I like Casey Janssen. He’s a good pitcher, he seems like a good guy, he’s got a great nickname (Dirty!) and that led Squizz (the other poster on this site and a contributor to a great soccer site) to name Dirty’s fastball the Swayze Express.
How can you not like a pitcher who can throw the Swayze Express?
No, I don’t have a problem with Janssen. What I have a problem with is how the Jays are using the man called Dirty.
This may be a bit of an unpopular opinion after Dirty’s solid performance Monday night against the Texas Rangers of Arlington, but Janssen should be working out of the bullpen, not the rotation. Just take a look at his career splits.
As a starter, Janssen’s ERA is 5.23, with a WHIP of 1.381 and batters have gone .286/.335/.453/.788. Working out of the pen, Janssen’s numbers are dirty: 2.27 ERA, 1.221 WHIP and batters have gone .253/.308/.354/.662 against him. It’s pretty clear that, over his career, Janssen’s been a lot more effective out of the pen.
This is not to say that he’s not useful in the rotation, but with some of the difficulties that the pen has had in the last little while and the fact that Brett Cecil, Bobby Ray, David Purcey and Fabio Castro could all step into the rotation (not to mention a certain 305-game winner who just happens to be looking for a team) maybe the Jays would be better served with Janssen being the dominant 1-2 inning guy he was before getting injured.
The other problem I have with how Janssen’s being used is what it’s doing to Captain Canada. Before Dirty’s return to the big club, Scott Richmond was being called the de facto No. 2 starter on the team by better-known bloggers than myself.
After Dirty’s return, Richmond went from being de facto No. 2 (and doing a pretty good of it) to being a spare part. Saturday’s game was not what you might expect from a former de facto No. 2, but it was also Richmond’s first start since May 24. That’s nearly two weeks between starts, and he only made one relief appearance in between. How can you expect a guy to be spot on when he’s getting so little time on the mound?
Also, why would you throw him out there after two weeks to face a lineup in which six of the hitters would be facing him from the left side? If Richmond’s got a real weakness, it’s that he’s not so good at handling lefty-dominated lineups.
What I really want to know is what happened to make Cito seemingly lose faith in Richmond? For a guy who’s showing a frustratingly unbelievable amount of patience with Vernon Wells (and to a lesser extent, Alex Rios), he sure is quick to turn on his pitchers.