May 4, 2006
Toronto - Former UCLA right-handed pitcher Casey Janssen has made his debut in the Major Leagues, earning a spot in the Toronto Blue Jays' starting rotation. Janssen was a four-year letterwinner at UCLA from 2001-04, and ranks eighth all-time with 22 career wins as a Bruin.
Janssen made his Major League debut on April 27 in a start against the Baltimore Orioles. He tossed 4.0 innings, allowing just three runs (two earned) in a losing effort. Janssen would make his second-career start against the Orioles on May 2, going 6.0 innings with three strikeouts despite the loss.
Janssen, a Huntington Beach, Calif., native, enters the Major Leagues after a solid 2005 season. Last year, Janssen was promoted twice during the season, as he combined to pitch to a 13-4 record with a 2.12 ERA between Lansing, Dunedin and New Hampshire. He was a Blue Jays Organizational Pitcher of the Month winner, a Midwest League Pitcher of the Week honoree, a Midwest League All-Star Game selection, and a Blue Jays Minor League Star of the Month selection in June 2005. He struck out 139 batters in 152.2 innings pitched in 2005, and was named the 6th top prospect in the Blue Jays organization by Baseball America.
Janssen was a two-time draft pick, and was selected in the fourth round of the 2004 draft by the Blue Jays with the 117th overall pick. Janssen played at UCLA for four seasons, and as a senior went 10-4 with a 3.16 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 116.2 innings pitched.
Janssen's next start is scheduled for Sunday, May 7 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Toronto.