Toronto Blue Jays
(American League, East Division)
The Blue Jays arrived in 1977 and made noise in 1985 before bursting out in 1989 – the first of four division titles (over five seasons) and back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993. Toronto taught Joe Carter and Jose Bautista’s bat to levitate.
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Active 26 Man Roster
Catchers & Infielders:
- C – Ernie Whitt
- C – Gregg Zaun
- 1B – Carlos Delgado
- 2B – Roberto Alomar
- SS – Tony Fernandez (2B/3B)
- 3B – Josh Donaldson
- CI – John Olerud (1B)
- CI – Edwin Encarnacion (1B/3B)
- CI – Vlad Guerrero Jr. (1B/3B)
- MI – Bo Bichette (SS)
- LF – George Bell
- CF – Jesse Barfield (RF)
- RF – Jose Bautista (3B)
- OF – Shawn Green (1B/CF/RF)
- SP – Roy Halladay
- SP – Dave Stieb
- SP – Jimmy Key
- SP – J.A. Happ
- SP – Marcus Stroman
- SP – Doyle Alexander
- CL – Tom Henke
- SU – Mark Eichhorn
- RP – Roberto Osuna
- RP – Duane Ward
- RP – Aaron Sanchez
- RP – Mike Timlin
On the Farm
Catchers & Infielders:
- 3B – Eric Hinske
- 3B – Kelly Gruber
- C – Pat Borders
- CF/RF – Alex Rios
- OF – Lloyd Moseby
- LF/CF/RF – Vernon Wells
- CF/RF – Devon White
- 1B/LF/CF/RF – Joe Carter
- P – Jim Clancy
- P – David Wells
- P – Pat Hentgen
- P – Luis Leal
- P – Paul Quantrill
- P – Marco Estrada
- P – Juan Guzman
Building the Roster: Toronto Blue Jays
With every team, we started building their all-time 25-man and 40-man rosters by using the Hall of Fame as a starting point, figuring that a player enshrined in baseball’s immortal Hall would certainly qualify to make his team’s all-time roster.
Almost all the Hall of Fame members are easily identifiable with one team so it’s a simple way to start every roster with near-inarguable selections. There are a few brilliant players who made significant contributions to multiple teams, and it’s our job to decide where they made the biggest impact.
Toronto has to fight for Roberto Alomar, Fred McGriff, and John Olerud:
San Diego: 3 years, 1 All-Star, 0 MVP, 12.2 WAR, .283 AVG, 246 Runs, 157 RBI, 22 HR, 90 SB
Toronto: 5 years, 5-time All-Star, 0 MVP, 22.3 WAR, .307 AVG, 451 Runs, 342 RBI, 55 HR, 206 SB + 2 World Series Titles
Baltimore: 3 years, 3-time All-Star, 0 MVP, 12.5 WAR, .312 AVG, 282 Runs, 210 RBI, 50 HR, 44 SB
Cleveland: 3 years, 3-time All-Star, 0 MVP, 20.3 WAR, .323 AVG, 362 Runs, 309 RBI, 63 HR, 106 SB
Toronto: 5 seasons, 0 All-Star, 0 MVPs, 19.4 WAR, .278 AVG, 348 Runs, 305 RBI, 125 HR, 21 SB
Atlanta: 5 seasons, 3-time All-Star, 0 MVPs, 11.1 WAR, .293 Avg, 383 Runs, 446 RBI, 130 HR, 23 SB + 1 World Series Title
Tampa Bay: 5 seasons, 1 All-Star, 0 MVPs, 9 WAR, .291 AVG, 277 Runs, 359 RBI, 99 HR, 11 SB
Toronto: 8 seasons, 1 All-Star, 0 MVPs, 22.6 WAR, 464 Runs, 471 RBI, 109 HR, 3 SB + 2 World Series Titles
N.Y. Mets: 3 seasons, 0 All-Star, 0 MVPs, 17.3 WAR, 288 Runs, 291 RBI, 63 HR, 5 SB
Seattle: 5 seasons, 1 All-Star, 0 MVPs, 17.1 WAR, 353 Runs, 405 RBI, 72 HR, 3 SB
Alomar and Olerud both absolutely belong in Toronto but Fred McGriff is a tough one to figure. He spent five seasons in Toronto and 4.5 in Atlanta, and the Braves numbers are more impressive so “The Crime Dog” is headed to Georgia.
As with every team, we are trying to build an active roster with 13 position players and 12 pitchers, and then a 15-player inactive roster of guys who just missed the cut, but remain valuable as callups in case of slumps or injuries.
The 13 active position players are usually two catchers, six infielders, and five outfielders. The stats are built around the average of the player’s best three consecutive seasons.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame gets us started with Roberto Alomar and Roy Halladay. With two players coming from Cooperstown, WAR (Wins Above Replacement), a great stat for looking at the all-around contribution to a team for both hitters and pitchers, can help us find the rest.
We get lots of help here, as in order we find: Jose Bautista, Tony Fernandez, Carlos Delgado, Jesse Barfield, Vernon Wells, Lloyd Moseby, Edwin Encarnacion, John Olerud, Devon White, George Bell, Alex Rios, Ernie Whitt, Josh Donaldson, Shannon Stewart, Aaron Hill, Kelly Gruber, Rance Mulliniks, Kevin Pillar, and Shawn Green.
Every team needs at least three catchers, so Gregg Zaun and Pat Borders deserve consideration as well.
Even though they didn’t spend TOO long in Toronto, Joe Carter and Eric Hinske are in the conversation.
Once plugged into the simulation software, we looked at their OPS (on-base + slugging percentage) and their defensive rankings and they break down like this:
CATCHER: Ernie Whitt, Gregg Zaun
FIRST BASE: Carlos Delgado, John Olerud
SECOND BASE: Roberto Alomar, Aaron Hill (sometimes)
SHORTSTOP: Tony Fernandez, Aaron Hill (sometimes)
THIRD BASE: Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion
LEFT FIELD: George Bell
CENTER FIELD: Jesse Barfield, Shawn Green (sometimes)
RIGHT FIELD: Jose Bautista, Shawn Green (sometimes)
Toronto will use a designated hitter most of the time, so Edwin Encarnacion, Carlos Delgado, and Shawn Green will likely see some at-bats there too.
That leaves inactive roster spots for: Alex Rios, Lloyd Moseby, Vernon Wells, Pat Borders, Devon White, Eric Hinske, Joe Carter, and Kelly Gruber.
For the pitching staff we’re looking for six starters and six relievers. Bear in mind that across the whole game you will see dynamic, outstanding starting pitchers that can’t crack an all-time rotation but are better served as relievers on a team than sitting inactive.
Hall of Famers are automatically on the roster so Cooperstown we start with Roy Halladay. With 22 players on the total roster we have room for 18 more pitchers.
Once we dug into the career WAR rankings (as Blue Jays) we came up with: Dave Stieb, Jimmy Key, Pat Hentgen, Jim Clancy, Juan Guzman, Tom Henke, David Wells, Doyle Alexander, Marcus Stroman, Mark Eichhorn, Paul Quantrill, J.A. Happ, Kelvim Escobar, Luis Leal, Duane Ward, Todd Stottlemyre, Marco Estrada, Ricky Romero, Shaun Marcum, Woody Williams, and Aaron Sanchez.
Roberto Osuna’s numbers out of the bullpen put him in consideration as well.
We looked at their overall numbers in the simulation software and leaned heavily on ERA to come up with these designations:
STARTING ROTATION: Roy Halladay, Dave Stieb, Jimmy Key, J.A. Happ, Marcus Stroman, Doyle Alexander
RELIEVERS: Mike Timlin, Aaron Sanchez, Duane Ward, Roberto Osuna
SET-UP: Mark Eichhorn
CLOSER: Tom Henke
Toronto’s bullpen looks like one of the deepest in the league – remember this is young Aaron Sanchez, before he developed blister problems and led the league in ERA.
The inactive pitcher options are Jim Clancy, David Wells, Pat Hentgen, Juan Guzman, Luis Leal, Paul Quantrill, and Marco Estrada.
So how did we do?
Will the outfield of George Bell, Jesse Barfield, and Jose Bautista lead the league in swagger?
Who gets most of the designated hitter at-bats?
Should Joe Carter’s World Series-winning homer get him an active roster spot forever?
Let us know in the forums below and if you make a compelling case we will adapt it in-game. We want every squad to be the best they possibly can be and appreciate your help fine-tuning the Blue Jays for Eternal Baseball.
Visit Our Toronto Blue Jays Discussion Board
Give your 2 cents on the composition of the roster!
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