Jason Frasor jealous of closer Joe Nathan

SURPRISE, Ariz. – Jason Frasor has no trouble admitting that Joe Nathan has some reliever traits that Frasor wishes he had.

The 35-year-old Frasor is listed at 5-foot-9. That seems generous. He weighs 180 pounds and is not known as a guy with overpowering stuff. He works off his fastball, relies on location and guile, and uses his changeup to alter speeds and keep hitters off balance. Nathan is 6-foot-4 and 227 pounds.

“Joe is one of my favorite relief pitchers of all time,” Frasor said. “I think a lot of it is jealousy. I like his size and how tall he is and how he throws the ball downhill. He’s got that nasty slider, and I don’t have that. I’m envious. I’ll admit it.”

Frasor is happy to admit it because he also has confidence. He knows what works for him and goes with it. When manager Ron Washington was asked who was a lock in the bullpen besides Nathan, Frasor was the only name he mentioned as a sure bet.

“I’m a fastball guy, so I have to locate it,” Frasor said. “If I do that and change speeds, I’m fine. I’m aggressive with hitters. The only way you sleep at night is if you go right at these guys, especially out of the bullpen. The walks absolutely kill you out of the bullpen.”

Frasor said he wanted to pitch in Texas because it kept him in the American League and pitching for a contender.

“They were the first and only team to make me an offer,” Frasor said. “Other teams were interested, but they stepped up. So I was ready to go. I saw guys signing two or three days before spring. I didn’t want to do that.”

Frasor, who was 1-1 with a 4.12 ERA in 43 2/3 innings with 53 strikeouts and 22 walks last year in Toronto, has been impressed the Rangers from afar the past few seasons.

“I never wanted to pitch against them in Arlington. Bad things happen in Arlington,” Frasor said. “It’s a great team. It’s a loose team. They never seemed tight. That comes from the manager, I think. Darren Oliver was my teammate last year and he had nothing but great things to say about the manager, about the clubhouse, about the players. That carries some weight when it comes from him because he’s a pro.”