Toronto Blue Jays News

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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Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Pat Hentgen celebrates his three-hit shutout victory over the Minnesota Twins at Toronto’s Skydome 04 May. The Jays beat the Twins 1-0. AFP PHOTO/CARLO ALLEGRI (Photo by CARLO ALLEGRI / AFP) (Photo by CARLO ALLEGRI/AFP via Getty Images)
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Pat Hentgen celebrates his three-hit shutout victory over the Minnesota Twins at Toronto’s Skydome 04 May. The Jays beat the Twins 1-0. AFP PHOTO/CARLO ALLEGRI (Photo by CARLO ALLEGRI / AFP) (Photo by CARLO ALLEGRI/AFP via Getty Images) /

6. Pat Hentgen

Pat Hentgen had plenty of ups and downs during his time in Toronto. He started off in the majors on a great note. In 1993, Hentgen pitched in his first full season in the Major Leagues and finished second in the American League with 19 wins in 34 appearances (32 starts).

He threw 216.1 innings and posted a 3.87 ERA. He was an All-Star and finished sixth in the Cy Young balloting. Hentgen also pitched very well in his lone World Series start, going six innings and allowing just one run while striking out six in the Game 3 victory. Hentgen was lined up to pitch Game 7 if Joe Carter’s historic walk-off home run didn’t happen.

In the next two seasons, Hentgen established himself as a staple in the Jays rotation. He was a premier innings eater and had grown into a very reliable arm.

The 1996 season was Hentgen’s best. He went 20-10 with a 3.22 ERA. He led the league with 265.2 innings pitched in 35 starts. He ended up winning the first Cy Young Award in Blue Jays history. His 8.6 bWAR that year is second in franchise history, only behind Roger Clemens’ 1997 season.

Following the Cy Young year, Hentgen had a 5.8 bWAR which is still very good. His final two seasons in Toronto weren’t very good at all and put a damper on his career numbers with the Jays.

Hentgen ranks fourth in bWAR for pitchers, and fifth in wins, innings pitched, and strikeouts. In my opinion, he’s a top-five starting pitcher in Blue Jays history, even if he falls just short for the purposes of this list.

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