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Happy Birthday Jason Frasor

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images

Jason Frasor turns 43 today

Jason is our franchise leader in games pitched, with 505 (no one is beating down the door to pass him), and yet we forget about him. I don’t know that he was anyone’s favorite.

Jason was drafted in the 33rd round of the 1999 draft by the Detroit Tigers out of the Southern Illinois University. The Tigers traded him to the Dodgers in 2002 as a ‘player to be named later’ in a trade for Hiram Bocachica. Then, before the 2004 season, JP Ricciardi traded Jayson Werth to the Dodgers to get Frasor, who he wanted for the closer role with the Jays.

It wasn’t the best of trades but Werth hadn’t shown much in a couple of trials with the Jays and he really didn’t do much in 2 seasons with the Dodgers either. It wasn’t until 2007, after he signed as a free agent with the Phillies, that he became a full-time outfielder.

Frasor kind of shared the closer role with Justin Speier, in 2004. Jason saved 17 games, with 2 blown. He finished 4-6 with a 4.08 ERA in 63 games. In 68.1 innings he gave up 64 hits, walked 36 and struck out 54.

In 2005, the Jays gave Miguel Batista the closer job (he got 31 saves) and Frasor was the setup man. He picked up 15 holds. He pitched better than his rookie year, getting a 3.25 ERA in 67 games.

From 2006 to 2008 he stayed in the setup/middle relief roles, with the Jays signing B.J. Ryan to close for them (Jeremy Accardo had 30 saves in 2007 with Ryan out after Tommy John surgery) with ERA’s of 4.32, 4.58 and 4.18.

In 2009 Ryan flamed out and Cito shared the save opportunities between Frasor and Scott Downs. Frasor had 11 saves (with 3 blown), Downs 9, but Downs had a couple of injuries. Frasor had a 2.50 ERA (best of his career, so far. In 61 games he went 7-3, allowing 43 hits, 16 walks, with 56 strikeouts in 57.2 innings.

Frasor came out of spring training, in 2010, with the closer’s job. But, with 2 blown saves, in his first 5 chances, he lost it again. A little tip for anyone that wants a closer job, don’t have a bad start to the season (see Frank Francisco). At the end of April, Jason had a 8.38, with 3 saves, 2 blown saves (one getting him a loss) and 2 holds. By season end, he had brought his ERA down to 3.68, going 3-4, with 4 saves and 14 holds. In 69 games, he threw 63.2 innings, giving up 61 hits, 27 walks, with 65 strikeouts.

After the 2010 season, Jason was a free agent, but the Type A status hurt his ability to find a deal with another team. No one was willing to give up a first round draft choice for a middle reliever in his 30’s, so he ended up signing with the Jays.

In 2011 Jason got into his 453rd game with the Jays, passing Duane Ward for the appearances by a pitcher. He got into a couple more games and then was traded, with Zack Stewart, to the White Sox for Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen. Then Edwin was moved to St. Louis, with Scrabble, Octavio Dotel and Corey Patterson for Colby Rasmus and bunch of guys that would be released within a month.

After the season, the Jays traded to get him back, sending Myles Jaye and Daniel Webb to Chicago. Webb pitched in 94 games for the White Sox with a 4.50 ERA.

Frasor got into 50 games with a 4.12 ERA. From there he went to the Rangers, Royals and Braves. 2015 was his last season in the majors.

Jason wasn’t great but he was a good pitcher for the Jays for a long time. He wasn’t overpowering, but he was good. The length of time he spent between pitches could be annoying at times. I’m pretty sure I wrote entire posts between his pitches on occasion.

Jason is married to Laura Schmidt, a Canadian and have two kids.

Jason Frasor’s place among Blue Jay pitching leaders: