Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Astros Successfully Pry Ken Giles from the Phillies' Cold, Dead, Rebuilding Hands

According to various sources:
Ken Giles to Houston in exchange of Vincent Velasquez, Brett Oberholtzer and Derek Fisher.
Analysis to follow. In the meantime, discuss below.

Now it seems as though there is a fourth player heading to Philadelphia to complete the deal.

Just to recap, Ken Giles will be 25 for most of 2016 (he won't turn 26 until September 20). He was the Phillies' 7th Round pick in 2011. In the minors he struck out 190 batters in 140.2IP, walking 90. In 2014 and 2015 for the Phillies he threw 115.2IP, 84H/20ER, 151K:36BB for a 4.19 K:BB ratio, 11.7 K/9. Or, he has faced 464 major league batters, and allowed 121 of them to reach base. That is Not A Lot of Baserunners.

His four-seam fastball averages 97mph, though he can touch 100mph, and hit 103mph at Clearwater. Giles told CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury before the 2014 season:
When I'm at the ballpark - people have seen it, my teammates have seen it - it's like I flip a switch. I have like a second personality. I'm very hard to approach when I'm at the park. It looks like I don't want to talk to anybody, but I'm in the zone right there and then. I love to compete. I love a challenge. People always say I have the personality to be a late-game reliever and I agree with that.

His four most similar pitchers through Age 24 seasons (via Baseball Reference) include Bruce Sutter, Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen, and Joakim Soria.

Worth noting:

Giles also will pitch for league minimum until 2018, and then he goes to arbitration and won't be a free agent until he's 21.

Now, a Contrarian would say:
And I would say: Gosh! Why didn't LOSENOW think of that? Just "make another elite closer!" It's that simple! Head down to the baseballin' factory and build a 24-year old pitcher who throws 100mph like it's a damn Build-A-Bear. Be sure to put the heart inside of him before he's stitched up, in case you lose him!

And after I got punched I would say: And the Phillies are in a position with their franchise in which they can play around with that option and see if it works. The Astros are no longer in that position. They needed the proverbial fireballin' gunslinger type to come in and shut down the game. After making the playoffs and building towards their Sports Illustrated-appointed Window of Contention, the Astros are not as comfortable experimenting with their prospects with meaningful games on the line as, say, the Phillies might be.

So, yes, Velasquez might be able to slot right in to the back of the Phillies bullpen and pick up where Ken Giles left off. It's now up to the Phillies to see if that spaghetti sticks to the wall.

Yes, the Astros gave up some names, but do I feel better heading into 2016 and beyond? Yes. Yes I do.

What do the Astros do now? Look for starting pitching, according to McTaggart...

UPDATE on that 4th player headed to Philly:


Anonymous said...

Like the deal except fisher. Wish we could of given a lighter prospect than him in package.

Terence said...

In 2007, the Astros traded Brad Lidge to the Phillies for Michael Bourn. In 2008, Lidge went 41-41 in the regular season, 5-5 in the post season and was standing on the mound when the Phillies won a World Series. If Giles is standing on the mound when we win our first Series in team history, this move will be worth it. If that never happens history will frown on this trade. Clock's ticking.

ntxlfty said...

By god, at least it wasn't Springer! What the hell are they thinking? I like this Giles fellow.

Anonymous said...

Now they are saying a fourth prospect? What? Is it Weiland or something?

JoeinAlaska said...

I like the trade so far, but I'm leary about the 4th player going to Philly. I watched Fisher during the AFL. He has a nice bat, pretty swing and decent speed. But he looked like a little leaguer in the field. It could have just been the 3 or 4 games I saw him in, but I was unimpressed.

Giles will be a big help. It was never more apparent how important a good pen is than during the playoffs this year.

Wallee Wright said...

I also saw Fisher in the AFL and I don't know where the notion came from that he possesses this 'plus-plus raw power' that I see tossed around. They played him in right field and he was just 'serviceable', not a star, and based upon his hitting he is certainly not the eighth best prospect in the Astro system. I, too, worry about the identity of the fourth prospect but so far I like this trade.