Blue Jays: Top 100 Players in Franchise History (56-60)

TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 1: Mark Buehrle #56 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the first inning during MLB game action against the Kansas City Royals on August 1, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 1: Mark Buehrle #56 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the first inning during MLB game action against the Kansas City Royals on August 1, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

There is still time until 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 previous instalments so far, I looked at players ranked 61-100 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 Players 56-60)

60 – B.J. Ryan (2006-2009)

Following the 2005 season, the Blue Jays finished two games below .500 and part of that was they had a closer blow eight saves and had an ERA above 4.00.  What they did was go out and signed All-Star closer B.J. Ryan from the Baltimore Orioles.  In his first year with the Blue Jays he was not just an All-Star, but had arguably the best season of a closer in team history.  Ryan picked up 38 saves while posting a minuscule 1.37 ERA and 0.86 WHIP.

Early on in his second season with the club, his velocity was down and he would be placed on the disabled list, which eventually led to Tommy John surgery in May 2007.  Ryan would miss the remainder of the season, but would come back in 2008 to save 32 games, while posting a 2.95 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.  The next season injuries continued on and he would eventually be released.  Ryan finished his partial four year career with 75 saves and a 2.95 ERA.

59 – Mark Buehrle (2013-2015)

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Going into the 2013 season, Alex Anthopoulos was pulling off some major trades and one of them was with the Miami Marlins when he acquired several players including Mark Buehrle.  Buehrle would play three seasons in Toronto, was an inning eater, and selected to the All-Star Game in his second season.

In his All-Star season, Buehrle posted a 13-10 record with a 3.39 ERA and threw 202 innings.  Over his three seasons with Toronto he pitched 203.2, 202 and 198.2 innings.  In his last ever major league game, Manager John Gibbons started Buehrle on one days rest in an attempt to get him six outs to give him 200 innings, Buehrle struggled and couldn’t get there.

At the end of his Blue Jays career, Buehrle posted a 40-28 record with a 3.78 ERA.  Buehrle would quietly go into retirement after the 2015 season.

58 – Alex Gonzalez (1994-2001)

After the 2001 MLB season, the Blue Jays hired J.P. Ricciardi as the club’s GM and he wanted to put his stamp on the team by making a bunch of bad trades.  One of moves he did was trade long time shortstop Alex Gonzalez to the Chicago Cubs for a relief pitcher.

Prior to being traded, Gonzalez was known as one of the best defensive shortstops for half a decade in Toronto, when he became the full time shortstop at just 22 years of age.  To go with a steady defender, Gonzalez was an admirable bottom of the order bat on the team.  Over his time in Toronto he posted a 9.7 WAR with 83 home runs and 85 stolen bases.

57 – Shaun Marcum (2005-2010)

The Blue Jays selected Shaun Marcum in the third round of the 2003 MLB draft and he flew through the minor league system.  Through his development years, Marcum posted a 28-11 record which led to him being called up in September 2005.  In his five outings that September, he yielded no runs over eight innings.

In 2006, Marcum started his AAA season with a 4-0 record and was called up permanently.  The right hander was more of a pitch to contact and use his defence to get outs kind of starter, which made his games go quickly.  After his first two full seasons with Toronto he posted a 21-13 record, however, lost the 2009 season because of Tommy John Surgery.

Marcum would have his best season in 2011 when he posted a 13-8 record with a 3.64 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.  The Blue Jays sold high on Marcum as he was traded to Milwaukee that offseason for Brett Lawrie.  He finished his Blue jays career 37-25 record and 3.85 ERA.

56 – Mike Timlin (1991-1997)

In the late 1980s and going into the early 1990s, Toronto Blue Jays had arguably the league’s best 1-2 punch in the eighth and ninth innings closing out games with Duane Ward and Tom Henke.  However, when the Blue Jays won their first World Series in 1992, it was Mike Timlin who picked up the save to win the title.

While he struggled at times through the first couple years of his career, by the mid 90’s he was a reliable arm in the bullpen and was the team’s closer in 1996 when he saved 31 games.  However, it was his postseason performance that stands out most for his Blue Jays career, as he pitched in five different playoff series.  Timlin pitched in 11 games in the playoffs for a combined 13 innings allowing just four earned runs.

By 1997 the Blue Jays were struggling and looking to bring in some youth; Timlin was packaged with Paul Spoljaric for Jose Cruz.  In seven seasons, Timlin appeared in 305 games and posted a 3.62 ERA.

Next. Blue Jays Top 100 Players (#61 - #65). dark

The next round of players includes the guy the Blue Jays got back for Timlin.