Top 10 Blue Jays Relievers of All Time
5. B.J Ryan
Credit: Al Messerschmidt
Yes, that enormous contract was a bust (was it even possible for it to be worth it though?) but that’s not really on B.J Ryan. He missed nearly two years due to injury and was bought out from the last year of his contract after it was clear his arm would be never be the same. However he did put together the best season (still) by a Blue Jays reliever since the World Series and had another pretty good season. His Jays tenure is easy to sum up: when he wasn’t injured, he was as electric as any reliever the Jays have had. Let’s not fault B.J for J.P Ricciardi’s indiscretions.
Ryan was drafted by the Reds in 1998 and made his debut with them the following year. After one game, he was traded the Orioles. Ryan was never pegged as a starter, even in the minors. With the Orioles, Ryan transitioned from being a lefty specialist to a late inning reliever. He added movement to his fastball and honed his wicked slider. When he reached free agency, he was highly coveted and it was Ricciardi’s Blue Jays who coveted him the most (too much).
His first year with the Jays was the pinnacle of his career and Ricciardi looked like a genius. Ryan put up an ERA of 1.37, a 2.14 FIP, 10.7 K/9, 38 saves and 2.7 WAR. The next year disaster struck as Ryan went down to Tommy John. That was the beginning of the end. It’s possible that he tried to come back too quickly from TJ. Ryan put together a nice season in 2008 but it was clear his mechanics were different—that lead to more injury and the end of his career.
In his prime, he was nearly untouchable and exuded a bulldog like presence on the mound. His fierce glare, towering stature and quick pace on the mound struck fear (or at least caution and respect) in the minds of hitters. He had a 2.95 ERA and a 3.59 FIP in 155 games with the Jays. He put up big strikeout numbers (9.27 K/9), a fair number of walks (4 BB/9), limited home runs well ( 0.75 HR/9) and had a 1.57 gmLi.
He is 1st in SD/MD, 7th in K/9, 5th in WARIP, 1st in HR/FB, 7th in ERA, 1st in SV%, 5th in saves and 9th in WHIP among all Blue Jays relievers.
B.J is 39 and not currently involved with baseball.