While everyone seems to be baseballically ejaculating over the acquiring of Colby Rasmus, I can’t help but be at least momentarily saddened by the loss of Jason Frasor.
If cheesey clips on Sportsnet of late are to be believed, he seemed to really enjoy playing for Toronto and even seemed content to perhaps retire here.
Through 8 seasons with the team, Frasor put up quite respectable numbers, including a 3.69 ERA, a WHIP of 1.29 and 8.3 SO/9. Of course, he also was the franchise leader in pitching appearances, which isn’t altogether too useful a stat aside from to point out that he obviously quite enjoys living in Toronto and playing for the Blue Jays organization.
He might have just been the definition of underrated during his tenure in Toronto, for a couple reasons. First, he plays in Canada and unless your name is Jose Bautista, you aren’t getting too much media attention playing outside of America.
Secondly, he’s a middle reliever, a group of ballplayers who as a whole typically seem to go largely unnoticed in baseball unless they have some sort of weird gimmick or quirk, or if they blow a game. Seriously, not many baseball headlines or ledes are penned glorifying the solid inning and a third a reliever threw to earn a hold, yet, blow a lead and you might just find yourself being the story on any given night.
It’s in a way the least glorious and most unenviable role on a pitching staff (seriously, how many young kids grow up hoping they can become a workmanlike middle reliever in the bigs?). That being said, Frasor handled his role well and with a professional approach throughout his career, whether it was being asked to close, go long relief or pitch in pretty much any inning.
I’m sure Frasor will continue to have a respectable career in Chicago. Perhaps he will get some more attention and perhaps he will even get a sniff of a pennant race or even playoff baseball. I guess my point in all this is that while it’s great the Jays were able to pick up a potential impact player for a pitching prospect, middle relievers (easy enough to replace) and Corey Patterson (not very good at baseball), our excitement should be tempered slightly, if only in respect for a guy who was quite reliable, sturdy and loyal over nearly a decade in Toronto.
Good luck in the Windy City, Frasor!
*I should also note that I’m saddened by the loss of Marc Rzepczynski and while I’m by no means hoping his career spirals after leaving Toronto, as he seems like a standup dude, perhaps his career arc will follow similarly to Jesse Carlson’s after he gains more experience in the league (Carlson having been lights out in his first season as a reliever, but then significantly less so in the following year after the league became more used to him as a pitcher).