The baseball world is becoming well acquainted with Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland and rightfully so. Could those three be one of the best back of the bullpen combination in history? That will take more research than time allows today, but certainly in a post-season full of good bullpens (not you, Detroit), I don’t think many would trade those three for anyone else.
That said, last night, the sixth inning belonged to Jason Frasor. Acquired in mid-July in a not very noteworthy move made at a time when many of us were demanding big moves, Frasor has been around. Eleven full seasons of ‘being around’.
Frasor debuted in the majors at age twenty-six way back in 2004. Since then, Jason has made one trip to the minors: a pretty impressive feat for a non-closer type reliever. He spent most of his eleven year career in Toronto, spread over two stints. He was traded by the Blue Jays to the White Sox in a deal that involved Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen, then traded by the White Sox back to the Blue Jays a year later.
The right-hander has not been awarded a save since 2010. He has never made more than $3.7 million in any one season. He could sit down at the airport bar next to you and you would have no idea who he was. Well, you might now, but you would not have a month ago.
Six hundred and forty-seven regular season appearances.
After facing 2,620 major league hitters and having struck out more of them than he allowed base hits to, Jason Frasor finally made his first post-season appearance in the Wild Card game against Oakland (a game in which he was awarded the win). Eleven years and 619 innings worth of being ‘one of the other guys in the bullpen’ before pitching when it really, really mattered.
Now, cry not for Jason Frasor. That is a heck of a gig to be a reliever and made just one shuttle to the minor leagues in eleven years. Few of us would turn down an 11 year run that yielded $17 million in total salary. In the baseball world, however, Jason Frasor is just ‘one of the other guys’ and on the Royals he might well be the FIFTH best reliever in the bullpen. There is a decent chance that somewhere in the excitement of the past month, you might well have forgotten – however momentarily – that Jason Frasor was a member of your Kansas City Royals.
Last night, however, in just the fourth post-season appearance of the 36 year old’s career, Jason Frasor came on in the sixth inning of a tie-game and mowed down the heart of the Oriole order as he bridged the gap between Jeremy Guthrie and the three-headed cyborg monster cerebus inadequately nick-named trio that dominates the later innings on behalf of the Kansas City Royals.
It was a big appearance when it really, really mattered. A minor move by Dayton Moore back in July that paid off in October. Nice work, Dayton Moore. Good for you, Jason Frasor, you earned it.