The Toronto Blue Jays made good on their suggestion that they were trying to trade the Closer Who Will Not Be Named and appear to have gotten a solid package of pitchers from the Houston Astros, getting Ken Giles (the former closer of the Astros) and prospects David Paulino and Hector Perez.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 30, 2018
Giles, 27, is the most recognizable name in the trade, saving 34 games for the Astros in 2017 with a 2.30 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings before blowing up in the World Series, giving up five runs in 1 2/3 innings over two games. Giles has struggled this year, posting a 4.99 ERA over 30 2/3 innings despite walking only three batters and striking out 31. He’s spent the last couple of weeks in Triple-A Fresno and gave up four runs in an inning in his last outing three days ago.
Giles saw significant down-tick of ground balls between 2017 and 2018 and, according to Fangraphs, saw a major increase in hard-hit balls, going from 26.1% in 2017 to 36.8% in 2018. Giles is still a hard thrower, averaging 97.9 miles per hour on his fastball, according to Pitch Info and will give the Blue Jays an experienced arm in the bullpen to replace the closer.
David Paulino, 24, has a checkered past too, taking an 80-game suspension for using the Performance Enhancing Drug Boldenone last July. Now 24, the 6-foot-7 Dominican righty has had a couple of chances as a starter in the major leagues with the Astros but didn’t pitch well before he was converted to a reliever this year. MLB.com had Paulino as the Astros’ #23 prospect, grading his fastball as a 60 with a 60 curveball, 50 slider and 55 changeup. Paulino’s scouting report had his velocity hitting 98 but he averaged 92.9 mph as a starter although we can expect to play up in a relief role. He’s also struggled with injuries, having Tommy John surgery back in 2014 and having bone spurs removed from his elbow in September 2017 and some elbow tendinitis in 2016. Perez has only gotten into four games with Triple-A Fresno with a 5.50 ERA and and 1.17 WHIP, striking out 23 in 18 innings and walking only five.
Hector Perez, 22, is another Dominican righty who was ranked as the Astros’ #10 prospect by MLB.com. He’s said to throw “93-99 mph with two-seamers with nice sink and four-seamers with explosive riding life.” MLB.com also really like his “wipeout breaking stuff” but they write that he has his days when he can’t throw strikes with his breaking balls. Perez has been splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen, throwing 17 times with Buies Creek (Advanced-A) with 11 of those appearances starts and four times with Double-A Corups Christi with two of those appearances starts. He has a 3.73 ERA and 1.23 WHIP, striking out 101 and walking 48 in 89 1/3 innings. Baseball America, who had him as the Astros’ #7 prospect after last season, said that some scouts have suggested that Perez would be a dominant reliever and if that’s his floor, then the Blue Jays could have a potential back-end reliever coming back in this deal.
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