Tsuyoshi Wada signed a two-year, $8.15 million contract with the Orioles last offseason, but he didn’t throw a pitch for the club in 2012 because he required Tommy John surgery in May. And now his recovery is expected to stretch into the 2013 season.
According to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports, Orioles pitching coach Rick Adair said on WBAL radio today that Wada is not expected to be ready to pitch in the majors until May or June. That would put him around one year removed from surgery, which isn’t out of the ordinary.
Wada, who turns 32 next month, had a dominant 1.51 ERA and 168/40 K/BB ratio over 184 2/3 innings in 2011 for the Softbank Hawks of Japan’s Pacific League. Checking in at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, the southpaw doesn’t throw particularly hard and relies on deception and command of his three secondary pitches to get outs. It’s not clear whether the Orioles intend to bring him back as a starter or a reliever.
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.