Blue Jays nearing dubious record with 20th starting pitcher


The Toronto Blue Jays had T.J. Zeuch make his first big-league start Tuesday and closed in on a dubious MLB record in the process.

Zeuch, 24, is the Jays' 20th starting pitcher this season, making Toronto the first club to use that many since the 1967 New York Mets, according to Sportsnet Stats.

Even further, the only team that used more starters in a single season is the 1915 Philadelphia Athletics, who relied on 24 different pitchers over their 152-game schedule, according to Ben Wagner of Sportsnet. Tuesday will mark Toronto's 145th game of the campaign.

The Jays' use of the opener has contributed to the unusually high number:

Pitcher Starts IP as starter
Trent Thornton 28 134.1
Aaron Sanchez* 23 112.2
Marcus Stroman* 21 124.2
Jacob Waguespack 10 50.2
Clayton Richard 10 45.1
Wilmer Font 10 18.1
Clay Buchholz 8 42.1
Sean Reid-Foley 6 24.2
Thomas Pannone 6 23.2
Matt Shoemaker 5 28.2
Edwin Jackson* 5 19.2
Derek Law 4 4
Ryan Borucki 2 6.2
Anthony Kay 1 5.2
Ryan Feierabend 1 4
Neil Ramirez 1 1
David Phelps* 1 1
Daniel Hudson* 1 1
Buddy Boshers 1 1

* - no longer with organization

The 1915 Athletics are notoriously one of the worst teams ever assembled in MLB history, finishing with a 43-109 record, 58 1/2 games back of the Boston Red Sox.

The 1967 Mets weren't much better, posting a 61-101 record to finish 40 1/2 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Incidentally, the Blue Jays are on pace for their first triple-digit loss season since 1979, currently wallowing at 55-89.

Both the Athletics and Mets turned their franchises around in subsequent seasons. New York won 100 games in 1969 and went on to be known as the "Miracle Mets" after winning the World Series. The A's took longer to rebuild but soon found themselves with a juggernaut in the late 1920s and a roster that included Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, Mickey Cochrane, and Lefty Grove.

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