Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Jason Frasor stretches during practice.
Credits: (REUTERS FILES/Mike Cassese)
TORONTO - It took eight years and eight one-year contracts but Jason Frasor finally has a spot in the Blue Jays record book.
By pitching in the ninth inning of Sunday's 7-2 loss to the Yankees, the right-handed reliever, who turns 34 Aug. 9, set a club record for most career appearances by a Jays pitcher. It marked his 453rd appearance, one more than fellow reliever Duane Ward.
It was a special achievement for Frasor, who was acquired in March of 2004 in a trade that sent outfield prospect Jayson Werth to the Dodgers.
"It is special and it does seem like (relief) pitchers bounce around, not only from league to league and team to team but sometimes they go to Japan and come back or something," Frasor said. "I'm just very, very proud. I don't know how many relievers have stuck with one team for that long. I can't imagine it's too many and I'm very proud of that.
"In Toronto here I've met my wife, got a Canadian dog, bought a condo here, so I have some roots here now and I feel very fortunate. I got traded here in '04 and eight years later I never thought I'd still be here but that's the way it's worked out and I'm very thankful for that."
In his early years with the Jays, Frasor didn't have all the confidence in the world as he was constantly on the bubble of making the team. But the fact that he could throw 93-95 with his four-seam fastball -- he later developed a nasty change/splitter -- and could be used effectively in any capacity over the final three innings, kept him on the team.
"The springs of 2007, 2008 were kind of hairy," he recalled. "I don't know if guys got hurt and they said, 'What the heck, let's put him back on the team.' I said a few times I thought I was traded at the end of spring training but our GM must have asked for the other team's best player and the trade fell through or something.
"But, yeah, it's eight great years man. I don't know how many more but if they offer me a contract, I know I'll have to keep coming back."