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9/17/1981 (35 y, 5 m, 2 d)
2004 June Amateur Draft - Round: 4, Pick: 16, Overall: 117, Team: Toronto Blue Jays
$5M / 1 Years (2015) + 1 Option Years
Janssen was released by the Red Sox on Sunday, Mark Polishuk of MLBTradeRumors.com reports. (8/7/2016)
Sunday Notes: Dickerson, Velo Bias, Melancon in DC»
David Laurila (FanGraphs)
MASH Report (3/30/15)
Jeff Zimmerman (RotoGraphs)
Just What Happened to Casey Janssen?
Jeff Sullivan (FanGraphs)
Nationals Get Casey Janssen, Hope for Old Casey Ja»
Eno Sarris (FanGraphs)
You Can Still Build a Full and Complete Bullpen
Mike Petriello (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Casey Janssen took over for the departed Scott Downs in the Toronto bullpen in 2011, and put up the best numbers of his career, in terms of ERA, FIP and xFIP. He was downright dominant, and actually performed better against left-handed hitters than right. In 55.2 innings of work, Jannsen improved on his career-high strikeout rate of 2010, improving from 8.26 to 8.57 per nine. Janssen’s WHIP was a stellar 1.10, as he walked only 14 batters all year. There’s not a lot to dislike about Janssen: he gets batters to ground out and his homerun rate of 4.3% is to die for. If you’re looking for value out of a middle reliever, look no further than Casey Janssen, who will play an integral role out of the Toronto bullpen in 2012. If you're like the other 90% of fantasy leagues that don't get much value from middle relievers, just enjoy the extra 's' in his last name. (Navin Vaswani)
The Quick Opinion:
Janssen’s the set-up man for new Toronto closer Sergio Santos, and is looking to make it three impressive seasons in a row out of the Blue Jays bullpen. His strikeout rate makes him a valuable reliever, and worthy of a pick in any league.
Casey Janssen got new business cards in 2012, his job title changed to “Closer.” After Sergio Santos was lost to Toronto to shoulder surgery, Janssen took over. He stepped into the role without missing a beat, putting up similar numbers to his 2011 campaign while posting 22 saves. Both Janssen’s 9.47 strikeout rate and 2.99 xFIP were career bests, and with his velocity steady in the low 90s, there’s no reason to think he can’t deliver strikeouts out of the Toronto bullpen at the very least. Janssen is, however, coming off minor shoulder surgery during the offseason, and will be battling for the closer’s job with the aforementioned Santos, who owns more traditional closer's velocity. Janssen is a key cog in the Blue Jays’ pen, and your fantasy team could do worse in middle relief. Consider any saves a bonus. (Navin Vaswani)
The Quick Opinion:
Casey Janssen is a reliable member of the Blue Jays’ bullpen, good for 50-65 innings, a low ERA, and a healthy strikeout rate. He pounds the strike zone and doesn’t walk a lot of batters, and will be competing for the closer’s job in Toronto against Sergio Santos. Your fantasy team could do a lot worse in relief.
Casey Janssen seems like he has been in Toronto forever, but it has been during the last three seasons when he has come into his own. He has quietly become a very good reliever, andthe closer in Toronto despite their attempts to go in different directions. Janssen is not a flamethrower (his fastball averages about 91 or 92), but he mixes in a sinker and a hard cutter, a curve, a slider, and even an occasional change. That mix -- and elite command -- allows him to be almost as good against lefties as righties. He has strikeout and walk rates substantially better than average, and though he is not an extreme ground-baller, generally keeps the ball in the park. Any closer is going to have substantial value in leagues that count saves, but Janssen is no Jose Valverde -- he is legitimately good. He is not in the same level as, say, Aroldis Chapman, Craig Kimbrel, or Greg Holland, but he is at the top of the second tier. (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
Janssen has quietly become one a very good reliever, and he is Toronto's closer. After the likes of Greg Holland, Craig Kimbrel, and Aroldis Chapman, he is one of the better fantasy reliever values in leagues that count saves.
When looking at a player's performance for the purposes of projection, how heavily should one weigh a really nasty case of food poisoning? Seriously. Casey Janssen apparently got a brutal case of food poisoning over the All-Star break, losing eight pounds in 10 hours at one point. Delicious. His numbers did get worse in the second half, with his walk rate in particular shooting up. Even if one buys food poisoning as the explanation of Janssen's second-half collapse, that would not explain why his strikeout rate was pretty constant throughout the season, and was not up to his pre-2014 standard. His fastball velocity was actually higher in August and September than earlier in the year. Obviously, movement, release point, and other things could have been changed by the food poisoning, but again, there were issues before the incident. Janssen is a free agent as of this writing, and despite the down 2014, will obviously get a job somewhere. However, given what was said above about his 2014 performance (and his fastball velocity has been dropping for a few years), do not consider him among the top fantasy relievers any more. Clearly, in the event he gets handed a closer job, his value in category leagues will jump up. Moreover, even if he is given a lesser role, teams still love "closer experience," so that might put him in line for saves if other relievers falter. Janssen is definitely to be watched in leagues where relievers are useful, but even among the setup men, he is probably not among the elite unless he is in line for saves. (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
It might be easy to say put Casey Janssen's struggles in 2014 down to a mid-season bout of food poisoning. However, problems with velocity and his strikeout rate were apparent before it. Watch him on draft day, but without save opportunities, he should not be considered an elite fantasy reliever.
Janssen saved 81 games for the Blue Jays from 2012-2014, but didn’t save a single game in Washington, what with Drew Storen, and then Jonathan Papelbon, anchoring the Nats pen. His velocity has gone down every year since 2011, sitting just under 89 mph with the fastball in 2015. His four-seamer, cutter, and slider don’t generate a ton of strikeouts, and his 11.4% strikeout minus walk rate wasn’t something that you look for from your bullpen. Less than 30% of the balls that are hit off him end up on the ground, and he also has a 30% hard-hit rate. His numbers aren’t great shakes, and with relievers throwing harder than ever, if you’re barely cracking 89 on the radar gun, you better be generating whiffs or soft contact, and Janssen just isn’t. He’s too young to be done, so you’ll see him coming out of a major-league bullpen in 2016. Keep an eye on the guys in front of him, because with the saves on his resume, there is always a chance that if everything falls just right (or wrong for the team he’s on), he could grab a few saves in 2016. It’s a very small chance though. (Darren Schienbein)
The Quick Opinion:
A free agent at the time of this writing, Janssen likely won’t end up closing anywhere in 2016. He was the closer in Toronto through 2014, but filled a set-up role in Washington last year. He’s not going to be going in many drafts, but depending on where he signs, he could be an astute waiver wire pickup at some point.
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Updated: Sunday, February 19, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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