Can Jays starters stay healthy?

88
Roy Halladay

* Can the Blue Jays healthy the way Dave Stieb, Jim Clancy and Roy Halladay did? ….

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Letters of Intent

By Bob Elliott

Forget for a second that second base remains a question in Florida this morning … as it was for most of last season.

Never mind that Your Toronto Blue Jays appear set to go with a rookie centre fielder and a shortstop whose range shrunk as 2014 progressed. Catcher

Russell Martin aside, so much for strength up the middle.

And who cares if they don’t have an established closer.

Outside of that Mrs. Lincoln …

Besides worries and concerns at second and short, in centre and the man to get the final three outs, the biggest worry of all might be the starting rotation.

Bothered by injuries or lack of performance in past years the rotation held up well in 2014. Only nine starters were used.

Eight combined to make 161 starts, four starters made 124 (or 76.5% of the outings).

Only five times in the last 20 seasons have the Jays only used as few as nine starters: 2008 (86 wins), 2005 (80), 2001 (80), 1999 (84) and 1998 (88), the Jays high-water mark in wins under manager Tim Johnson … post World Series.

R.A. Dickey led the way last year with 34 starts followed by Mark Buehrle and Drew Hutchison with 32 apiece.

The last time that the Jays had three Jays starters made 30 or more outings in a single season?

You have to go back more than a decade to 2003 when Roy Halladay made 36 starts, Cory Lidle 31 and Mark Hendrickson 30. That Jays team won 86 games.

Can the Jays expect to get 30-plus starts seasons from three starters?

Can they assume good health and zero drop off or ineffectiveness?

That’s a big question we won’t know the answer to until September

But check out the past history.

In the 38 years of the Jays they have had only 14 seasons in which they’ve had at least three pitchers make 30 or more starts.

What happened when the top three didn’t make 30 starts?

Management turns to the likes of Dana Eveland, Sean Douglass, Ty Taubenheim, Robert Ray, Pasqual Coco, Huckleberry Flener,Luis Andujar, Omar Daal, Marty Jansen,Giovanni Carrara, Brad Cornett, Frank Wills and Butch Edge.

Not surprisingly work horse Dave Stieb led — or shared for the lead — the Jays in starts, six in all. Jim Clancy and Halladay made the most starts dave stieb (2)or tied for the most in five years. Pat Hentgen was on top for four years and Ricky Romero three.

Dickey has led the previous two seasons and is currently tied with Ted Lilly, David Wells, Roger Clemens, Juan Guzman, Todd Stottlemyre, Jimmy Key and Tom Underwood.

A.J. Burnett, Gustavo Chacin, Chris Carpenter, Erik Hanson, Jack Morris, Mike Flanagan, Doyle Alexander, Jesse Jefferson, Dave Lemanczyk and Jerry Garvin.

From from 1982 to 1989 the Jays rotation was healthy, wealthy and more regular than the 7:20 GO Train with at least three or more starters making 30 or more starts.

The 1982 Jays squad was anchored by three young right-handers in Stieb, Clancy and Luis Leal. Each made more than 30 starts. Each were 26 or younger as the Jays won 78 games. As Kevin Glew of Cooperstowners in Canada points out, you could compare those three right-handers of 1982 to the Jays’ current young right-handers – Hutchison, Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez, all of whom are 24 or younger.

Stieb, Clancy and Leal became mainstays for three seasons and Doyle Alexander was added in 1983.

This year’s Jays have veterans R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle as well as the three young uns. In 2014, the three young right-handers gave Jays fans hope just as the 1982 rotation allowed fans to dream about a winning record.

The 1983 Jays were 89-73, an 11-game improvement, and six better than the Jays had in 2014. The Kansas City Royals, Oakland A’s, Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants all make post-season play with 89 wins or less.

The 1983 team actually had four arms make 30 or more starts — Stieb, Clancy, Leal and Jim Gott — but it was a flawed team.

Manager Bobby Cox didn’t have an established closer or an effective closer.

Randy Moffitt, Joey McLaughlin, Roy Lee Jackson and Dave Geisel combined to save 31 of 54 (57.4%) save opportunities.

Does that game plan remind you of any team frolicking in Florida sunshine?

Who started for the Jays each year?

2014 (9): R.A. Dickey (34), Mark Buehrle (32), Drew Hutchison (32), J.A. Happ (26), Marcus Stroman (20), Dustin McGowan (8), Brandon Morrow (6), Liam Hendriks (3), Daniel Norris (1).

2013 (13): Dickey (34), Buehrle (33), Esmil Rogers (20), Happ (18), Josh Johnson (16), Todd Redmond (14), Brandon Morrow (10), Chien-Ming Wang (6), Ramon Ortiz (4), Chad Jenkins (3), Ricky Romero (2), Aaron Laffey (1), Sean Nolin (1).

2012 (12): Romero (32), Henderson Alvarez (31), Morrow (21), Laffey (16), Carlos Villanueva (16), Kyle Drabek (13), Drew Hutchison (11), Brett Cecil (9), Happ (6), Chad Jenkins (3), Joel Carreno (2), Jesse Chavez (2).

2011 (12): Romero (32), Morrow (30), Brett Cecil (20), Jo-Jo Reyes (20), Drabek (14, Carlos Villanueva (13), Henderson Alvarez (10), Jesse Litsch (8), Luis Perez (4), McGowan (4), Brad Mills (4), Zach Stewart (3).

2010 (11): Romero (32), Shaun Marcum (31), Cecil (28), Morrow (26), Marc Rzepczynski (12), Litsch (9), Dana Eveland (9), Brian Tallet (5), Shawn Hill (4), Mills (3), Drabek (1).

2009 (12): Halladay (32), Romero (29), Tallet (25), Scott Richmond (24), Cecil (17), Rzepczynski (11), David Purcey (9), Casey Janssen (5), Robert Ray (4), Litsch (2), Mills (2), Brian Burres (2).

2008 (8): A.J. Burnett (34), Halladay (33) Litsch (28), Shaun Marcum (25), McGowan (19), Purcey (12), John Parrish (6), Scott Richmond (5).

2007 (11): Halladay (31), McGowan (27), Burnett (25), Marcum (25), Litsch (20), Josh Towers (15), Tomo Ohka (10), Gustavo Chacin (5), Victor Zambrano (2), Josh Banks (1), Ty Taubenheim (1).

2006 (12): Halladay (32), Ted Lilly (32), Burnett (21), Casey Janssen (17), Chacin (17), Marcum (14), Towers (12), Taubenheim (7), Scott Downs (5), McGowan (3), Brian Tallet (1), Francisco Rosario (1).

2005 (9): Chacin (34), Towers (33), Lilly (25), Dave Bush (24), Halladay (19), Downs (13), McGowan (7), Pete Walker (4), Chad Gaudin (3).

2004 (11): Lilly (32), Miguel Batista (31), Halladay (21), Towers (21), Bush (16), Pat Hentgen (16), Justin Miller (15), Sean Douglass (3), Jason Kershner (2), Ryan Glynn (2), Chacin (2).

2003 (10): Halladay (36), Cory Lidle (31), Mark Hendrickson (30), Kelvim Escobar (26), Doug Davis (12), Tanyon Sturtze (8), Towers (8), Walker (7), Corey Thurman (3), John Wasdin (2).

2002 (13): Halladay (34), Esteban Loaiza (25), Walker (20), Miller (18), Steve Parris (14), Chris Carpenter (13), Luke Prokopec (12), Brandon Lyon (10), Mike Smith (6), Hendrickson (3), Scott Eyre (3), Brian Cooper (2), Thurman (1).

2001 (9): Carpenter (34), Loaiza (30), Joey Hamilton (22), Parris (19), Chris Michalak (18), Halladay (16), Escobar (11), Lyon (11), Pasqual Coco (1).

2000 (12): Wells (35), Carpenter (27), Escobar (24), Frank Castillo (24), Loaiza (14), Halladay (13), Steve Trachsel (11), Hamilton (6), Peter Munro (3), Lance Painter (2), Clayton Andrews (2), Coco (1).

1999 (8): Wells (34), Hentgen (34), Escobar (30), Carpenter (24), Hamilton (18), Halladay (18), Paul Spoljaric (2), Munro (2).

1998 (9): Clemens (33), Woody Williams (32), Hentgen (29), Carpenter (24), Juan Guzman (22), Escobar (10), Erik Hanson (8), Dave Stieb (3), Halladay (2).

1997 (10): Hentgen (35), Clemens (34), Williams (31), Robert Person (22), Carpenter (13), Guzman (13), Luis Andujar (8), Omar Daal (3), Hanson (2), Huck Flener (1).

1996 (11): Hentgen (35), Hanson (35), Guzman (27), Paul Quantrill (20), Marty Janzen (11), Flener (11), Williams (10), Frank Viola (6), Jeff Ware (4), Luis Andujar (2), Scott Brow (1).

1995 (10): Hentgen (30), Al Leiter (28), Guzman (24), David Cone (17), Danny Darwin (11), Edwin Hurtado (10), Paul Menhart (9), Giovanni Carrara (7), Ware (2), Williams (1).

1994 (7): Guzman (25), Hentgen (24), Dave Stewart (22), Leiter (20), Todd Stottlemyre (19), Brad Cornett (4), Spoljaric (1).

1993 (8): Guzman (33), Hentgen (32), Stottlemyre (28), Jack Morris (27), Dave Stewart (26), Leiter (12), Brow (3), Doug Linton (1).

1992 (9): Morris (34), Jimmy Key (33), Guzman (28), Stottlemyre (27), Stieb (14), Wells (14), Cone (7), Linton (3), Hentgen (2).

1991 (11): Stottlemyre (34), Key (33), Wells (28), Guzman (23), Tom Candiotti (19), Stieb (9), Denis Boucher (7), Jim Acker (4), Mike Timlin (3), Willie Fraser (1), Hentgen (1).

1990: (11): Stieb (33), Stottlemyre (33), Key (27), Wells (25), John Cerutti (23), Willie Blair (6), Mike Flanagan (5), Frank Wills (4), John Candelaria (2), Buddy Black (2), Steve Cummings (2).

1989 (12): Key (33), Stieb (33), Cerutti (31), Flanagan (30), Stottlemyre (18), Wills (4), Mauro Gozzo (3), Alex Sanchez (3), Jeff Musselman (3), Cummings (2), Jose Nunez (1), Leiter (1).

1988 (8): Flanagan (34), Stieb (32), Jim Clancy (31), Key (21), Stottlemyre (16), Musselman (15), John Cerutti (12), Nunez (2).

Jim-Clancy-Blue-Jays1987 (11): Clancy (37), Key (36), Stieb (31), Cerutti (21), Joe Johnson (14), Nunez (9), Flanagan (7), Phil Niekro (3), Wells (2), Musselman (1), Duane Ward (1).

1986 (9): Key (35), Clancy (34), Stieb (34), Cerutti (20), Doyle Alexander (17), Johnson (15), Acker (5), Jim Acker (5), Dennis Lamp (2), Ward (1).

1985 (10): Stieb (36), Alexander (36), Key (32), Clancy (23), Luis Leal (14), Tom Filer (9), Steve Davis (5), Ron Musselman (4), Lamp (1), Cerutti (1).

1984 (8): Clancy (36), Stieb (35), Alexander (35), Leal (35), Jim Gott (12), Lamp (4), Acker (3), Bryan Clark (3).

1983 (8): Stieb (36), Leal (35), Clancy (34), Gott (30), Alexander (15), Acker (5), Mike Morgan (4), Matt Williams (3).

1982 (9): Clancy (40), Stieb (38), Leal (38), Gott (23), Mark Bomback (8), Mark Eichhorn (7), Jerry Garvin (4), Roy Lee Jackson (2), Dave Geisel (1).

1981 (8): Stieb (25), Clancy (25), Leal (19), Jackson Todd (13), Bomback (11), Juan Berenguer (11), Garvin (4), Paul Mirabella (1).

1980 (11): Clancy (34), Stieb (34), Mirabella (22), Jefferson (18), Todd (12), Jack Kucek (12), Joey McLaughlin (10), Leal (10), Dave Lemanczyk (8), Balor Moore (3), Mike Barlow (1).

1979 (13): Tom Underwood (32), Phil Huffman (31), Lemanczyk (20), Stieb (18), Moore (16), Clancy (11), Jefferson (10), Mark Lemongello (10), Butch Edge (9), Dave Freisleben (2), Todd (1), Mike Willis (1), Garvin (1).

1978 (8): Jesse Jefferson (30), Underwood (30), Clancy (30), Garvin (22), Lemanczyk (20), Moore (18), Don Kirkwood (9), Willis (3).

1977 (11): Lemanczyk (34), Garvin (34), Jefferson (33), Jeff Byrd (17), Clancy (13), Bill Singer (12), Pete Vuckovich (8), Steve Hargan (3), Willis (3), Tom Murphy (1), Mike Darr (1).

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