Ranking the 10 greatest pitchers in Blue Jays history

DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Pitcher Roy Halladay
DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Pitcher Roy Halladay /
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Jun 14, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; General view of a Toronto Blue Jays cap and glove during the game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

8. Jim Clancy

Jim Clancy is a prime example of longevity mattering when making a list like this. He wasn’t the best pitcher the Jays have ever had, but pitching in Toronto for 12 years helps his case a lot.

The Jays got their hands on Clancy in the 1976 Expansion Draft. He made 13 starts in their inaugural season of 1977, posting a 5.05 ERA and walking (5.5 BB/9) more batters than he struck out (5.2 K/9). Clancy was very raw, but was solid in his first full season in the majors, posting a 4.09 ERA and a 95 ERA+. He was serviceable for a team that had very little talent.

Clancy’s best season came in 1980 when he went 13-16 with a 3.80 ERA in 34 starts. His 131 ERA+ was the highest mark he had in his career and his 5.5 bWAR was also a career-best. He struck out 152 batters in 250.2 innings pitched, and he also led the league with 128 walks. The lack of control was a big issue for Clancy but it’s something he was able to work at and improve on.

In the 1982 season, he lowered his walk rate from 4.6 BB/9 to 2.6 BB/9. That season he led the league with 40 starts and he pitched 266.2 innings while having a 3.71 ERA. He made the All-Star team that year as well, the only appearance he would make in the Midsummer Classic.

Clancy was inconsistent in his tenure with the Blue Jays but he was one of the few serviceable starters they had while he was in Toronto. He’s second in games started and innings pitched and he’s third in strikeouts and shutouts, leaving his name all over the franchise pitching leaderboards.