Blue Jays closer Ken Giles headed to IL with right elbow inflammation

Ken Giles just got dealt some very bad luck. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Ken Giles just got dealt some very bad luck. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

In a season where just about everything imaginable has gone wrong for the Blue Jays, they’ve suddenly lost their closer to an elbow injury.

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Giles was in the midst of an outstanding campaign with the Blue Jays that had many, including manager Charlie Montoyo, hypothesizing that he’d be the club’s representative at the All-Star Game.

In 25 innings of work, the right-hander allowed just three earned runs, good for a 1.08 ERA with a 1.15 FIP to match. He was also striking out 42.4 percent of hitters he faced, the third best rate in baseball behind Josh Hader and Kirby Yates. Put simply, no one on the Blue Jays was performing better.

The loss of Giles is an especially tough blow for the club because it looked like he’d command a king’s ransom at the trade deadline, a scenario that seems virtually impossible now. The words “elbow inflammation” are awfully ominous and it’s hard to imagine Giles back at full strength by late July. Even if he was, questions about his elbow would affect the price tag.

With the fireballer out of the picture, there is no one obvious choice to close games for the Blue Jays in the meantime. Joe Biagini has been getting a lot of high-leverage work and could slide in, as could Daniel Hudson, although his superficially strong ERA of 3.45 is not at all backed by his peripherals. David Phelps is working his way back to the majors in Triple-A and could soon be an option, although the club may want to ease him into a lower pressure role.

Whatever the case may be, the loss of Giles is a serious problem for the Blue Jays’ short-term attempts to win games as well as their rebuild.

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