Where Phillies can make a bold move
August, 20, 2014
By Buster Olney | ESPN Insider
Bill Streicher/USA TODAY SportsThe Phillies should promote Ken Giles to closer, despite Jonathan Papelbon's success.Ken Giles will be the Phillies' closer one day because he appears to have a chance to be one of best relievers in baseball. Hidden amid the rubble of the Phillies' 2014 season, Giles made his debut June 12 and has been completely dominant, striking out 41 of the 104 batters he has faced -- Craig Kimbrel-like numbers, among others.
There are more.
Only Aroldis Chapman, Kelvin Herrera and the Reds' Jumbo Diaz have had a higher average fastball velocity than Giles' 97.1 mph.
He has allowed only four runs in 28⅓ innings. He has allowed one homer. Opposing hitters have a .541 OPS against him. Three baserunners have tried to steal against him, and all three have been thrown out. He has faced 60 right-handed hitters this season and struck out 26, with only three walks. Among relievers with at least 20 innings, only six have a better ratio of strikeouts to walks than Giles, whose mark is 6.83. He has a strikeout rate that places him in the neighborhood of Kimbrel and Dellin Betances, as David Murphy writes.
Giles has been so overpowering, so effective, that his presence has provided an opportunity for Phillies GM Ruben Amaro to turn Jonathan Papelbon