The Phillies have a power-armed reliever lighting up radar guns and recording big strikeout totals at Double A Reading, but it doesn’t appear as if Kenny Giles will be headed to Philadelphia any time soon.
“If we were to move him we’d probably move him to Triple A and give him a chance to make adjustments against more mature hitters,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “When he’s ready, when he’s commanding his fastball and slider, he’ll go.”
Amaro would not say whether the organization was close to moving Giles to Triple A, but the right-hander will give the Phillies no choice if he continues to shine the way he did in his first 10 outings at Double A.
Giles, 23, pitched 12 innings in those 10 games. He allowed just seven hits and one earned run while striking out 24 and walking just three. He had six saves in his first 10 outings.
Giles, who hadn’t pitched above Single A before this season and often had control problems, can reach triple digits with his fastball. He impressed big-league manager Ryne Sandberg in spring training. In fact, Sandberg said Giles did not look far away.
But to hear Amaro tell it, Giles will likely have to meet some challenges in Triple A before he gets to Philadelphia, where the Phillies’ 4.84 bullpen ERA was the the worst in the National League entering Wednesday.
Joseph on the mend
Phillies officials were holding their breath after catching prospect Tommy Joseph took a foul tip off the mask while playing for Reading last week. Joseph, 23, has a history of concussions. In fact, he missed most of last season while recovering from a concussion sustained last May.
Joseph experienced some concussion symptoms after the foul tip last week. He went on the disabled list as a precaution and was evaluated by concussion specialist Michael Collins in Pittsburgh.
“We got some good news,” Amaro said. “He was cleared to play by the doctors in Pittsburgh. He should be behind the plate soon.”
Joseph must pass some MLB concussion protocols in the coming days before he comes off the disabled list.
The Phillies have set their starting pitching rotation for their series against Washington, which begins Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Wednesday’s rainout allowed the Phils to shuffle their rotation so Cliff Lee will start the opener Friday night. A.J. Burnett will pitch Saturday night and Cole Hamels on Sunday afternoon.
The Nationals have not made their rotation official, but Stephen Strasburg is expected to pitch on Friday night. Strasburg has 53 strikeouts, second most in the NL, in his first six starts.