Toronto Blue Jays Poll: Best Pitchers of All Time, Round 1
By Shaun Doyle
-USA TODAY Sports
Matchup 7: Roy Halladay vs Todd Stottlemyre
“Doc” just might be an instant finalist in the Best Blue Jays Pitcher of All Time. But, in the interest of fairness, we should also consider a guy who sacrificed his chin to help his team win the 1993 World Series.
Halladay sits in 2nd place on the Blue Jays all time wins list with 148. In 287 starts, he’s only lost 76 times. He also ranks 2nd in strikeouts with 1495. He’s third in innings pitched with 2046.2. He’s tied for first with a WHIP of 1.20. During his prime Toronto years, Doc was one of the best pitchers in the game. He could dominate nearly every time he took the mound. But, it wasn’t always like that.
As the century turned over, so too did Halladay. He spent some time working on his delivery in a reboot that sent him all the way down to A+. But, when he returned, he’d have it figured out. He’d end up an All Star 6 times with the Blue Jays (another 2 with the Phillies) as well as finish in the top 5 in Cy Young Award voting, including the win in 2003. He’d also go on to win the Cy Young Award in 2010 with the Phillies. With the Blue Jays, he led the league in wins (22) in 2003, and innings 3 times. For his career, he led the league in complete games 7 times and shut outs 4 times. But, he never even made it to the playoffs with the Blue Jays.
Stottlemyre, on the other hand, did. In fact, he contributed to both World Series seasons. In his 7 years in Toronto, he would compile 69 wins. He struck out 662 in his 1139 innings pitched for the Blue Jays. He was never a guy to blow batters away as evidenced by his career 6.52% K/9 rate. In fact, his K/9 rate never even saw 9.
But, he’s a career 28.7 WAR player who chipped in 12.7 for the Blue Jays. He won 15 games in 1991. He was a .500 pitcher for the World Series teams. He’ll forever be remembered for his slide into third base during Game 4 of the 1993 World Series. He was out. Regardless, voters may lean his way if they value winning championships over individual performances. Though, it would be tough to argue that Stottlemyre had a huge impact on those championship seasons.
Next: The Final Matchup