In recent weeks, with the Toronto Blue Jays adamantly looking for starting pitching help ahead of the trade deadline, we had projected that Cleveland Guardians’ ace Shane Bieber could be a prime target to pursue to address their needs.
Unfortunately on Monday, bad news came out from Bieber’s camp as the former AL Cy Young winner, who had been on the sidelines with elbow inflammation dating back to July 9th, was transferred to the 60-day IL and would not be back until mid-September at the earliest.
Guardians’ manager Terry Francona emphasized that Bieber did not experience any setbacks in his rehab, but calculating in his schedule on when he would be ramping up his workouts and activity, along with getting in some rehab starts, they believe he will need at least another six weeks of recovery time.
This is a huge blow for the Jays, as Bieber was an ideal deadline trade target that would have definitely been a huge difference maker down the stretch if they were able to acquire his services. Bieber has been having a somewhat down year so far in 2023, as he has compiled a 5-6 record, with a 3.77 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, giving up 49 earned runs including 14 home runs, 33 walks and 95 strikeouts in 117 innings of work. But the two-time All-Star has produced a stellar 59-32 record, with a 3.26 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, with 926 strikeouts in just 820 innings pitched in 130 games started over his six-year career with the Guardians, so he definitely knows how to get the job done and is among one of the best in the business.
With the disappointing news, the Jays will now need to look to other secondary options in the trade market for starting pitching help, and hopefully they will be able to add an arm or two to their pitching staff to bolster their chances in making the postseason in the coming months.