Thursday, December 25, 2014

Giles: 'I'm going to show them what I can do'

Mike Adams' latest trip to the disabled list opened the major league door for hard-throwing relief pitching prospect Ken Giles. The 23-year-old Giles, who can touch triple digits on the radar gun, said he's ready for the challenge.

Giles: 'I'm going to show them what I can do'

Phillies pitching prospect Kenny Giles. (Mike Janes/Four Seam Images via AP Images)
Phillies pitching prospect Kenny Giles. (Mike Janes/Four Seam Images via AP Images)

Ken Giles hadn't pitched in the previous two days. And then a save situation presented itself on Saturday afternoon at Coca Cola Park in Allentown, where the Lehigh Valley IronPigs held a 3-1 lead over Indianapolis.

Luis Garcia, and not Giles, was called in for the ninth inning. The IronPigs won.

Giles was called into manager Dave Brundage's office after the game.

"I didn't know what was going on," the 23-year-old Giles said. "I thought it was just a meeting."

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Will Kenny Giles be the answer for the Phillies bullpen?
Yes.
No.

And then, Brundage laid it on him.

"We're getting you a flight to Cincinnati," he said.

Giles still didn't know what was going on.

“Did I get traded?" Giles said, recalling the conversation on Sunday morning at Great American Ball Park. "I thought I got traded at first. And then they told me you’re going up to the Philies. And I’m like, 'Oh, OK. I’ll get out of here then.'"

Giles will replace Mike Adams in the bullpen. Adams was placed on the DL with right rotator cuff inflammation; it's Adams' fourth trip to the DL since signing a two-year, $12 million free agent deal before last season.

Giles has been a popular name among a Phillies fan base ready for change, simply because he is the owner of a fastball that occasionally touches triple digits on the radar gun. He's aware of his popularity.

"It trickled down pretty fast. I’ve already heard it," he said.

Does that mean added pressure?

"Not at all," Giles said. "If it’s there, it’s there. If it’s not, it’s not. I know what I can do and I’m going to show them what I can do."

Giles was dominant at Double-A to begin the 2014 season, sporting a 1.20 ERA in 13 games and racking up 29 strikeouts (while walking just five) in 15 innings.

He was promoted to Triple-A a month ago, where he went 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA and five saves. He struck out 9 and walked 8 in 13 2/3 innings at Lehigh.

"I’m not perfect," said Giles. "I’m not a complete project yet. But I’m only going to get better with experience."

That experience could begin as early as Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati.

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