Ken Giles lived up to the closer-in-waiting label after the Phillies traded Jonathan Papelbon at the deadline last year and is now on the verge of Fantasy greatness with a better supporting cast in Houston. True, his WHIP last year was something less than elite, but the control problems he had early in the year vanished with his move to the closer role. For those final 24 appearances, he had a 1.71 ERA and 0.95 WHIP and 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings. His numbers were positively Kimbrelian (really, it's a word) as a rookie in 2014, and even with the inflated walk rate last year, his FIP ranked seventh among relievers with at least 50 innings. Such dominant numbers so early in his career make Giles as good a candidate as any to emerge as an elite closer, but since he's not entirely proven in the role, he should last to the middle rounds.
Giles was traded to the Astros on Wednesday in exchange for pitchers Vince Velasquez and Brett Oberholtzer and outfielder Derek Fisher, Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston reports. The Astros are sending the Phillies two major leaguers and a promising prospect in exchange for Giles, so he will almost certainly step right into the closer's role in Houston. He blew just two saves after taking over as the Phillies' closer in late July last year and also struck out 87 batters in 70 innings, and he will now get to play on a team that will play with the lead more often. He figures to slot in somewhere among the second tier of closers in fantasy drafts.
GM Matt Klentak confirmed Monday that there has been a lot of interest from other teams in trading for Giles, CSN Philadelphia reports. Klentak said the Phillies are not focused on moving Giles, but they will listen to all offers. If an offer comes that will help speed the Phillies' rebuilding process, then Giles could be on the move. Giles, 25, is attractive to teams because he isn't eligible for arbitration until after the 2017 season and won't be a free agent until after the 2020 season.
The Phillies have received calls from multiple teams interested in Giles, the team's official site reports. GM Matt Klentak said last week at the GM Meetings that it is not a goal to trade Giles this offseason, but the team will listen to offers. The Marlins and Astros are two of the teams that have expressed interest in Giles. He finished last season 6-3 with a 1.56 ERA, 16 saves and an 87:25 K:BB ratio in 70 innings.
Phillies closer Ken Giles was called upon to save the game Saturday not in the ninth, but in the eighth. He passed the test with flying colors and got a win as a bonus. Giles struck out Addison Russell with the go-ahead run on base in the eighth. He then struck out two in a scoreless ninth and watched his team win it on a walk-off homer to raise his record to 6-2. The right-hander has not allowed a run over his last 12 innings.
Phillies reliever Ken Giles recorded his 11th save of the season on Saturday against the Padres. Giles closed out the ninth inning of his team's victory with ease, not allowing a hit or walk in the process. He now has an impressive 1.53 ERA this season.