Blue Jays: A quietly well constructed bullpen after all
Ken Giles and Ryan Tepera
For those of us who hung in with the Blue Jays last season, we got a good chance to see what Ken Giles can do in a Blue Jay uniform. He of course came to Toronto in the trade that sent Roberto Osuna to Houston, giving both talented closers a fresh start in a new uniform.
Giles has an up and down history of success in the big leagues, but there’s no denying that he’s got the skill set to be an effective closer as long as he can consistently bring that effort to the mound. He picked up 14 saves after his arrival in Toronto, pitching to a 4.12 ERA over 19.2 innings. It was a slight improvement from what the numbers show from his time spent in Houston last year, but it was really only a rough outing or two that makes it look like he struggled much at all. For the most part, Giles gave the Blue Jays plenty to be excited about, and reason to hope that the can be a valuable trade chip come this summer, if not a long-term fit as the closer
Ryan Tepera has quickly become one of the longest tenured Blue Jays left on the roster, and he’s quietly carved himself a nice role as a late-inning contributor over the past few seasons. He struggled when he was handed the closer’s role at times, but for the most part he’s been a reliable reliever throughout his career, and has frequently worked in the 7th and 8th innings. Combine that with the fact that he’s still got arbitration eligibility and isn’t even making two million a season yet, and there are bound to be interested parties if the Blue Jays put Tepera on the block.
Perhaps giving him an additional piece of value, Tepera has pitched for more than one inning at a time in the past, and even expressed some interest in giving starting another go last season. While I don’t think that’s going to be happen, the fact that he’s capable of pitching in a multi-inning stint won’t hurt his value at all, to the Blue Jays or anywhere else.