Toronto Blue Jays closer Ken Giles will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a right elbow injury that forced him to miss almost all of the 2020 season.
Giles missed almost seven weeks before returning to the injured list last Wednesday. Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said Monday that after consulting with doctors, Giles decided that surgery was the best path forward.
“He was a great clubhouse leader, he was awesome, I love the guy,” Montoyo said on a conference call. “When he was on the mound, when he was healthy, he was one of the best relievers in baseball.
“In the clubhouse, he was great with everybody. A great teammate. I don’t think people realize that about him.”
Giles had a dominant 2019 season but was limited to just four appearances this year. He made two one-inning appearances last week before shutting things down again.
It usually takes at least a year to recover from Tommy John surgery. Giles, who’s slated to become a free agent after this season, would likely be aiming for a return in 2022.
Giles led the major leagues in save percentage (95.8) in 2019 after converting all but one of 24 opportunities.
The 30-year-old native of Albuquerque, N.M., made his big-league debut with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2014. He joined Houston in 2016 and was traded to the Blue Jays in July 2018 in a four-player deal that included closer Roberto Osuna.
Giles was 2-3 last year with a 1.87 earned-run average in 53 appearances. He earned one save this year and had a 9.82 ERA over 3 2/3 innings.
The Blue Jays, who were not expecting Giles after he went on the IL a second time, have used a closer-by-committee approach for most of the campaign. Anthony Bass and Rafael Dolis have been the team’s primary options in the ninth inning.
Toronto had a 27-26 record entering the opener of a four-game series against the visiting New York Yankees on Monday night.
The regular season will continue through Sunday and the post-season is set to begin Sept. 29. The Blue Jays, who currently hold the eighth and final seed in the American League, are a virtual lock to make the post-season.