Mike Timlin, 5.3 fWAR
Mike Timlin broke into the big leagues with the Blue Jays in 1991 and pitched in Toronto until the 1997 season. He made 302 appearances out of the bullpen in his Jays career, won back-to-back World Series and amassed a 5.3 fWAR.
The Jays' fifth-round pick in the 1987 draft, Timlin joined a bullpen led by the two-headed monster of Tom Henke and Duane Ward, so save opportunities were few and far between. In his rookie year, Timlin appeared in 60 games and threw 93 2/3 innings, the second-most in the relief corps that season. He managed to snag three saves and even garnered some Rookie of the Year votes, finishing sixth.
While Timlin didn't get a chance to be "the closer" until 1996, when he had a career-high 31 saves, he owns the most important save in franchise history. In 46 career postseason appearances, Timlin only had one save, and it came at the best possible time for the Blue Jays.
You've seen it before. You know the one. From 1992, against the Atlanta Braves. It's a singular play, a moment in time, but one that forever cements Timlin's place in Blue Jays lore.
Timlin finished his time in Toronto with 52 saves, good for ninth all-time with the franchise, and a 3.68 ERA in 378 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. His 321 strikeouts rank fifth among all Blue Jays relievers, while his 53.9 Runs Above Replacement ranks sixth.
The feisty right-hander was traded to Seattle in 1997 and pitched for the Mariners, Baltimore Orioles, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and the Boston Red Sox. He won two more World Series with Boston in 2004 and 2007 before retiring in 2009 at 43.
Timlin returned to Toronto in 2022 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1992 World Series championship. He reminded the fans of his place in team history when he and Joe Carter recreated their historic final out.
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