlos Delgado 3
  6. Vernon Wells 8
  7. Jesse Barfield 9
  8. Ernie Whitt 2
  9. Tony Fernandez 6

Let us know in the comments where we went wrong and what you liked. Be on the lookout for the other entries in the series coming out soon.

Leave a Reply