Friday, June 10, 2011

John Farrell's New High Leverage Toy

Life in the bullpen is nothing if not liquid. Guys falter, guys step up, there is always somebody ready to take over your role the moment your fail. Especially in a 'pen without a bonafied head honcho.

As such, a guy demoted to Triple A as recently as April is suddenly an important high-leverage reliever for these Blue Jays. Casey Janssen, lovable labrum surgery recovery case, part-time lesbian, and key back of the rotation guy. Who knew?

I certainly didn't. Janssen thrives on his control, painting the corners of the strikezone with aplomb. His 6.1% 2011 swinging strike rate represents a career low and a below-average number, yet here he is, striking out 7 per nine innings, including 13 Ks out of the 44 right-handed batters faced.

Take a look at the average leverage of Janssen's outings, on a steady increase as the season progresses.

As much stick as we all give Farrell, it's encouraging to see him lean on a well-performing relief arm. I understand Casey Janssen's charms but he isn't exactly "my" kind of pitcher.

I still stand by my pre-season assessment of the bullpen - the holdover arms will fare just as well - if not better - than the free agent draft pick fodder bullpen options brought in this winter. Janssen wasn't a guy I had in mind, but he certainly deserves credit for his alligator blood.

Reuters image courtesy of Daylife, leverage stats etc. from Fangraphs.


  1. Lovely pic, and I don't normally edit for spelling etc. , but third paragraph "yet her his is," needs a little tweak so it makes sense.

    Keep posting away, and remember, Janssen is left handed if you look at him in the mirror.

  2. Also on the spelling kick, I'm not sure if "bonafied" is a creative adjective or just a misspelling of "bona fide."

    I've been defending Janssen for years now. He was really good in '07, and low strikeout rates don't change that. He doesn't give up homers or walks, and he's been solid whenever he's been used as a reliever except the one comeback blip. His rate stats are very Quantrillian.

  3. "Part-time Lesbian" is why I'm so happy to be a part of this site.

  4. Care to reveal your quota for a Brandon League mention?

    Otherwise, I'll stick to "unquantifiable, since every written word vaguely redirects to Brandon League".


Send forth the witticisms from on high