The talk of the Toronto Blue Jays isn’t going to be their on-field product this week, at least not too much. Instead, the Marcus Stroman deal with the Mets will continue to be discussed, along with other deals that may be in the works before July 31st at 4pm. Eric Sogard is out after he switched sides on Sunday, going from the Blue Jays clubhouse to the Rays. Closer Ken Giles is up for grabs as well, but reliable closers are so hard to find that I think the Jays should be cautious with saying goodbye to Giles.
He seems happy to be in Toronto and he’s pitching at an elite level among relievers in the American League. If the Jays get something impressive in return, then fine, but I wouldn’t be so quick to deal him. Giles hasn’t been punching himself in the face or suffering from any mental distress on the bump with the Blue Jays, which seems to be his greatest enemy. When he is thinking clearly, Giles can be one of the best closers in baseball when he’s thinking clearly, which he has been in Toronto.
This is a sinking ship in 2019 regardless of what they do in the short term, though. Especially with their ace out the door, it’s going to be more difficult to win games for the Blue Jays. Stroman was the one constant in the Toronto rotation and now that is gone.
The Royals will welcome them this week for a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium. KC were losers in three out of four against the Indians, having one the series finale to avoid a sweep. It was a nice day for the bats, as they registered 9 runs in a 9-6 victory. Brad Keller is expected to get the nod as the starter for the Royals tonight, while Toronto counters with Thomas Pannone, who has been getting walloped recently. Head below for our free Blue Jays vs. Royals pick.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. K.C. Royals Pick:
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Thomas Pannone’s role in Toronto will be expanded with the departure of Marcus Stroman. He is being recalled from the minors to give the rotation a hand after a short stint in the minors. Following a dreadful performance against the Red Sox, Pannone was sent down to the minors, but he didn’t last there long. The Blue Jays have to call him back up because of a void in their rotation, not because he’s an excellent hurler.
Pannone as smacked around for 8 earned runs in two outings against the Red Sox, promoting the Jays to pull the cord on him for the moment. He was exploited for an ERA of 14.46 with a 2.36 WHIP in his last three starts. On the road, Pannone has been all over the pace, posting a 9.77 ERA and 1.85 WHIP in 15.2 innings. As the Jays dismantle their roster, they’re just going to have to throw mud at the wall and hope it sticks for the rest of 2019, and then go from there in the offseason. Pannone takes on a red-hot Brad Keller of the Royals tonight in KC. The sophomore, who made 41 appearances last season, half in the bullpen and half as a starter, has been solid again.
Keller finished with a 3.08 ERA last season, and while his numbers are behind a bit with a 3.95 ERA, his best work has been most recently. Keller enters with a 1.27 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in his previous three starts, which includes only 3 runs allowed in 21.1 innings. Following a monster trade for the Blue Jays yesterday, and more trades likely to come in Toronto, it’s hard to fathom their level of motivation is going to be too high in Kansas City. I’d rather support Keller and the Royals in this one at Kauffman.