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. 1 Roy Halladay

Number one on this list, Doc. A pitcher outside of his time, Roy Halladay was a dominant workhorse who pitched in twelve separate seasons for the Blue Jays, winning a Cy Young and making six All-Star appearances during that time. 

After a promising rookie sneak-peek in 1998 and a solid follow-up campaign in 1999, Halladay would struggle in 2000. After a lengthy revisit to the minor leagues, a reinvented Doc returned with vengeance in 2001. From 2002 on, Halladay would average 214 innings a season, with an astronomically low 1.6 BB/9 and respectable 6.6 K/9. An ERA of 3.13 over that time would produce 130 wins for Blue Jays teams that weren’t particularly noteworthy.

Doc’s consistency and durability were something to behold. He was a Cy Young-caliber pitcher who relied on going deep in games and forcing weak contact, with a variety of pitches he kept around the strike zone. His 48.4 bWAR ranks second all-time amongst pitchers in franchise history. Even more impressive, his 2046.2 innings pitched and 49 complete games both rank third in franchise history. The amazing part of this is how much the game had changed since Halladay produced those numbers, and since when the superior records were held.

Dave Stieb and Jim Clancy were the only two arms to supercede Doc in these categories. Both of whom pitched during the 1980s and both of whom spent virtually their entire career as a Blue Jay. With them given the benefit on both these account, Halladay’s close connection to these numbers is impressive. Halladay found himself in an era of pitch counts, matchups, and increased armcare, though found himself plagued by none until the end of his career.

The late Roy Halladay was a living legend, a model of consistency, and the greatest Blue Jays starting pitcher of all time.

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