After writing about how the Blue Jays’ Shun Yamaguchi and Hyun-Jin Ryu would become the first pair of pitchers to wear #1 and #99 on the same Major League Baseball team, I had a conversation with Uni-Watch’s Paul Lukas (who wrote a piece on the same topic). We were trying to come up with a list of all single-digit players who had ever pitched for the Blue Jays. It turns out that there were quite a few, almost covering every single-digit number.
Bob Bailor (3 games, 1980). In August 1980, Bailor pitched in three blowout games in a 13-day period. He had never pitched professionally before and would never do so again.
Clayton Richard (10 games, 2019). After wearing #3 with the Padres, Richard switched to #2 when he was traded to the Blue Jays.
Kyle Drabek (39 games, 2010-2014). Drabek, a first-round pick who headlined the return for Roy Halladay, never lived up to his potential in Toronto.
Frank Menechino (1 games, 2004) Menechino was the final pitcher for the Blue Jays in an 18-6 blowout loss to the Yankees on August 28, 2004.
Craig Kusick (1 game, 1979). Kusick was brought into pitch in the sixth inning of a game in which the Blue Jays were losing 22-2 to the Angels. The game ended 24-2 and Kusick even recorded two 1-2-3 innings in the seventh and ninth.
Marcus Stroman (109 regular season games* and 5 postseason games, 2015-2019). Making his major league debut with the Blue Jays in 2014 wearing #54, Stroman switched to #6 in 2015 in memory of his late grandmother who was born on March 6, 1943. (*Only counting the games wearing #6)
Josh Towers (108 games, 2003-2007). Dave Berg (#2) once told reporters that he didn’t care about what number he wore, as long as pitchers—like his teammate Towers—don’t wear single digits.
Richard Urena (1 game, 2019). Urena was brought into a blowout at Dodger Stadium in August 2019 to pitch the eighth inning of a game in which the Blue Jays used seven pitchers, none of whom got more than 5 outs.
Kendrys Morales (1 game, 2018). After pitching for the Blue Jays against the Athletics in 2018, Morales pitched for the Athletics against the Blue Jays last season. Searching all position players who pitched after 1950, I found that Morales was the first position player (since 1950) to pitch for team X against team Y, then pitch for team Y against team X. Later in 2019, Mathis pitched for the Rangers against the Blue Jays, becoming the second position player to complete that feat.
Rick Leach (1 game, 1984). Leach threw in his only major league inning in August 1984 in a 16-1 blowout in Cleveland.
Cliff Pennington (1 posteseason game, 2015). Pennington (in)famously became the first position player to pitch in a major league posteason game in 2015 when the Royals were blowing out the Blue Jays 14-2 in the ALCS.