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Toronto Blue Jays All-Time Lineup

Best at each position, in one season, in team history

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A look at the all-time starting lineup for the Toronto Blue Jays in the team's history. It's not a career record - it's taken from the best season any player had at that position in team history to create a lineup.

Starting pitcher: Roger Clemens

Roger Clemens photo
Rick Stewart/Allsport

1997: 21-7, 2.05 ERA, 264 IP, 204 H, 292 Ks, 1.030 WHIP

Rest of the rotation: Roy Halladay (2003, 22-7, 3.25 ERA, 266 IP, 253 H, 204 Ks, 1.071 WHIP); Pat Hentgen (1996, 20-10, 3.22 ERA, 265.2 IP, 238 H, 177 Ks, 1.250 WHIP); Jimmy Key (1987, 17-8, 2.76 ERA, 261 IP, 210 H, 161 Ks, 1.057 WHIP); Dave Stieb (1984, 16-8, 2.83 ERA, 267 IP, 215 H, 198 Ks, 1.135 WHIP)

Three Cy Young winners won their awards with the Blue Jays. The ace is Clemens, who won two of his record seven Cy Young awards in back-to-back seasons in 1997 and 1998. Hentgen was the Cy Young winner in the previous season in 1996, when he was a 20-game winner. Halladay won the Cy Young in 2003 and was in the top five four other times in his 12 seasons in Toronto. Key was second in voting in 1987, and the team's first true ace was the consistent Stieb.

Catcher: Darrin Fletcher

Darrin Fletcher photo
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

2000: .320, 20 HR, 58 RBI, .869 OPS

Backup: Ernie Whitt (1987, .269, 19 HR, 75 RBI, .789 OPS)

Fletcher, a.269 career hitter, had the best season in his 14 seasons in 2000. The backup was a solid backstop in the 1980s in Whitt, whose best offensive season came at age 35 in 1987.

First baseman: Carlos Delgado

Carlos Delgado photo
M. David Leeds/Getty Images

2000: .344, 41 HR, 137 RBI, 1.134 OPS

Backup: John Olerud (1993, .363, 24 HR, 107 RBI, 1.072 OPS)

Either one of these would be great choices. Delgado had a little more power and was one of the great hitters of his generation, and Olerud hit for a high aveage and had his career season in 1993, when he was third in MVP voting. And this tandem is also the first basemen on the New York Mets' all-time lineup, but in reverse order.

Second baseman: Roberto Alomar

Roberto Alomar photo
Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images

1993: .326, 17 HR, 93 RBI, 55 SB, .900 OPS

Backup: Aaron Hill (2009, .286, 36 HR, 108 RBI, .829 OPS)

The Hall of Fame second baseman became a star during his time in Toronto, and he also won a Gold Glove and the World Series in 1993. He's a starter on the Orioles' all-time lineup and a backup on the all-time lineups of the Indians and Padres. The backup is Hill, who wasn't as slick a fielder but hit for more power.

Shortstop: Tony Fernandez

Tony Fernandez photo
Jonathan Daniel/Allsport

1987: .322, 5 HR, 67 RBI, 32 SB, .805 OPS

Backup: Alex Gonzalez (2001, .253, 17 HR, 76 RBI, 18 SB, .692 OPS)

Fernandez was one of the league's top shortstops in the late 1980s, hitting for average, stealing bases and he also won a Gold Glove in 1987. The backup is Gonzalez, who wasn't quite the same defender, but his power production makes him the shoo-in as the backup.

Third baseman: Tony Batista

Tony Batista photo
Ezra O. Shaw/Allsport

2001: .263, 41 HR, 114 RBI, .827 OPS

Backup: Kelly Gruber (1990, .274, 31 HR, 118 RBI, .842 OPS)

Batista was a servicable third baseman with a big bat and he produced big numbers in his 2 1/2 seasons in Toronto. The backup is a tough call between Gruber, who was fourth in MVP voting in 1990, and Troy Glaus, who hit 38 homers in 2006.

Left fielder: George Bell

George Bell photo
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

1987: .308, 47 HR, 134 RBI, .957 OPS

Backup: Shannon Stewart (2000, .319, 21 HR, 69 RBI, 20 SB, .882 OPS)

Bell was the MVP in 1987, when he led the AL in RBIs. The backup hit for a higher average and had a little more speed in Stewart.

Center fielder: Vernon Wells

Vernon Wells photo
Abelimages/Getty Images

2003: .317, 33 HR, 117 RBI, .909 OPS

Backup: Lloyd Moseby (1983, .315, 18 HR, 81 RBI, 27 SB, .875 OPS)

Vernon Wells earned that albatross of a contract with seasons like the one he had in 2003, when he was eighth in MVP voting at age 24. The backup was a solid pro in the 1980s for the Blue Jays in Moseby, who hit for average and power and stole his share of bases as well.

Right fielder: Jose Bautista

Jose Bautista photo
Elsa/Getty Images

2011: .302, 43 HR, 103 RBI, 1.056 OPS

Backup: Shawn Green (1999, .309, 42 HR, 123 RBI, 20 SB, .972 OPS)

Both right fielders hit for power, average and had 20 stolen bases. Bautista had a big season in 2011, when he was third in MVP voting, and Green was a Gold Glove winner in 1999.

Designated hitter: Paul Molitor

Paul Molitor photo
Simon Barnett/Getty Images

1993: .332, 22 HR, 111 RBI, 22 SB, .911 OPS

Backup: Edwin Encarnacion (.280, 42 HR, 110 RBI, 13 SB, .941 OPS)

Molitor is one of three current Hall of Famers in this lineup, one of the top DHs ever, and he was a dominant force for the Blue Jays' championship team in 1993. The backup is the team's current DH in Encarnacion, who had a great 2012.

Closer: B.J. Ryan

B.J. Ryan photo
Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

2006: 2-2, 1.37 ERA, 38 saves, 72.1 IP, 42 H, 86 Ks, 0.857 WHIP

Backup: Tom Henke (1987, 0-6, 2.49 ERA, 34 saves, 94 IP, 62 H, 128 Ks, 0.926 WHIP)

Ryan had a spectacular run as the Blue Jays' closer before an arm injury ended it. The backup was one of the top closers of the 1980s in Henke, who somehow went 0-6 in a dominant 1987.

Batting order

  1. 2B Roberto Alomar
  2. DH Paul Molitor
  3. 1B Carlos Delgado
  4. LF George Bell
  5. RF Jose Bautista
  6. CF Vernon Wells
  7. 3B Tony Batista
  8. SS Tony Fernandez
  9. C Darrin Fletcher
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