Because, with apologies to Anthony Andro of Fox Sports Southwest, I don’t happen to follow Anthony Andro of Fox Sports Southwest on Twitter, it was the staggeringly invaluable MLBTR that shot this one my way this hour:
Rangers sign RHP Jason Frasor to one-year deal. Catcher Eli Whiteside DFA’d to make room.
— Anthony Andro (@aandro) January 3, 2013
First off, poor Eli Whiteside, getting passed around this winter like some hackneyed joke at a hackneyed joke convention.
But, of course, also: Bon voyage to the Sausage King, whose departure I’m sure will be met with glee by a number of Jays fans, among whom I don’t quite count myself. Though… it’s kinda undeniable that Frasor hasn’t been nearly as effective over the last two years as he was in 2009 and 2010, when he was posting ERAs and FIPs and xWHATNOTS substantially below four.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s been OK, but that’s kind of the thing: when he’s not producing, he sure as fuck can be unbearable to watch. We can even quantify this, as per FanGraphs, of 426 pitchers with 30 or more innings in 2012, Frasor had the eighth-slowest pace (average time between pitches) among them.
By these same parameters, he was the 22nd slowest in 2011, 34th in 2010, and sixth in 2009. He’s never been a quick worker, and I tend to believe that this has magnified some of his flaws, making him tough to watch in pointless, low-leverage, lets-get-this-game-over-with situations, and even worse as he painstakingly wrings every ounce of dread out of his higher leverage affairs.
Entirely anecdotally, I’ve always suspected that this is a major part of why he was somewhat underappreciated, even for a halfway decent middle reliever. The meltdowns always seemed to sting more with him, and my sense was that a lot of folks felt his better performances came in situations that were less crucial.
All of this, I suppose, is just a long way of saying that he’s a decent enough reliever with some good seasons on his resume– who, in fact, seems to have maybe been BABIP’d and HR/FB%’d to death a little bit over the last three years– but one that I sure as shit-ugar am not going to miss watching pitch. And I say that believing fully that the Jays still probably need to add another piece not entirely unlike him to their ‘pen.
But those are out there, and ultimately, I can’t not wish Frasor well, and look forward to the first time the Jays get to sink their teeth into him as a member of the Rangers.
I think I can even get past the fact that back in November he had the scones to tell Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com that “maybe my two most enjoyable months in the big leagues were with the White Sox. It was just a great team, a great group of guys and going somewhere else and seeing what another big league clubhouse is like — it kind of opened my eyes.”
The comment makes more sense when you think back to the disasterfuck that was the last few months of John Farrell’s stewardship, and remember that Chicago is Frasor’s hometown, and, y’know, get past the idea that the Jays ought to have some kind of monopoly on good times and good people.
Though… OK, maybe it is a little bit odd, given that those were his only two months playing elsewhere, over the span of nine big league seasons, but that sort of was his point, wasn’t it? I think it reflects a lot worse on the Jays than it does him, though I may just be unable to get worked up about it since I exhausted most of my ability to get worked up this afternoon by driving myself batty trying to track the quote down.
Anywho… yeah. Frasor. It was times.
Oh, and at Getting Blanked, Drew pretty much hits the nail on the head on this. And in a much more succinct and timely manner, to boot! Yet with the same keen eye for a decent-looking picture from the Getty archive that you’ve come to expect from over here.