Toronto Blue Jays Poll: Greatest Players of All Time Rd2

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Matchup 6: Brett Cecil vs Tom Henke

This matchup features two relievers with opposite nickname types. “The Terminator”, Tom Henke goes up against “Squints”, Brett Cecil. One moniker elicits fear, the other laughter. But the results for both have been anything but funny.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

Tom Henke recieved 96% of the vote in Rd 1. And, really it isn’t much of a surprise. When you think about the dominant relievers the Blue Jays have run out there over the years, Henke is likely one of the first you think of. But, is he one of the greatest Blue Jays? Over 8 season with Toronto, he collected 217 saves, which is the most all time. He also had the most chances (254) with nearly 100 more than Duane Ward (157), the next highest. He saved 30+ games 4 times for the Blue Jays and 20+ 3 other times.

He had 3 seasons where his WAR was over 3. In total, he contributed 16.2 WAR. 3 times, he had a K/9 ratio of over 11.5. Even as a closer, he ranks 11th on the club’s all time strike out list with 644. And, if you combine relievers and starters (which admittedly is not something one should do regularly), his 1.02 WHIP as a Blue Jay is better than Dave Stieb, Roy Halladay, Jim Clancy and Pat Hentgen.

Cecil (who received 71% of the vote in Rd 1)  has turned himself into one of the best relievers in baseball. In parts of 7 seasons with the big league club, his curveball has developed into a work of art. The club has been struggling to figure out the best place for Cecil for a few years now. Originally brought up as a starter, he wet 15-7 in 2010. But, it wasn’t meant to be as they moved him to the ‘pen and have flirted with him in different roles. Fans who vote for Cecil may be doing so based on the sum value of his contributions when all is said and done.

But, if we’re looking at assigning the role of Greatest Blue Jays of all time, his 6.7 WAR in 7 seasons may not cut it. His 2015 FIP (2.34) is something the club hopes he’ll be able to maintain. If he can (and they can afford to keep him), when all is said and done, Cecil just might see himself rise on the all time lists. Right now, he ranks 16th in games pitched with 276 and 18th with 619.1 innings.

Our next matchup is a classic debate of power vs speed.

Next: Matchup 7: Power vs Speed