TORONTO -- After reestablishing himself as one of baseball’s most dominant closers, Blue Jays right-hander Ken Giles has been named the club’s nominee for Major League Baseball's All-MLB team.
Giles, 29, appeared in 53 games for the Blue Jays in 2019, posting a 1.87 ERA with 83 strikeouts over those 53 innings. Giles’ 14.1 strikeouts per nine innings set a new career high and after a difficult season with the Astros that included his trade to the Blue Jays in 2018, Giles was back to looking like he did when he was at his best in Houston and, earlier, the Phillies.
The selection process for the 2019 All-MLB Team begins Monday and runs through 5 pm ET on Dec. 3, with 50% of the vote coming from fans and 50% coming from a panel of experts.
You can vote right here, and may do so once every 24 hours between now and when voting ends next Tuesday. The inaugural All-MLB Team will be announced on Dec. 10 at baseball’s annual Winter Meetings in San Diego.
There will be a first team and second team All-MLB, and voters are asked only to consider performance during the regular season when casting their ballots. Each team will include one selection at each position (including designated hitter and three outfielders, regardless of specific outfield position), five starting pitchers and two relievers.
Giles is expected to be one of the hottest names on the trade market when it comes to relievers this offseason, but it’s difficult to overstate just how much he means to the current roster. On a young and developing team with an ever-changing pitching staff, having a sure thing at the back end is a luxury.
“He has a significant contribution so we would have to factor in that subtraction if we were to trade him,” general manager Ross Atkins said at the end of the 2019 season. “Thinking about it from a strategy standpoint, he’s been exceptional, he had an incredible year.”
At this time last year, it was clear to those who had been around Giles that he’s made a mental shift as he spoke openly about coming out of his shell to rely on the help of others instead of being a “lone wolf," as he put it. Not only did Giles accept that he was part of a rebuilding phase with the Blue Jays, he actively embraced it and looked for ways to best use his influence.
“Any way I can seal a ‘W,' that’s going to be great for the confidence of the young kids coming up, knowing that they got a ‘W,' had a great day, and all learned something from the experience,” Giles said. “That’s all that matters to me.”