Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Combining generations for an all-time pitching staff

TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 14: Former player Roy Halladay
TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 14: Former player Roy Halladay /
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TORONTO, CANADA – AUGUST 14: Former pitcher Tom Henke #50 of the Toronto Blue Jays shares a hug with Duane Ward #31 (R) during the fortieth season celebrations honoring the greatest Blue Jays pitchers in franchise history before the start of MLB game action against the Houston Astros on August 14, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA – AUGUST 14: Former pitcher Tom Henke #50 of the Toronto Blue Jays shares a hug with Duane Ward #31 (R) during the fortieth season celebrations honoring the greatest Blue Jays pitchers in franchise history before the start of MLB game action against the Houston Astros on August 14, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

The Bullpen

1- Tom Henke
1989 Stats: 8-3, 1.92 ERA, 1.022 WHIP, 20 saves, 3.4 bWAR

There are plenty of people around baseball that believe that Tom Henke could have been a Hall of Famer if he had pitched for more than the 12 full seasons he did (pitched in parts of 14 total). Regardless, he was an excellent reliever during the time he was active.

Henke was the “Terminator” for the Blue Jays during their 1992 World Series championship, but was arguably at his best in 1989 with a 1.92 ERA.

2- Duane Ward
1993 Stats: 2-3, 2.13 ERA, 1.033 WHIP, 45 saves, 3.0 bWAR

After Henke left for Texas in 1993, the Blue Jays were fortunate to be able to pass the closer’s role into the capable hands of Duane Ward. He was arguably even better as a set-up man in 1992 with a 1.95 ERA, but fortunately it didn’t matter much whether he was pitching the eighth or the ninth inning. He was lights out either way.

3- Mark Eichhorn
1986 Stats: 14-6, 1.72 ERA, 0.955 WHIP, 10 saves, 157.0 IP, 7.3 bWAR

Mark Eichhorn’s 1986 season was the kind that you just don’t see from a reliever anymore. During his rookie campaign that year, he ended up appearing in 69 games and finishing 38 of them, without making a single start.

He was so dominant in the long reliever role that he earned a third place finish in Rookie of the Year voting, and even placed sixth in the Cy Young award category.

4- David Wells
1990 Stats- 11-6, 3.14, 1.111 WHIP, 189 IP, 4.3 bWAR

I’m cheating a little bit by including Wells in the bullpen, but he did have a successful stint as a reliever in the early part of his career in Toronto, so I’m doing it anyway.

He split the 1990 season between the bullpen and the rotation, and was successful either way, earning 4.3 bWAR for his efforts.

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