Blue Jays: Top-five greatest starting pitchers in franchise history

Jul 11, 2008; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Roy Halladay (32) delivers a
Jul 11, 2008; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Roy Halladay (32) delivers a / Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
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No. 2 Dave Stieb

The top spots on this list are very debatable, and either could be considered the best. Personally, I’m putting Dave Stieb as the second best starting pitcher in team history. Drafted in the fifth round of the 1978 draft from Southern Illinois University, Stieb would make his MLB debut the following season. He had a respectable rookie season, accumulating 1.4 bWAR over 129.1 innings and 18 starts. He would make his reputation as a workhorse the next season, throwing 242.2 innings and making his first All-Star game.

Stieb would be apart of seven All-Star games total through his career, and finish as a Cy Young finalist four separate times. Stieb was as stingy as they get, having the best H/9 in the AL on two separate occasions in 1984 and 1985, with a mark of 7.2 and 7.0 respectively. That 1985 season Stieb would also have the best ERA in the AL, with it sitting at a lowly 2.48.

During his prime from 1980-1990, Stieb averaged 231 innings pitched with a 3.29 ERA. A model of consistency through and through, Stieb would even throw the first no-hitter in Blue Jays history on September 9th, 1990, after coming within a single out on multiple occasions.

Stieb’s career would begin to fall off in the 1991 season, when a flurry of back and shoulder injuries held him back. Stieb would struggle to stay healthy the rest of the season, and did his best to contribute to a World Series title in 1992, when he threw 96.1 innings and picked up four wins over 21 appearances.

Stieb would take a hiatus from baseball from 1994-1997, only to return to the Blue Jays in 1998 for one last hoorah. He was able to toss 50.1 innings as a 40-year old, and gives him an interesting connection to the number one on this list.

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