Why wouldn’t he?
With the bullpen general (Jason Frasor) now wearing pale hose, why wouldn’t Casey Janssen be the man to step up and fill that void?
Octavio Dotel has a natural replacment – any reliever who can’t get out lefties.
Marc Rzepczynski has a natural replacement – Luis Perez.
And I’m here to tell you that Jason Frasor has a natural replacement as well. It’s not Jon Rauch. It’s not Frank Francisco. It’s not Shawn Camp.
That man is Casey Janssen.
I think you can make a case that Janssen has been Toronto’s best reliever this year. As of right now, his 2.90 ERA is the lowest in the ‘pen. His 1.29 WHIP isn’t spectacular, but is only worse than Rauch, and is far, far better than Frankie and Camp.
Other stats point to Janssen’s effectiveness as well:
– His OPS against is .657 – best in the bullpen. Only Villanueva has a better stat on the team.
– He has given up only one home run in 31 innings – best on the team.
– His K/9 ratio is 8.1 – best in the bullpen and second best on the team (behind Brandon Morrow).
– His 3.11 K/BB ratio is the best on the entire pitching staff.
– He has an ERA+ (ballpark adjusted ERA) of 141. Ricky Romero is second best at 131.
– His 0.7 WAR ties him with Jon Rauch for top spot in the bullpen. Frasor had a 1.0 WAR before he was dealt.
Janssen struggles a little bit against right handed hitters (.795 OPS against) but absolutely owns lefties (.212 average and .540 OPS against). More detailed statistics, such as Leverage Index, show Janssen has a lights out pitcher as well. In high leverage situations, he is rock solid: 28 batters faced, 10 K:1 BB, .185 batting average against, .585 OPS against.
But there is more than just stats to explain Janssen. When Francisco or Rauch or Camp is on the mound, there seems to be a feeling of nervousness around them, almost a negative aura. But when Janssen takes to the hill, I feel calm, positive, and relaxed. The
fear of impending doom and failure isn’t there. Not even Jason Frasor inspired that feeling.
So for Jays fans looking for somebody to step and fill Frasor’s shoes?
You don’t have to look far. He was here all along.