PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Ken Giles, 23, has now pitched six scoreless innings and has five saves in five opportunities for the AA Reading Phillies. Giles, who talked to the WIP Morning Show last week, has only allowed one hit and two walks, while striking out 14 batters. His fastball is around 100 miles per hour, as high as 103 miles per hour, and his slider ranges from around 88-92 miles per hour. Is it time to bring the right-hander up to the big leagues?
“I think you have to think about it,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told Angelo Cataldi and the WIP Morning Show on Tuesday. “I think he’s learning. I think he’s made great strides. I mean, this is the first time he’s ever pitched above A-ball and what he have? A six or seven ERA last year in A-ball? And he’s coming off a year where the kid, the young man is still learning, but hey listen. If he continues to locate his fastball and throw strikes consistently and we feel like he’s a guy that can help us, then we’ll bring him. But again, we want to make sure that he’s able to handle some of the ups and downs of being at a little bit of a higher level, and listen we’re not afraid to bring guys to the big leagues.”
Amaro Jr. also explained that he isn’t scared to bring up Giles right from Reading.
“Why wouldn’t we [bring him up straight from AA]? We did it with Kyle Kendrick years ago and he’s now in our rotation for a long time,” Amaro Jr. said. “So, for us it’s about whether or not we feel the player can handle it. We don’t just bring a guy just because he happens to have a hot hand. We have to take the whole picture into consideration and the whole body of work of this young man and the way he handles things.”
While Amaro Jr. acknowledged Giles has been pitching well, he explains there is still valuable experience the young closer needs to gain.
“He’s got some mileage, but he doesn’t have as many reps as you would think just because he’s been out,” Amaro Jr. said. “He was hurt with two rib injuries last year. We’ve got to give him the experience and see how he handles failure as well.”