Top 5 starting pitchers in Blue Jays franchise history by WAR

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2. Roy Halladay (48.4 WAR)

For Blue Jays fans, Roy Halladay’s story is well known – from the near no-hitter in his second career start in 1998, to his collapse in 2000 that saw him sent all the way down to A-ball to rebuild his delivery, to his triumphant return and emergence as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Yet, some may not quite fully understand just how good ‘Doc’ was during his heyday with the Jays.

In the eight years Halladay pitched for the team after his reemergence from the minors, he was not only a six-time All Star, seven-time Opening Day starter, and the 2003 Cy Young winner, but he finished in the top five of Cy Young voting five different times. Even more incredible, these five times do not include Halladay’s 2002 season, in which he put up a 2.93 ERA and led the league in pitcher WAR but did not receive so much as one Cy Young vote, or 2005, when Halladay was in the midst of his best season ever (2.41 ERA over 19 starts) before his leg was broken by a Kevin Mench line drive.

More than that, as baseball moved rapidly towards shorter starts and higher bullpen usage, Halladay put up 49 complete games with the Jays, leading the league five times. He was not just another top pitcher, but perhaps the game’s last great workhorse. Seriously, the 49 complete games Halladay put up with the Jays are more than every single Blue Jays pitcher combined has managed in the 14 years since he left (35), while his 67 career complete games are more than Verlander, Kershaw, and Scherzer put together (63). Further, the seven times Halladay led the league in complete games over his career is the most of any pitcher since World War II.

The only regret with Halladay’s Blue Jays tenure is that the team was never good enough to let Doc work his magic in the playoffs, a fact which hit even harder when he was traded to the Phillies and threw a no-hitter in his first career playoff start.

Still though, Jays fan can take solace in the fact that for nearly a decade, they got to watch one of the best to ever do it go to work every fifth day.