Casey Janssen has been the Toronto Blue Jays closer for almost a year now. In that time he’s saved almost every game he’s closed. Not only has he been saving games but he seems to do it with easy 1-2-3 innings. He hasn’t given Blue Jays fans many opportunities to sweat during the 9th inning.
The most amazing thing about Janssen’s success as closer besides how dominant he’s been is how he seems to be taken for granted.
Of course there have been millions of shut down closers that have been taken for granted in the history of baseball so that’s nothing new.
But the Blue Jays aren’t a team that should have fans that take a good closer for granted. Closing out games was a HUGE problem before Janssen became closer. There were dark dark days when we would sweat during every 9th inning the Jays had a lead in. That alone should make Janssen more appreciated.
Before Janssen the Jays had a revolving door of closers with little to almost no success. And not just for 1 or 2 seasons either, for years.
Francisco Cordero, Sergio Santos, Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, BJ Ryan, etc, all got the opportunity to close out games for the Jays over the years but eventually lost the role because of inconsistency.
In 2011 the Blue Jays blew 25 games! I don’t remember how many of those games resulted in losses but the Jays missed out on a playoff spot by 10 games that season so a shutdown closer might have made a big enough difference to get them in, or at least would have put them in contention that September.
A closer blowing the lead in a 9th is a painful way to lose games to. There’s nothing worse than seeing your team battle to get a lead for 3 hours and see it taken away in the last inning of the game.
With Casey Janssen as the Blue Jays closer that’s not going to be a problem most of the time. It hasn’t taken that long to get used to Janssen saving games but if you remember life as a Blue Jays fan before Janssen it’s hard not to appreciate the heck out of him.