Casey Janssen gives classy farewell to Blue Jays fans and teammates
For eight seasons, Casey Janssen sported the maple leaf of the Toronto Blue Jays with pride and honor. On Monday morning, Janssen officially closed that chapter of his baseball career with a fond farewell message via Twitter.
The one sentence, “I wish so badly that we could have brought a World Series home to you,” characterizes the type of gentleman and teammate that Janssen truly was. It also sheds a bit of light on the heartbreak that these players have gone through while the playoffs have eluded the Blue Jays since 1993.
Drafted in the 4th round of the 2004 MLB Draft by the Blue Jays, Casey Janssen made his debut as a starter for the Blue Jays, going 6-10 with a 5.07 ERA during his rookie campaign of 2006. After a couple of yo-yo seasons between the bullpen and the rotation, and a torn rotator cuff that cost him the 2008 season, Janssen settled into the bullpen full-time partway through the 2009 season.
More from Jays Journal
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
- Toronto Blue Jays: Has the Shift Killed Kevin Gausman’s 2022 Cy Young Hopes?
- Blue Jays: What Yusei Kikuchi’s latest stumble should mean
Casey Janssen would make 300 appearances between the 2009 and 2014 seasons, collecting 84 saves in the process. For a pitcher without a plus fastball, Janssen still managed to strike-out batters at a 7.9 K/9 clip, utilizing his full starter’s arsenal in order to keep hitters off balance.
However, for all the good that Janssen did in the Blue Jays bullpen over the years, his tenure in Toronto ended acrimoniously. A rough second half in 2014 led to the Blue Jays pulling Janssen out of the closer role late in the 2014 season, and feelings were obviously hurt. Whether it was a difference of opinion or simply a lack of proper communication, Janssen was used sparing over the last month of the season and a separation was all but assured.
Overall, Casey Janssen made the 5th most appearances in Blue Jays history (389) and ranks 4th in saves with 90. Yet it was a classy act like this that was truly the biggest save of his career. By paying homage to the fans and the only only organization he has known to this point, Janssen preserves his legacy with the Blue Jays and his place among the great men of the game.
Best of luck with the Washington Nationals Mr. Janssen, and thank you for your efforts as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays and the baseball community as a whole. Now, if you have any recommendations of who to look to to close games next season, that would be greatly appreciated!