Friday, February 1, 2013

#202 1982 Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays of 1982 were led offensively by Damaso Garcia who not only led the team in batting average but also in steals (54) and runs (89).  Willie Upshaw was the main source of power with 21 HR and 75 RBI.
On the mound, Dave Stieb was the man.  Although he looks something like a daytime soap star in this hat-less picture, don't let that fool you.  He led the team in ERA, wins (17),  complete games (19), shutouts (5), innings (288), and strikeouts (141).

Flipside:  Topps included just 24 Blue Jays in the set and including manager Bobby Cox.  Only 8 pitchers made the cut.  Mark Bomback with 8 games started and 8 relief appearances gets the biggest snub.  I'd say it was his 6.03 ERA but that didn't stop Topps from giving Jerry Garvin and his 7.25 ERA a card.
No Hall of Famers in this lot but Cox will certainly have his day in the sun.

The Starting Nine:
C Ernie Whitt / Buck Martinez
1B Willie Upshaw
2B Damaso Garcia
SS Alfredo Griffin
3B Garth Iorg / Rance Mulliniks
LF Barry Bonnell
CF Lloyd Moseby
RF Jesse Barfield
DH Wayne Nordhagen

The DH slot was a weak point for the team as Nordhagen slugged just .319 in 197 plate appearances.  Others who tried but failed were John Mayberry, Otto Velez, Dave Revering, Glenn Adams, Hosken Powell, and Al Woods.
Garcia had a breakout year but was very impatient (21 BB) and had little power. Upshaw was the only batter with more than 58 RBI.
Young Jesse Barfield hit 18 long balls but had just 13 doubles.  Whitt and Martinez combined for 21 homers but the rest of the crew lacked punch.  Bonnell and Iorg had OK averages but Griffin was a black hole on offense.  22 year-old Lloyd Moseby hit .236 but his best days were yet to come.  

That is a lot of buts, however the most telling stat is that Upshaw was the only player with more than 49 at bats to post an OPS+ over 100.

Pitching Staff:

SP Dave Stieb  38 GS
SP Jim Clancy  40 GS
SP Luis Leal  38 GS
SP Jim Gott 23 GS
RP Dale Murray 11 Saves
RP Roy Lee Jackson 6 Sv
RP Joey McLaughlin 8 Sv

Pitching and defense helped the franchise out of the cellar for the first time as the won 78 games.  Cox used a four man rotation most of the year as Stieb, Clancy, and Leal logged 804 innings and made 72% of Toronto's starts. 

A bullpen by committee was used as the three righty firemen seemed interchangable with ERA's between 3.06 and 3.21.  No other hurlers reached the 60 inning mark. 

Oddball:  The Blue Jays only used 13 pitchers all year which seems mind boggling these days.

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