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Blue Jays pitchers who have worn a single-digit number

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Shun Yamaguchi will join this list shortly when he wears #1 for the Blue Jays

Josh Towers and Lyle Overbay of the Blue Jays have an on-field interaction with the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez.
Josh Towers and Lyle Overbay of the Blue Jays have an on-field interaction with the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez.
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

After writing about how the Blue JaysShun 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.

#0

None

#1

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.

Infielder-outfielder Bob Bailor makes his first appearance at Exhibition Stadium as a relief pitcher for Toronto Blue Jays.
Bob Bailor
Photo by Graham Bezant/Toronto Star via Getty Images

#2

Clayton Richard (10 games, 2019). After wearing #3 with the Padres, Richard switched to #2 when he was traded to the Blue Jays.

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Clayton Richard (2) throws a pitch during the baseball game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros. Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

#3

None

#4

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.

Kyle Drabek pitches in a Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays game. Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

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.

Screencap via sglamantia on YouTube

#5

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.

Craig Kusick pitches for the Blue Jays Erin Combs / Toronto Star

#6

Jeff Mathis (2 games, 2012). Mathis pitched against the Rangers in May and Athletics in July in blowout games. He threw 21 pitches in both games.

Jeff Mathis #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch Brad White/Getty Images
MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

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)

#7

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.

 Pitcher Josh Towers #7 of the Toronto Blue Jays checks the runner at first  Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Toronto Blue Jays infielder Richard Urena (7) throws a pitch. Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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.

#8

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.

#9

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.

 Cliff Pennington #9 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws a pitch in the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals during game four of the American League Championship Series Harry How/Getty Images