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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Ken Giles

Raise your hand it you figured the Blue Jays would have traded Ken Giles by now.

You know the story. Giles came to the Blue Jays, along with Hector Perez and David Paulino, in trade for Roberto Osuna (considering the circumstances of the trade, we didn’t do all that badly, Perez is on out top prospects list, Paulino would be but he exceeded his rookie limits last year and Giles seems like a pretty good closer).

Giles came over, had a couple of bad appearances in non-save situations, and then ran off 15 straight saves. He didn’t have a blown save all season (he’s on a streak of 31 saves without a blown save, a fair bit short of Eric Gagne’s record of 84, but not too bad).

With the Jays, he had one blowup outing (he gave up 5 runs against the Red Sox August 7th). Other than that he only had four outings in which he gave up an earned run. Minus the one game, he had a 1.89 ERA with the Jays.

Giles had kind of burned his bridges with the Astros by, well, being a bit high-strung. We’ve all seen the video of him punching himself. Later the Astros sent him to the minors after swearing at hit manager after another poor outing.

And, he had a mechanical problem (from a Rosie Dimanno story in the Star):

There was an immediate simpatico with pitching coach Pete Walker as well. Together they fixed the slider that had gone errant, restored its snap with a small mechanical adjustment.

“I knew the things I had to work on,” Giles explains. “I know myself. I’m a really good pitcher, good profile pitcher. If something’s wrong, I know how to fix it. It’s my body.’’

In the same story Giles said that he “walks along the edge emotionally when on the mound”.

“Some of those things, in the past, I could have done better to conceal those emotions. But at the end of the day, I’m so passionate about what I do. When I don’t do well for the team, that really irks me. I’m not mad because we lost, I’m mad because I let my team down. If I don’t meet my standards, I’m going to be upset with myself. But the little antics I had with myself, I could have done better concealing them. But it was one of those things, it kept happening over and over. And it builds up. At some point, it has to come out.

“I’ve been a lot better. Staying a lot more calm, collected and focused.’’

Of course it is easier to stay calm playing on a team that’s out of the race. He isn’t the first closer in MLB history to be a little tightly wound. Keeping it under control is the issue.

Ken is a two pitch pitcher, the fastball that averaged 97.6 mph (and hit a hundred occasionally) and a slider (averaged 86.9 mph per FanGraphs).

PECOTA figures Giles to have a 3.68 ERA, with 30 saves and a 0.8 WAR.

I’d take the under on the ERA, but then I figure he’ll have the odd blowup outing, so might be close. Saves? We might not have all that many wins this year, but the ones we have will likely be close.

Poll

If the over/under on Giles’ ERA is 3.68 I’d take the

  • 15%

    Over

    (38 votes)

  • 84%

    Under

    (209 votes)



247 votes total

Vote Now

And

Poll

If the over/under on Giles’ saves is 30 I’d take the

  • 46%

    Over

    (97 votes)

  • 53%

    Under

    (110 votes)



207 votes total

Vote Now

The real question is “Will Giles be traded at the deadline?” The quick answer is it is pretty likely if he has a good season, unless the season going surprisingly well for the Jays. The chance of the seems unlikely at the moment. Giles can’t be a free agent until after the 2020 season, which would make him a more valuable trade target, but then, I guess, the Jays might decide they could roll the dice on the 2020 season. If Vlad has as good a 2019 season as we believe he will, and a couple of pitchers do better than expected, maybe the front office will decide the future starts in 2020?

Poll

Will Giles be a Blue Jay on September 1st?

  • 43%

    Yes

    (100 votes)

  • 56%

    No

    (131 votes)



231 votes total

Vote Now

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