Jason Frasor wins closer gig in Toronto

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jason frasor headshot blue jays.jpgOne of the spring’s great dramas has finally reached its resolution, reports Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. Drumroll, everyone:

“Jason Frasor was my closer last year and he hasn’t done anything to
lose the job,” manager Cito Gaston said Friday afternoon
.

So, that’s that. Frasor was duking it out with Scott Downs and Kevin Gregg for the job this spring. The 32-year-old Frasor was 11-for-14 in save opportunities last season and notched 17 saves for the Blue Jays way back in 2004. Be sure to grab him in your fantasy leagues, people.

Interestingly, Elliott notes that Downs and Gregg are both still candidates to be traded. Although Gregg was signed to a one-year, $2.75 million contract in February, he can still be traded if he gives his permission. The Twins, who are currently seeking a replacement for Joe Nathan, had a scout in attendance during Friday’s game, according to Elliott.

With that out of the way, here’s my favorite tidbit from Elliott’s piece. Frasor said that he has a large container filled with signed baseballs over the years, ranging from Dave Stieb to Nolan Ryan. But he has a rather strict criteria for who gets to stay in the container. 

“Anyone accused of cheating like Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte I’ve
taken out of the container,” Frasor said. “I gave them to my dog, Kosmo,
to chew on.”

And with that, we have an early favorite for “Quote of the Day.” 

Cardinals shut down Carlos Martínez for two weeks due to shoulder issue

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosh reports that the Cardinals are shutting down pitcher Carlos Martínez from throwing for two weeks because his shoulder strength isn’t where it should have been at this point. Langosch added that an MRI showed no structural damage in Martínez’s right shoulder.

Interestingly, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak didn’t sound too happy with Martínez offseason training regimen. Per Mark Saxon of The Athletic, Mozeliak said, “Obviously, there’s a history with Carlos’ shoulder and it would be probably in everybody’s best interest if he maintained a constant or perpetual approach to that program.”

Martínez, 27, battled oblique and shoulder injuries last year. He accrued just 118 2/3 innings, making just 18 starts. He was moved to the bullpen when he returned from the disabled list in August and finished out the season in that role. Still, Martínez managed a 3.11 ERA with 117 strikeouts and 60 walks.

Langosch reported last week that the Cardinals were considering using Martínez in relief again in 2019. The latest news may push the Cardinals to indeed use Martínez out of the bullpen once again. He will be reevaluated in early March, but there is a chance he won’t be ready for Opening Day.