The moment many Phillies fans have been looking forward to is upon us: Ken Giles has been called up to the major leagues.
With setup man Mike Adams headed back to the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, the Phillies decided to take a chance on the 23-year-old flamethrower.
Despite some dominating performances in the minor leagues, the Phillies were reluctant to call Giles up earlier in the season, claiming that he wasn’t ready, and still needed to work on developing his secondary pitches. Apparently, they either believe he’s progressed enough, or they didn’t think they had any other options.
Giles needed to be added to the 40-man roster which is why minor league outfielder Tyson Gillies was dropped yesterday. Those of you who maintain hope that Gillies will someday be a quality player don’t need to worry though; Gillies passed through waivers and remains in the Phillies system.
Will Giles live up to the expectations that Phillies fans have for him? He’ll have to throw strikes in order to do so. Like just about every other reliever the Phillies have developed in recent years, Giles has had some issues with his control.
And like many young relievers, Giles will probably endure some growing pains at first. Most hard throwers – even those who can reach 100 MPH like Giles – have some trouble adjusting to the big leagues, where hitters are able to time even triple-digit fastballs.
As for Adams, this is extremely disappointing news. He had finally been pitching like the top setup man the Phillies thought they had signed before the 2013 season. Considering he had offseason surgery on his right shoulder, it is not encouraging to hear that he’s once again experiencing discomfort. This could very likely signify the end of his time in a Phillies uniform.
Will Giles be able to adequately replace him? That’s a lot to ask of a 23-year-old. But at the very least, he provides a glimmer of hope for a bullpen that hasn’t provided the team with much good news this season.