On Sunday the Blue Jays said Ken Giles “wasn’t 100 percent,” the next day it was revealed to be “elbow inflammation” and now he’s reportedly gotten a cortisone shot.
#BlueJays closer Ken GIles visited Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas today, source tells The Athletic. An MRI revealed no structural damage in Giles’ elbow, but upon Meister’s recommendation, the pitcher received a cortisone shot. Will not pitch again before deadline.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 30, 2019
The good news for Giles and the Blue Jays is that he doesn’t appear to be dealing with anything extraordinarily serious or season-ending — although elbow injuries are scary for pitchers regardless of their severity.
The bad news is that with the trade deadline on Wednesday, it doesn’t look like Giles is going to get sent to a playoff team and the Blue Jays probably aren’t going to be able to cash in on a top trade chip.
Despite sporadic elbow issues, Giles is having an extraordinary year with a 1.54 ERA and 1.60 FIP in 35 innings, posting a gaudy 14.91 K/9. If he had a clean bill of health he’d be one of the most coveted players on the trade market.
Theoretically, there might be a way to finesse a trade seeing as Giles isn’t actually on the IL yet, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario where another team is willing to offer a substantial package for a player whose health is such an open question.
Because Giles in under team control through next season, the Blue Jays are almost certainly better off holding onto him and attempting to move him in the offseason or at the 2020 trade deadline. And because they have those opportunities, there isn’t pressure to ship him for a severely reduced return like they did with Josh Donaldson last year.
However the Giles saga ultimately plays out, it seems like a lose-lose. The Blue Jays don’t get to maximize their return, and the reliever’s chances of playing baseball in October have gone from a near certainty to negligible.
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