Ken Giles is on the injured list now, but the Toronto Blue Jays should still be able to get max value for one of their best trade chips.
The Toronto Blue Jays are clearly going to be a seller as the trade deadline approaches, with pitchers Marcus Stroman and Ken Giles as their top trade chips. But a bit of bad news came on Wednesday, as Giles was placed on the 10-day injured list with right elbow inflammation.
Giles has excellent as Toronto’s closer this year, with 11 saves, a 1.08 ERA, 42 strikeouts (15.1 K/9) and seven walks (2.5 BB/9) over 25 innings. He’s making $6.3 million this year, with one more year of team control (arbitration-eligibility) remaining to make him an appealing trade target for contending teams.
Elbow issues are nothing to take lightly, with the dreaded mention of Tommy John in the back of anyone’s mind when they surface for a pitcher. But Giles is apparently not facing a long absence, as he was just slow to recover after pitching on back-to-back days and doesn’t expect to need more than the minimum 10 days on the IL.
Assuming he is back after the minimum 10 days on the IL, or very soon after, the Blue Jays will be hoping Giles continues to pitch at a high level. His FIP is in line with his ERA (1.15), so even with a spike in strikeout rate to go with his typically good control there seems to be sustainability in his performance to this point.
Initial reports on Giles’ elbow issue could have been a lot worse, and there still a chance it becomes something more than simple inflammation. But as of now rest looks like the remedy, and the Blue Jays are still in line to get maximum trade value for one of their top assets heading toward the July 31 deadline.