Ken Giles has been one of the few bright spots in what has been an exceptionally disappointing year for the Phillies.
In 24 appearances this season, the 23-year-old reliever has a 1.44 ERA, a 0.84 WHIP and 37 strikeouts in 25 innings.
With a fastball clocking in at 100 mph, Giles has presented himself as a future option at closer for the Phillies.
Speaking on Phillies Postgame Live Wednesday night, analyst Ricky Bottalico said that Giles has the tools to be the backbone of the Phillies' bullpen moving into the future.
“[Giles] has the makeup to be a late-inning reliever,” Bottalico said. “He’s not afraid to pitch, he’s not afraid throw his pitches … [he’s] going into these ballgames not afraid to throw his fastball when he wants.”
Of course, Giles’ path to the end of the bullpen is blocked by Jonathan Papelbon, who is currently in the third year of a four-year, $50 million contract, with a $13 million option for 2016.
While Papelbon has been enjoying a stellar season, racking up 27 saves with a 1.64 ERA, the Phillies have explored trading him and could look to move him in the offseason. Unloading the former All-Star would not only lessen the Phillies payroll but also open up an opportunity for Giles. That said, is Giles ready?
To hear more from Bottalico, watch the video above.