Beginning or Finishing a Career as a DH
7- Carlos Delgado
1996 Stats: .270/.353/.490, 25 HR, 28 doubles 92 RBI, 1.8 bWAR
It took a while before Carlos Delgado settled in as a first baseman. He came up as a catcher to start with, the Blue Jays tried him in the outfield, and for one season in 1996 he was even used as a primary DH most of the time, which is why I included him on the list. It didn’t matter how big his prospect status was at the time, he wasn’t going to take John Olerud’s job.
1996 was Delgado’s first real breakout season as a big leaguer though, and by 1997 he took over at first base for the departed Olerud and never looked back.
6- Frank Thomas
2007 Stats: .277/.377/.480, 26 HR, 30 doubles, 95 RBI, 2.2 bWAR
The relationship sure ended on a sour note, but for a while the marriage between Frank Thomas and the Blue Jays was an unexpected success. He arrived in Toronto as a 39-year-old and had a bit of a revival after the White Sox had let him go. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to keep up the same level of production in 2008, and when his at-bats started to diminish, that’s when the Blue Jays decided to release the dissatisfied future Hall of Famer. He went on to play another 55 games with the Oakland A’s, and retired at the end of the 2008 campaign.
5- Rance Mulliniks
1988 Stats: .300/.395/.475, 12 HR, 21 doubles, 48 RBI, 2.3 bWAR
Rance Mulliniks had been a productive third baseman for most of his career, but by 1988 the Blue Jays started using him as the primary DH, where he appeared in 107 games that season.
He didn’t have the gaudy power numbers that some of the others put up, but Mulliniks was a quality veteran hitter, and an underrated contributor from the Blue Jays teams of the 80’s.