UPDATE: According to Mike Cormack of Sportsnet.ca, Blue Jays manager John Farrell said that Morrow was in “considerable pain” and that the injury was “probably substantial.” It sounds like a DL-stint is likely in his future.
8:10 PM: Davidi reports that Morrow was diagnosed with a left oblique strain. He’s considered day-to-day right now, which suggests that the injury is minor, but we should know more on his status in the next couple of days.
7:40 PM: Bad news for the Blue Jays.
Shi Davidi of of Sportsnet.ca reports that Brandon Morrow left tonight’s start against the Nationals in the first inning with an apparent injury to his right side.
Morrow gave up a leadoff double to Steve Lombardozzi before suffering the injury on a pitch to Bryce Harper. He threw just nine pitches before being replaced by Chad Beck.
We should hear more on his status soon, but an oblique injury would likely mean a stint on the disabled list. Losing Morrow would be a tough break for Toronto, as the 27-year-old right-hander is off to the best start of his career. Sacrificing some velocity and strikeouts for the sake of improved command and control, he entered tonight’s action with a 2.92 ERA and 67/24 K/BB ratio in 12 starts. He also leads the majors with three shutouts.
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”
Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”
Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.