The latest blown save, where Antonio Bastardo blew a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth and Jonathan Papelbon was unavailable in a 5-4 loss, might have been the final straw for the organization. Phenom closer Ken Giles, who regularly gets the radar gun up into triple figures, had already been called up to Triple A on Friday. In his first appearance, he allowed one run. His second appearance came on Monday afternoon where he pitched a scoreless inning for the Lehigh Valley (Pa.) Iron Pigs in a 4-2 win over the Gwinnett (Ga.) Braves.
The Phillies do not have many options, but Giles has to be right at the top of the list. Unlike Papelbon, the closer for the big club, Giles does not get “sore” after throwing 14 pitches on Friday night and seven more on Saturday night. Papelbon blamed opting out of availability to the “grind of the season” perhaps forgetting the season is really only about one month old.
Giles’ promotion to Triple A was certainly well-deserved. At Double A Reading (Pa.), he struck out 29 batters and walked just five in 15 innings. It should be interesting to see how Giles fares in Triple A, but his stuff certainly is worthy. The hitters at the Triple A level either have been major leaguers or on the fast track to the majors.
Now Giles is on that same fast track and having him within close proximity might do more to relieve Papelbon’s “soreness” than a few tubes of his favorite analgesic heat rub product.