There is still time to kill until we get to the start of Spring Training, so I thought it would be good to look at a list of Top 100 Blue Jays in franchise history. In the first instalments so far, I looked at players ranked 71-100 and today I’ll look at the next five on the list. This is opinion based off of career stats with the club and accomplishments
Top 100 (66-70)
#70 – Marco Scutaro (2008-2009)
When the Blue Jays acquired Marco Scutaro they were getting a player that was at best an average shortstop. Fast forward two seasons in the Toronto organization and after earning a 9.8 WAR in those two years he earned a two year-deal worth $11 million dollars.
Scutaro was a master of putting the ball in play and it was displayed most in his final season when he drew more walks than he struck out. He finished his two seasons in Toronto with a slash line of .275/.362/.384 and dependable fielder who rarely made a mistake to the balls he got to. As stated, Scutaro left in free agency after only two seasons when he signed with the Boston Red Sox.
#69 – Chris Carpenter (1997-2002)
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Chris Carpenter had an outstanding career, unfortunately the All-Star type pitcher he became was after many injuries and his time in Toronto. Carpenter was a first round pick by the Blue Jays in the 1993 draft and after climbing the ranks made his debut in 1997. Everyone could always see the potential in Carpenter and thought he was going to be an All-Star. In 2001, Carpenter started putting things together which was displayed during his first start of the year when he threw eight shutout innings striking out 11. Later that year, Carpenter threw a complete game shutout against the New York Yankees striking out 12.
Injuries would derail his 2002 season and the Blue Jays would release him that offseason. Carpenter would sign on with the St. Louis Cardinals where he would become a Cy Young award winner and All-Star. Carpenter’s chapter with the Blue Jays finished with him posting a 49-50 record and 4.83 ERA.
#68 – Roy Lee Jackson (1981-1984)
Roy Lee Jackson was a relief pitcher that the Blue Jays acquired for the start of the 1981 season for Bob Bailor. In all four of his seasons Jackson would finish top three in relief appearances, including being top two in three of them. Jackson’s dependability was steady through each year as he pitched more than 86 innings three times.
Jackson’s top season was 1982 when he threw 97 innings while holding a 3.06 ERA and had a 1.11 WHIP. Over the course of the four seasons Jackson had 24 wins out of the bullpen and a 3.50 ERA. Despite being a dependable arm with the Blue Jays he was released after the 1984 season.
#67 – Damaso Garcia (1981-1986)
After the 1979 season, GM Pat Gillick acquired a soon to be 23-year old second baseman by the name of Damaso Garcia in a six player trade with the New York Yankees. Garcia was unable to get playing time in New York as he was behind another young second baseman with the Yankees so the move to Toronto was a blessing. He took the opportunity in Toronto to not just prove he was a starting infielder in the major leagues but was an All-Star in two seasons.
Garcia was known as a light heading defensive specialist. While he never hit double digits in home runs and only had 30+ doubles twice in his tenure, he did post a career average of .288 in Toronto which is good for seventh all-time in the franchise. The Blue Jays traded Garcia after the 1986 season to the Atlanta Braves.
#66 – John Cerutti (1985-1990)
Drafted in the first round, John Cerutti played his entire major league career outside of one season with the Toronto Blue Jays. Cerutti came up through the Blue Jays farm system as a starting pitcher and after posting an 11-9 record and a 2.97 ERA during his 1985 minor league season he received a September call up. He would start the next season back at AAA but by late May he would be called-up for good to Toronto and would not go back to the minor leagues for his duration in the organization.
For most of his time in Toronto he would bounce back and forth between the rotation and bullpen as he would start 108 games and come in relief 83 times. Twice Cerutti would win 11 games and in 1989 he pitched over 200 innings while posting an 11-11 record and 3.07 ERA. During the 1989 ALCS against the Oakland Athletics, Cerutti would come out of the bullpen twice failing to allow a run or a hit over 2.2 innings.
1990 would mark his last season with the club and over his 191 games with the club he posted a 46-37 record with a 3.87 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. Cerutti would leave Toronto in free agency after that season to join the Detroit Tigers.
You can fill the entire infield with the next five picks that will part of our next segment.