Toronto Blue Jays Poll: Best Pitchers of All Time, Round 1

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Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Matchup 1: Duane Ward vs Paul Quantrill

This matchup sees two rather successful relievers go head to head. One was instrumental in winning a World Series, the other was a mainstay in Toronto during the lean years of the late 90’s.

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  • Ward sits in 2nd place on the Blue Jays All Time saves list with 121. That is also his career total as he never picked up another save for any other organization, even though he played in 12 games in 1986- his first in MLB. In 1992, he set up for a certain closer who will appear later in our poll to lead the organization to its first World Series title ever. The next season, he was the closer and helped lock down the 2nd straight championship.

    In 1993, he saved a total of 45 games with an impressive 83.6% LOB rate. He was worth 2.6 WAR that year, but it wasn’t his highest mark in that category. Ward hit 4.1 WAR in 1991 when he struck out 11.07/9! He would go on to top that mark in 1993 with a 12.18/9 mark. Aside from a few innings in 1986, we can say that Ward spent his whole career with the Blue Jays and put up a total of 14.7 WAR.

    Born in London, Ontario, Quantrill was a lucky Canadian who got to play for his hometown team. Drafted by the Red Sox in the 6th round in 1989, he came to the Blue Jays in 1996. He’d spend 6 seasons with the club getting into 386 games, which puts him 6th on the all time list. He collected a 30-34 record with a 3.67 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.

    During his time with the Blue Jays, he was a very reliable arm out of them ‘pen. He won 11 games in 2001 with a 1.7 WAR. In fact, his best years as a reliever came in Toronto. After starting 20 games in 1996, they moved him to the bullpen and he went on to put up 1.9 WAR in 1997 and 1.6 WAR in 1998.

    Next: Matchup 2: A Slam Dunk vs a Surprise