The Phillies made a couple more moves today, this time involving their bullpen arms in the system. Most notably, the Phillies sent hard-throwing reliever Ken Giles from AA to AAA. Giles has caught the attention of fans with his 100 mile-per-hour pitches.
Bernie Pleskoff of MLB.com had high praise for Giles this spring, but cautions that he could be wild until he finds his way:
Giles can be classified as a raw talent with tremendous upside as a power pitcher at the back end of the bullpen. Not unlike other pitchers capable of throwing at 97-98 mph, he has work to do to command and control his pitches. The right-hander has been inconsistent from appearance to appearance. Giles can strike out the side or issue several walks at a time.
Inconsistency with command is common in young, developing pitchers. Scouts and team personnel project the player's end result at full baseball maturation. So while command issues can be frustrating, baseball history is loaded with pitchers who were wild in their formative years but became stellar as they developed. I see that pattern as a high probability with Giles.
Giles can get plenty of minor league hitters to swing and miss at AA, and will now try to get AAA hitters out, many of whom who have seen major league time before.
The room at AAA came as the Phillies released pitcher Shawn Camp. Camp was outrighted to AAA after Wednesday's game in Toronto. A 38 year-old veteran with many years experience, Camp had the option of refusing the assignment. Camp appeared in three games for the Phillies without a decision, pitching three and one-thirds innings and allowing two earned runs.
Giles was 0-0 with seven saves and a 1.20 ERA in 15 innings. This comes after spending all of 2013 in Class A Clearwater, going 2-2 with a 6.21 ERA. Some of the aforementioned control issues Giles had last year seem to be working out in AA.