Like the old saying goes: Sandwich-related injuries are all fun and games until it keeps someone from playing in the World Baseball Classic.
Last week Joel Peralta hurt his neck while getting out of his car to buy some sandwiches, but the good news was that the injury is minor and the Rays reliever noted that at least the sandwiches tasted good.
But now apparently the minor injury will keep him from pitching for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, as Peralta told Bill Chastain of MLB.com:
The main thing is, this is probably the only chance I have to play in the WBC and I’m not going to be able to. I was hoping that I could. Years earlier, I was anxious for them to invite me to go and they didn’t. Now, they invite me to go and I can’t go. So it hurts a little bit. If I was practicing and pitching, I might change my mind.
It’s a tough break for Peralta at age 36, but that’s the risk you take when getting in a car to get buy some sandwiches.
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.