PHILADELPHIA – Ken Giles, former closer with the Phightins, is attempting to make his MLB return one month away from pitcher and catcher reporting time. The only question is, can he go back to being the lights-out stud he once was?
Don’t Call It a Comeback
Giles’ notoriety started in the 2009 June Amateur Draft when he was selected by the Florida Marlins (didn’t sign) and then again in 2011 by the Phillies (signed in August 2011). Following the acquisition, Giles wasted no time rising through the ranks and made his debut at the Major League level on June 12, 2014. In his two seasons with Philly, he posted a combined ERA of 1.49 in 113 GP with 151 Ks and a top-4 finish for RoY.
In the 2015 offseason, he was traded to the Houston Astros where he would go on to stay until 2018, winning his first and only World Series title in the process. After his time in Space City, however, he endured injury-riddled campaigns between four different clubs that ultimately led to his last appearance in MLB on July 8, 2022.
According to a new report by Jon Heyman of the New York Press, Hundred Miles Giles is back in action and will be throwing a public bullpen for any clubs looking to add his talents.
Seeing as he had Tommy John surgery back in 2020, teams will be weighing their options carefully but the fact that he’s finally well enough to play is a great sign.
The Phillies President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski, has already expressed his contentment with the starting rotation but their need to employ more bullpen help is extremely real. Giles could factor in well here considering he already knows the area and has veteran experience to match.
The Road Ahead For Giles
Although I’m a big advocate for the Phils to extend some type of outreach to the righty reliever, his absence from the game this past year is a puzzling situation.
You’re always taking a risk on athletes with an extensive history of injuries but the biggest question is: will he stay well enough to make it through an entire campaign? My answer to that question is yes because most pitchers who go through TJ have a low chance of reinjuring the same arm again.
Giles’ lifetime ERA of 2.71, 12.3 K/9, and 115 career saves only scratches the surface as to why he’ll most likely get invited by one club or another to Spring Training in 2024.
Even though he may not be giving off closer vibes again just yet, his fastball/slider combo is one to be reckoned with as the former reaches upwards of 95 mph. Giles would be a solid late-game option as he eases finds his former self and could come at a cheap price, both of which are must-haves for the Phightins.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Caean Couto)