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Despite struggles, Janssen staying in closer's role

Despite struggles, Janssen staying in closer's role

TORONTO -- Casey Janssen hasn't experienced a lot of success lately, but that doesn't mean his job as the Blue Jays' closer is in jeopardy.

Janssen blew a save opportunity against Tampa Bay on Saturday, and the following day he had to be pulled from his outing after allowing a pair of hits and retiring one batter.

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The veteran right-hander was slated to be unavailable Monday following his back-to-back appearances, but when he does return to the mound later this week, it will be in the same role he's had for the past two years.

"We need him to be good, we need him to pick it up, that's for sure," manager John Gibbons said. "But we could say that about a few guys. We haven't decided to [remove him from his role]."

Janssen has allowed 10 earned runs in 13 2/3 innings since the All-Star break. He's the type of reliever that relies on control as opposed to overpowering opposing hitters, but lately, that ability has eluded him.

The 32-year-old has struggled with his fastball command, which has led to other teams sitting on his offspeed pitches. Even with the recent woes, Janssen has 19 saves in 23 opportunities this year and the Blue Jays continue to insist his surgically repaired shoulder hasn't been an issue.

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.

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