Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A weeks worth of posts in one box: Part 4

Today is day 4 of the series of posts I promised about a box cards that Ted over at Crinkly Wrappers sent me last week.

Today are my all time pitchers.  Note that there weren't a great deal of pitchers in the box that pitched a long time for the Jays.  There were some that had a year or two with the Jays, such as Roger Clemens, Jack Morris and Tom Candiotti in there, but I decided not to include them....well just because.

Here are the 4 starters that I did choose:

In the upper left is Todd Stottlemyre, who pitched for the Jays between 1988 and 1994.  Todd wasn't the greatest pitcher the Jays ever had, but he was a battler and never backed down from anyone while on the mound.   Todd's best season for the Jays was 1991, when he compiled a 15-8 record and a 3.78 ERA in 34 starts.

Top center is Pat Hentgen, who pitched for the Jays between 1991 & 1999, and returned for one more season in 2004.  Pat's best season was his Cy Young award winning season of 1996, when he went 20-10 with a 3.22 ERA, 10 complete games and 3 shutouts.  I know what you're thinking, 10 losses is quite a lot for a Cy Young winner, and I agree with you on that point.  Here's a little interesting trivia for you on Cy Young winners with 10 losses.  In both the 1992 (Greg Maddux, Jack McDowell) and 2010 (Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez) seasons, each league's Cy Young award winner had 10 losses.   The only pitcher in the 18 years in between to have 10 losses and win the Cy Young?   Pat Hentgen.

Top right is Juan Guzman, who pitched for the Jays between 1991 & 1998.  Juan's best season statistically for the Jays was in 1992, with a 16-5 record, 2.64 ERA and 1.146 WHIP.  When Juan was on his game, he could be very dominant, however he was prone to wildness at times, which led to inflated WHIP ratings in the 1.65 area during the 94 and 95 seasons.  Juan pitched 10 years total in the majors for 4 teams, and was once traded for B.J. Ryan, whom you'll read about shortly.

Bottom center is Jimmy Key, one of my favorite all time Jays pitchers.  Jimmy pitched in Toronto from 1984-1992, and had in total a 15 year career in which he won 186 games with a lifetime ERA of 3.51.  Jimmy's best season for the Jays was in 1987, with a 17-8 record and an AL leading 2.76 ERA.  Jimmy finished 2nd in Cy Young voting that year to Roger Clemens.  Key's stuff was never overpowering, but he had an uncanny ability to work the corners and keep hitters guessing. 


There weren't a whole lot of relievers in the box, so I picked two closers to post in this category.

Tom Henke, or the Terminator as Jays fans knew him, was what I consider to be the first real closer the Jays had in their history.  Tom played for Toronto for 8 years  between 1985-1992, accumulating 29 wins and 217 saves during that period.  The 217 saves still ranks him no.1 on the all time Jays list, with only two other closers in Jays history reaching the 100 save mark (Duane Ward and Billy Koch).  Tom finished 7th in the rookie of the year voting in 1985, despite having appeared in games for Texas for each of the previous 3 seasons.

B.J. Ryan only pitched in Toronto for 4 years, and 2 of those years, he was not healthy at all.  But the '06 & '08 seasons were lights out.  B.J. accumulated 70 saves in those seasons, with a combined ERA of 2.07.  In 2009, the Jays released him mid season because of his struggles, and he signed a contract with the Cubs in mid July.  Sadly, he never pitched a game for them because of his arm problems, and was released 17 days later, and likely was out of baseball for good at the age of 34.

Tomorrow, we'll look at the hitters.

Thanks for reading, Robert

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