05/14/2009 1:58 PM ET
Jason Frasor: Hot start helps Jays
Reliever has been in command with just one walk in 2009
I'm off to one of the best starts of my career with four wins and a save out of the bullpen this year. But while I'm pleased with my results so far, I also find myself conscious of trying to avoid dips in the road. I really want to keep it up.
I've had good starts in the past, and things have gone south from there. I've struggled midseason before finishing up strong, and that's a pattern I'm hoping to avoid this year.
In the past, I've let one bad outing snowball into another. I'm still working on that part of it, but hopefully I can avoid big innings in general. I've noticed that very rarely have I given up just one run at a time during the times I've struggled. Rather, I gave up runs in bunches.
So my goal is to be consistent. I believe I've learned from my past struggles after strong starts. One of the keys for me is, I think, important for any reliever: You have to have a short memory and forget about the last inning, the last hitter and even the last pitch.
When you inevitably have a bad outing, you need to create the mindset of wanting to get back out to the mound and regroup.
One of the main reasons for my early success this year has been my ability to throw strikes. I've walked just one guy this year, and I joke that, instead of walking a guy, I'm going to give up fly balls to the warning track.
When you're out there trying to get three outs, walks will just kill you. It seems like that guy always comes around to score, so it's about keeping things simple: make them hit the ball and keep your walks down.
Another thing that makes me happy about the way I've pitched this year is that the club has really needed me to throw the ball well. We've had a lot of injuries to our pitching staff, and as a veteran guy, it feels good to contribute.
We're six weeks into the season, and I feel I've already helped our team win more games than I did all of last season. You don't want to be out there when the game is out of reach. You want to contribute, and you want to contribute to a winning team, and that's what I've been doing. It feels good.
Jason Frasor, a 31-year-old Chicago native who was originally drafted by the Tigers in the 33rd round of the 1999 Draft out of Southern Illinois, has pitched in nearly 300 games in six seasons with the Blue Jays. In 12 2/3 innings over 14 appearances this year, Frasor has a 4-0 record with a save and a 0.71 ERA. He's allowed just one walk, and opposing batters are hitting just .167 against him.