Janssen looking forward to setup role with Nats
Former Blue Jays closer embracing job of getting ball to Storen
Casey Janssen played eight seasons with the Blue Jays and saved 90 games. After the 2014 season, the right-hander became a free agent, and he signed a one-year deal with the Nationals on Jan. 28 to become the team's setup man.
MLB.com caught up with the 33-year-old recently to talk about his time with the Blue Jays and what he expects from the Nationals.
MLB.com: What made you decide to sign with the Nationals?
Janssen: From the success that they have had so far and what they have done in the offseason, it seemed like a no-brainer to me. I was able to solve a problem. So it was exciting from that standpoint.
MLB.com: You have experience as a closer. Have the Nationals told you what your role would be?
Janssen: I talked to [general manager] Mike Rizzo and [manager] Matt Williams, and they both said, "You are going to pitch quality innings in the game." They said Drew Storen is our closer. My job is to get the ball to him. I'm going to embrace that role and try to get him the ball with the lead.
MLB.com: You were with the Blue Jays for eight seasons. What are you going to miss about Toronto?
Janssen: Toronto was great to me. Obviously, the Blue Jays drafted me, they promoted me and they gave me an opportunity. For that, I'll be forever grateful. The fans were unbelievable during my career. They supported me. They understood me. We had a very dear working relationship. My wife is from there. Toronto will always be remembered. I'm sure I'll be making visits to see her family.
MLB.com: You were sick after the All-Star break last year. How are you feeling?
Janssen: I feel great. I had a very motivated offseason. During the All-Star break, I enjoyed a few days in the Dominican. I came back the Thursday before the first game. I had a little bit of a wishy-washy stomach. I went to use the restroom. I don't think I left for 10 hours. It was about 1:30 a.m. until about 11 a.m. I lost about nine or 10 pounds. I was very weak. I had some kind of food poisoning. I don't know exactly what it was.
MLB.com: What did you do this offseason in terms of getting back in shape?
Janssen: I got married, had a little bit of a honeymoon. I got to work -- lifting weights, getting stronger. I had my first bullpen [session] a couple of days ago. I'm excited to continue and get to Florida.