Casey Janssen turns 31 today. Casey has long been a favorite around here, we had an interview with him back in 2008.
Janssen first came up to the Jays at the end of April, 2006, to join the rotation. A.J. Burnett had to go on to the DL, something about scar tissue from his Tommy John surgery, back in 2003, breaking off in his arm. Casey started off pretty well, he had a 3-2 record and a 3.12 ERA in 6 starts for May. Things went down hill from there, he finished with at 6-10 with a 5.07 ERA.
In 2007 we had more pitching injuries, and Janssen was moved to the bullpen and we used as setup man for closer Jeremy Accardo. He had 24 holds, 6 saves and a 2.35 ERA in 70 games. He didn't strikeout many, just 39 in 72.2 innings, but he kept the ball on the ground and did a good job.
Casey missed all of the 2008 season, and the first month or so 2009, with a torn labrum. When he was ready to go, the Jays put him in the rotation. It didn't go well, in 5 starts he had a 6.23 ERA and he went back to the bullpen to stay.
He's done a great job since then, working in middle relief the last couple of years and, after the injury to Sergio Santos and the crappyness of Francisco Cordero, he's done a wonderful job as closer this season.
So Happy Birthday, Casey. Have a great one.