Righty Gavin Floyd intends to return to the hill for the 2017 season, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports on Twitter. His 2016 season ended early with yet more arm troubles, leading to renewed questions about his future.
But Floyd has made good progress in his efforts to rehab his shoulder capsule strain, agent Mike Moye tells Nicholson-Smith. It’s hardly the first time he has needed to return from a fairly significant injury, but evidently there’s enough cause for optimism that he’ll again seek a return to the majors.
Once a strong bet to take the ball every fifth day, Floyd’s career took a turn late in 2012, when he dealt with a flexor pronator mass strain. While he somehow managed to appear in the big leagues in the four campaigns since, he has managed only 123 innings in that time. First came a Tommy John procedure early in 2013. Floyd’s next two campaigns both ended with olecranon fractures. And then he was hit with the shoulder issues in 2016.
When healthy, though, he has been a solid presence: in those last 123 innings, he owns a 3.51 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9. His days as a starter are probably over — he last took the ball to open a game in 2014 — but that doesn’t mean he won’t draw interest.
Last year, Floyd worked to a 4.06 ERA over 31 innings for the Blue Jays, notching 8.7 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9. Despite all the arm troubles, the move to the pen enabled him to sustain a career-best average fastball velocity, sitting at about 93 mph with both his four- and two-seam offerings.
It stands to reason that Floyd will draw interest. After all, he has managed to land guaranteed deals in each of the last three seasons — $4MM with the Braves, $4MM with the Indians, and $1MM with the Blue Jays — in spite of the health questions. If he can convince organizations that he’s back on track to pick up where he left off in Toronto, he’ll surely draw at least a minor-league opportunity with a real chance to crack a big league roster out of camp.