I’m having an enjoyable day in Toronto. I even enjoyed yesterday, despite the crappy baseball game.
I don’t have time for a real post, so let’s just do a question: If you could steal two players off the 1992 Blue Jays, who would you pick?
We’ve done this with other Blue Jays era. The 1985 Blue Jays were a heck of a team. They finished first in the AL East, the first Blue Jays team to make the playoffs. They lost out in the ALCS to the Royals, but I think there were as good as any Jays team we’ve had.
So the game, pick the two players who you would borrow off the 1985 team to put on the 2019 Blue Jays. For this little exercise, he would be the same age in 2019 as he was in 1985. Consider the age of the player, and the rest of his career, as well as how he would fit on today’s team (and the future Jays teams).
- Tony Fernandez: In 1985 Tony was a 23-year old short stop. Terrific bat. Flashy glove. He played his first full season in the majors, playing 161 games. In 1986 he played 163 games. Wouldn’t it be great to have a middle infielder who could play everyday. In 1985 he hit .289/.340/.390. I wish I could go back and watch him play again. I didn’t appreciate how good he was back in the day. See his stats here.
- George Bell: He was a 25-year old, back in 1985. He hit .275/.327/.479 with 28 home runs and finished 8th in MVP voting. We could use a corner outfielder. See his stats here.
- Lloyd Moseby: He was a 25-year old center fielder. Terrific glove. Good bat. In 1985 he hit .259/.345/.426 with 18 home runs. and he stole 37 bases. I loved the guy, he enjoyed playing the game. I don’t think it would hurt our current Jays to have a guy that was happy to be in the majors. See his stats here.
- Jesse Barfield: He was our third 25-year old outfielder. Amazing arm. Great range. He could have played center, but we had Moseby. Power bat. Hit .289/.369/.536 with 27 home runs in 1985. The three made up the best outfield we ever had and I owe a part of my love of baseball to the fact that I got to watch them play. See his stats here.
- Dave Stieb: He was 27 in 1985, and since he came up to the Jays in 1979, at age 21, he had already had a few terrific seasons. In 1985, he was 14-13, with a league leading 2.48 ERA (the team didn’t score for him that year) and pitched 265 innings in 36 starts. He completed 8 games (the first time he didn’t reach double figures in complete games since his rookie year). He was Roy Halladay, without the cheerful side. See his stats here.
- Jimmy Key: Jimmy was 24. He had a 14-6 record and a 3.00 ERA in his second season in the majors. In 1984, as a rookie, he was used out of the pen. The Jays had this thing where they used pitchers in the pen when they first came up, an idea I liked. Pitchers learned how to get batters out, in low leverage situations. See his stats here.
- Tom Henke: Henke was 27. He had a 2.03 ERA in 28 games (his first season with the Jays) and 13 saves. You might remember he went on to have a terrific career. I loved that he had many 2 or 3 inning saves. See his stats here.
- Ernie Whitt: Whitt was 33, so he didn’t have as many seasons left in his career as the others. Whitt was a left handed batter, he hit .245/.323/.444 with 19 home runs. He was a favorite of mine. See his stats here.
- Rance Mulliniks: Rance was 29. He hit .295/.383/.454 with 10 home runs, as the left-handed half of a third base platoon. Another favorite of mine, he got as much out of his ability as possible. See his stats here.
- Cecil Fielder: Fielder was just 21, a rookie. Only played 30 games. He would play four seasons with the Jays. Then go to Japan. When he came back, he signed with the Tigers and hit 51 home runs in 1990. See his stats here.
I think those are the main choices. We had some other good players, Damaso Garcia was a speedy 2B, Luis Leal was a pretty good starting picture. Jeff Burroughs and Al Oliver shared the DH spot. Dennis Lamp went 11-0 pitching out of the bullpen. He could pitch 4-5 even once 6 innings out of the pen (we could use someone like that right now).
Tell us who you would pick and why.