Janssen goes consecutive days for save

Janssen goes consecutive days for save

TORONTO -- Casey Janssen wasn't sure if he'd be able to pitch on back-to-back days early this season, but he was ready when called upon on Thursday night.

Janssen, who threw a scoreless inning against the Indians on Wednesday, was back at it the following day. This time, he recorded a 1-2-3 ninth inning to protect a 10-8 lead and secure his first save of the season.

It was a quick and easy inning, but one that becomes even more impressive considering that just hours earlier Janssen didn't know if he'd be available to pitch or not.

"I feel okay, I'll know more when I play catch and see how it goes," Janssen said prior to the game. "But you can't incorporate a game situation, even in Spring Training. When you turn those bright lights on, it's a different beast."

The Blue Jays fully expect to monitor Janssen's workload during the first few weeks of the year. That's one of the reasons Toronto opted to carry an eight-man bullpen after third baseman Brett Lawrie was placed on the 15-day disabled list in March.

Janssen wasn't feeling anything unusual in his right shoulder after Wednesday's game besides normal soreness. It's just that he might take a little longer to recover from each outing until he gets more innings under his belt.

The native of California appeared in just two Grapefruit League games and three Minor League games this spring. That wasn't an ideal number of innings, but was just enough to be made available at the start of the year.

"If I can, I'm going to do it," Janssen said before the game. "If they want to protect a little bit, it's understandable. It's a process. But I'm going to pitch every day that I can, and every day that they allow me to."

Janssen's availability became even more crucial considering fellow late-inning reliever Sergio Santos was unavailable after having pitched in the first two games of the season.

That would have left the Blue Jays having to use either Steve Delabar or Darren Oliver in a save situation. Instead, Janssen received permission to pitch. He has already been ruled out for Friday night's game against the Red Sox to get some much-needed rest.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.