The back end of the bullpen isn’t a disaster waiting to happen for the Philadelphia Phillies.
It has happened already.
With the team getting disastrous results from guys like closer Jonathan Papelbon, Jake Diekman and B.J. Rosenberg, it probably is time to think out of the box and give some of the minor leaguers a chance. The Phillies have one such prospect as their closer of the future in Double-A Reading (Pa.), Ken Giles.
The future should be now.
Giles’ numbers for Reading are insanely good: six scoreless innings and five saves in five opportunities, allowing only one hit and two walks, while striking out 14 batters. His fastball is consistently clocked at around 100 miles per hour and as high as 103. His slider ranges from around 88-92 miles per hour.
If you think he’s not ready for MLB action, consider this: regardless of his documented ability to get batters out, no current member of the Phillies’ pitching staff gets those kind of numbers on the radar gun. Plus, bringing up a pitcher from Reading has been done in the past. Kyle Kendrick went straight from Reading to the Phillies and won 10 games in his first season.
Giles is a long-time baseball name familiar to Phillies fans as Bill Giles was the one-time team president and owner who oversaw the transition from Connie Mack Stadium to Veterans Stadium and from Veterans Stadium to Citizens Bank Park. Now Dave Montgomery is the team’s president and CEO and Giles is Chairman of the ownership group that includes Montgomery and 10 wealthy Philadelphia businessmen known as the “Gang of 10” on Philadelphia sports talk radio.
This Giles is no relation to that one, but if he’s able to get hitters out in Philadelphia even approaching what he has done in Reading, he would certainly be the most popular Giles ever associated with the Phillies.