A week ago, Blue Jays fans got to finally see the return of former first-round pick and pitching ace Marcus Stroman. The “Stro Show” treated fans to an impressive outing, which led me to wonder how did he rank against other top Blue Jays pitchers’ return appearances at Skydome/Roger’s Center.
12. Juan Guzmán – 1998
After the 1987 minor league season, 20-year-old Juan Guzmánwas coming off a Single-A season in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization that saw him post a 4.75 ERA and a 1.727 WHIP over 110 innings. That is when the Blue Jays came in and traded 25-year-old Mike Sharperson for the future All-Star.
Guzmán would develop through the system and made his MLB debut with the Blue Jays in 1991 which led to 23 starts and had him finish second in the American League Rookie of the Year voting. Over a three-year stretch during the Blue Jays’ playoff runs from 1991-1993, Guzmán posted a 40-11 record with a 3.28 ERA that included an All-Star Game appearance. Guzmán was even better in the postseason, as he is the current All-Time Franchise leader in postseason wins (5). During his sixth season in the big leagues, he led the entire league with a 2.93 ERA.
After eight years on the big-league club and with the Blue Jays out of the playoff race, Guzmán was traded to the Baltimore Orioles at the 1998 trade deadline for prospect Nerio Rodriguez. Guzmán wouldn’t have to wait as long as Marcus Stroman to make his return as he would be back on his familiar mound less than two months after being traded.
The Dominican native did not have the best start as he gave up a walk to lead-off hitter Shannon Stewart and a couple of batters later he would give up a home run to Carlos Delgado. Guzmán would give up another two-run home run an inning later to Stewart and when all was said and done, the right-hander would pick up the loss after surrendering six earned runs.
Pitching Line: 4.2IP | 7H | 6R | 6ER | 3BB | 7K | 2HR