Blue Jays: Best players in franchise history to wear jersey numbers 41-50
#43 R.A. Dickey
R.A. Dickey spent five seasons in Toronto after being acquired via trade the season after winning the Cy Young award with the Mets. With the Jays, the knuckleballer managed a 49-52 record with a 4.05 ERA. Never able to fully recapture his dominance he showed with the Mets, Dickey was still the most consistent starter on the team for the majority of his tenure. The only other Blue Jay to consider for the number 43 was Raúl Mondesí, who enjoyed most of his success with the Dodgers. Regardless, Dickey’s impact on the team was far greater.
#44 Casey Janssen
The number 44 is heavily populated by relief pitchers such as Tom Buskey, Frank Wills and Billy Koch, but Casey Janssen was the best of them all. Through eight seasons with the Blue Jays, Janssen racked up 90 saves and a 3.63 ERA. The leader of the bullpen for the bulk of his career, Janssen may have flown under the radar from a league prospective though was one of the more reliable relief pitchers the Jays have had in the last 20 years. Janssen was only the primary closer for three seasons, though succeeded in a setup role as well. Koch also had three good seasons with the Jays, but Janssen’s impact and tenure make him the best player to wear number 44.
#45 Kelvim Escobar
Kelvim Escobar played seven seasons in Toronto and went 58-55 with a 4.58 ERA. The Venezuelan right-hander had a somewhat inconsistent tenure with the Jays, and was deployed as both a starting and relief pitcher. As a rookie, Escobar showed promising signs as a closer collecting 14 saves with a 2.90 ERA. The transition into the starting rotation in the following seasons gave him trouble, however. Moving back into the bullpen in 2002, Escobar saved 38 games and blew only eight. With the only competition at number 45 being Rob MacDonald and Travis Snider, Escobar is clearly the best Blue Jay to wear number 45.
#46 Mike Flanagan
Playing just four seasons in Toronto, Mike Flanagan is the longest tenured Blue Jay to wear the number 46, and was also the most successful. Starting in 76 games, Flanagan holds a 26-27 record with a 3.94 ERA with the team. His best years were definitely behind him, while in Baltimore, where he won the Cy Young award in 1979. Unfortunately, there was no real competition for this number - every year it has seemingly been given to another journeyman or part time player who did nothing more than fill a roster spot.