Casey Janssen

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Casey Janssen
Casey Janssen 2013.jpg
Toronto Blue Jays – No. 44
Relief pitcher
Born: (1981-09-17) September 17, 1981 (age 32)
Orange, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 27, 2006 for the Toronto Blue Jays
Career statistics
(through 2013 season)
Win–loss record 26–21
Earned run average 3.48
Strikeouts 340
WHIP 1.22
Saves 65

Robert Casey Janssen (born September 17, 1981) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball. He pitched for two seasons in various levels of the Blue Jays' minor league organization before his debut in 2006 as a starting pitcher. Janssen was moved to the bullpen as a middle reliever and spot starter from 2007 to 2011, and in 2012 he was put in the closers role.

Early life[edit]

Janssen was born in Orange, California, and graduated from Fountain Valley High School in Fountain Valley, California.[1] He played college baseball at the University of California, Los Angeles.[2]

Minor League career[edit]

He was selected by the Blue Jays out of UCLA in the fourth round of the 2004 draft.[3] When an injury to A. J. Burnett created an opening in the Blue Jays' rotation, Janssen was promoted from the Syracuse Chiefs and made his major-league debut against the Baltimore Orioles on April 27, 2006.

Major League career[edit]

Janssen on August 7, 2011.

Janssen won his first two games against the Los Angeles Angels, both times posting solid outings, allowing fewer than three hits over seven innings each.

In 2007, with multiple injuries to the Blue Jays rotation and bullpen, Janssen made a move to the bullpen and performed very well as the set-up man for interim closer Jeremy Accardo. He led the bullpen in innings pitched, and was second in team saves with six. Janssen established himself as one of the best in the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen as well as in the American League.

Janssen missed the entire 2008 season with a torn labrum. He was expected to make a full recovery and to be ready for Spring Training 2009 either out of the bullpen or as a starter, but suffered a setback and did not make the Opening Day 2009 roster for Toronto.

On May 23, 2009, Janssen returned to action facing the Atlanta Braves in interleague play, going 6 innings and giving up 8 hits and 3 earned runs in a 4–3 decision giving him his first loss of the season.

On June 17, 2009, it was announced that Janssen was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 14, with inflammation of his right shoulder.[4]

On February 13, 2012, Janssen signed a two-year, $5.9 million extension with the Blue Jays. His deal includes a $4 million club option for 2014. He will earn $2 million in 2012 and $3.9 million in 2013. In arbitration, Janssen asked for $2.2 million, but the Jays countered with $1.8 million. His contract will cover his final arbitration year and his first free-agent year. He was scheduled to have an arbitration hearing the next day.[5]

On November 16, 2012, Janssen had surgery to repair "lingering AC joint soreness".[6] Janssen was voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) as the top Blue Jays pitcher of 2012, narrowly edging out Brandon Morrow.[7] On February 5, 2013, manager John Gibbons said that, barring injury, Janssen would have the closer role for the start of the 2013 regular season, over teammate Sergio Santos. Janssen recorded a career-high 22 saves in 2012.[8]

Janssen opened the 2013 season with 12 consecutive saves before blowing his first save of the season on June 8, against the Texas Rangers. The Blue Jays would come back to win the game 4–3 in 18 innings, the longest game in franchise history.[9] On August 4, in a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Janssen earned his 50th career save. He recorded his 30th save of the 2013 season against the Baltimore Orioles on September 14.[10]

Pitching style[edit]

Janssen relies mostly on a four-seam fastball in the 91–93 mph range, and a cutter at 90–91. He also features a sweeping curveball (76–78), a two-seam fastball (low 90s), and a slider (mid-80s). The slider is almost exclusively used against right-handed hitters, with the two-seamer being its replacement against left-handers. Janssen's curveball has become an excellent "out pitch"; in 2012, batters hit .128 against it, and its whiff rate was 39%.[11]

Janssen has become an excellent control pitcher, walking only 1.6 batters per 9 innings in 2012. He has emphasized a low walk rate in becoming a successful pitcher: "I pride myself, as much as I can, in not walking hitters. ... I can live with giving up hits — they're going to happen — but walks are tougher to swallow."[12]


  1. ^ "Casey Janssen Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Casey Janssen". ESPN MLB. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Casey Janssen". Baseball-Reference.Com. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Associated Press (February 13, 2012). "Casey Janssen and Blue Jays avoid arbitration, agree to $5.9 million, 2-year deal". Washington Post. 
  6. ^ Lott, John (November 27, 2012). "Blue Jays Casey Janssen undergoes surgery for "nagging" shoulder injury". Retrieved November 28, 2012. 
  7. ^ Chisholm, Gregor (November 28, 2012). "Edwin Encarnacion named Blue Jays' top player by BBWAA". Retrieved November 28, 2012. 
  8. ^ Toman, Chris (February 5, 2013). "Janssen retains job as Blue Jays' closer". Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  9. ^ Kennedy, Brendan (June 8, 2013). "Toronto Blue Jays win longest game in 18 innings". Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  10. ^ Chisholm, Gregor (September 15, 2013). "Janssen reaches 30 save mark in impressive season". Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool – Player Card: Casey Janssen". Retrieved 26 October 2012. 
  12. ^ Laurila, David (October 26, 2012). "Q&A: Casey Janssen on Saves & the Save Rule". Fangraphs. Retrieved 26 October 2012. 

External links[edit]