Just one day before the Toronto Blue Jays open the 2014 MLB regular season, they found out Sunday that the team will be without their closer to begin the season. Casey Janssen will start the season on the 15-Day DL after an MRI showed a lower back / left abdominal strain. Janssen had just a few limited appearances in Spring Training due to his sore back. The Blue Jays closer took over the role full-time in 2012 and pitched the entire 2013 season as the closer, with 34 saves, 2.56 ERA, and 0.99 WHIP in 56 appearances.
Filling the void left on the 25-man roster, will be catcher Erik Kratz, recalled from AAA. Kratz competed with Josh Thole for the backup catcher position in Spring Training, but would ultimately lose out due to the Blue Jays feeling that Thole was better suited to catch starter R.A. Dickey. Kratz was hitting .400 in spring training, and because of his right handed bat was the choice to be called up.
As for who will be the Blue Jays closer while Janssen is sidelined on the disabled list, Sergio Santos was named by Alex Anthopoulos as the closer. Santos spent 3 months on the DL in 2013 to remove bone spurs from his pitching elbow, surrounding an otherwise great season. In 29 appearances, Santos pitched to a 1.75 ERA, 0.584 WHIP, and a K/BB of 7.00.