Ranking the 10 greatest pitchers in Blue Jays history

DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Pitcher Roy Halladay
DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Pitcher Roy Halladay /
8 of 10
Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jay’s pitcher Roger Clemens catches the ball in the early innings against the Baltimore Orioles at Toronto’s Skydome 21 September. Clemens is in the running for the Cy Young award for the second consecutive year. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO Carlo ALLEGRI (Photo by CARLO ALLEGRI / AFP) (Photo by CARLO ALLEGRI/AFP via Getty Images) /

3. Roger Clemens

When coming up with a top 10 pitchers in franchise history list, there are a bunch of factors that need to be considered. Longevity is crucial as it is hard to rank someone who barely pitched for the franchise. However, if the pitcher is as successful as Roger Clemens was in his two seasons with the Blue Jays, exceptions can be made.

The Jays signed Clemens in the 1996 offseason to a four-year $40 million-dollar deal. He was joining a rotation that included the 1996 American League Cy Young Award winner Pat Hentgen, and also Juan Guzman. It’s safe to say that signing paid off.

In Rocket’s first season with the Blue Jays, he won the fourth Cy Young Award of his career. He went 21-7 with a 2.05 ERA in 34 starts, and he struck out 292 batters in 264 innings pitched. He led the American League in wins, ERA, innings pitched, strikeouts, pretty much every major statistical category. He won the Triple Crown and had the best individual season a Blue Jays pitcher has ever had.

He followed that up with another Cy Young Award. He went 20-6 with a 2.65 ERA in 33 starts. Clemens again won the Triple Crown as he led the league in wins, ERA, and strikeouts. He might not have been as dominant as he was the year prior, but Clemens again had one of the best single seasons a Blue Jays pitcher has ever had.

Those two seasons were all we had of Roger Clemens in Toronto. He had somehow re-found his form after appearing to be on a steady decline. Whether that’s due to the usage of performance-enhancing drugs is a whole other conversation, but Clemens absolutely deserves to be ranked highly as one of the best pitchers to ever wear a Blue Jays uniform.