Giles hasn't given up a run since June 18, spanning 10.1 innings. The 25-year-old struggled to start the season, posting a 9.00 ERA in April. Now owning a 4.08 ERA, he has continuously improved as the season has progressed, compiling a 2.31 ERA in June, and a scoreless July.
Giles (0-3) allowed a run on two hits over two-thirds of an inning as he took the loss Monday against the Rangers. Giles is supposedly in the mix for save opportunities in the wake of Luke Gregerson's struggles and Houston's move to a closer-by-committee situation. Outings like these, however, won't help his cause. Giles has still been nasty this year -- he recorded his 33rd strikeout in just 25 innings Monday night. But he has now given up 31 hits, and with an ERA now up to 5.76, it's hard to imagine the Astros won't give their save opportunities to a hotter hand like Will Harris (0.34 ERA in 26.2 innings).
Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Giles "will get a look" in the ninth inning with Luke Gregerson getting a "mental and physical break from the (closer) role," Angel Verdejo Jr. of the Houston Chronicle reports. Many expected Giles to open 2016 as the Astros' closer after the team traded away five players, including Vince Velasquez and Mark Appel, to acquire him in the offseason. The 25-year-old earned his first save with Houston on May 26, but Will Harris (0.34 ERA) got the call in the ninth inning Sunday and converted his first opportunity of the season. Only time will tell whether this plays out as a closer-by-committee or if one reliever shines above the rest of the pack and takes the closer role and runs with it.
Giles picked up his first save as an Astro on Thursday, though not without some misadventure, as he allowed a run on two hits against the Orioles. With Luke Gregerson having pitched on consecutive days, the Astros turned to Giles for the ninth, finally (if briefly) fulfilling the dreams of fantasy owners who picked him up on draft day. Of course, it was a mixed bag, as he snapped a streak of nine consecutive scoreless appearances while recording the save. Gregerson's given no reason to take his job away and Giles still owns a painful 5.75 ERA, so there's no change currently in the works here.
Giles has seven straight scoreless appearances for the Astros after fixing a mechanical flaw that attributed to his April struggles, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports. Giles developed bad habits with his hand placement, an issue he fixed via repetitions in side sessions. "It was mechanical 100 percent. Not confidence. I always knew I had the confidence," the 25-year-old right-hander said. Giles' fastball velocity has improved as he's ironed out his mechanics, eclipsing 99 mph five times during the month of May. Luke Gregerson has three blown saves in his last five chances, so it may be time to get Giles back on your radar if you need help in the category.