Yesterday, Astros closer Ken Giles was demoted to AAA after reportedly “cursing out” manager A.J. Hinch while being removed from Tuesday night’s game against the Athletics. This was the icing on the cake for a horrendous season by Giles.
Giles was acquired by the Astros in the 2015 offseason in a blockbuster trade that sent prospects Mark Appel, Vincent Velasquez, Tom Eshelman, Brett Oberholtzer, and Harold Arauz to the Phillies.
Giles was coming off 2 impeccable seasons with the Phil’s that saw him pitch to a 1.18 ERA and a 1.80 ERA, respectively. He was expected to walk in and become the power arm that Houston needed at the back end of their bullpen. However, Giles’ first season in H-Town was a tumultuous one, as he never really settled into the closer’s role and finished the year with a 4.11 ERA and only 15 saves.
Giles only good season with thus far Houston was 2017, where he pitched to a 2.30 ERA, had an ERA+ of 179, and racked up 34 saves. However, the postseason was a much different story, where Giles allowed a run in all but one of his playoff appearances, and ultimately lost the trust of A.J. Hinch.
Giles’ troubles carried over from the postseason into this year, posting a 4.99 ERA and generally being ineffective.
Giles cemented his status in baseball infamy during a meltdown after giving up a go-ahead home run to Gary Sanchez in early May, where Giles beat his chest with his glove before hilariously punching himself in the face.
The last straw for Houston and Hinch was when Giles failed to record an out against the Athletics, giving up three runs on three hits. When Hinch went to take the ball from Giles, you could clearly make out the words “fuck you man” come out of the 27-year-old right-hander’s mouth. Not a good look for a guy who was ousted as the team’s closer in favor of Hector Rondon and on the brink of being sent down.
GM Jeff Lunhow responded to questions about if Giles was demoted because of the outburst by saying, “This was a baseball decision”. When asked about the altercation, A.J. Hinch responded,“We’re going to talk baseball. We deal with alot of different things behind the scenes internally, as a team. Let’s keep it to the baseball.”
The Astros are now likely in search of another back-of-the-bullpen arm, and Giles’ stay in Houston may be coming to a close.
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