Option 1: Ken Giles– Most Likely
Besides headlining the biggest offseason deal the Astros made, Giles was expected to be the closer going into the 2016 season.
With the numbers he put up as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, nobody expected anything otherwise. In his two years, he had an ERA of 1.56 while striking out 11.7 batters per nine innings with a fastball that consistently hit 100 miles per hour.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
After the trade to Houston, Giles had huge expectations to replicate the same numbers at the back end of the Astros bullpen. That’s not exactly what has happened so far in 2016. In 19 games, Giles has a 0-2 record with an ERA of 6.89 with a WHIP of 1.60. His strikeout percentage has decreased to 28% this season and his BABIP against is at a career high .341.
Those numbers are not long-term, lights-out closer numbers by any means. However, Giles has got better as the season has continued. In the month of May, he has pitched 5.2 innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits while striking out 7. He also has had five straight appearances where opposing batters haven’t scored on him. Also, although Giles’ strikeout percentage is down from his previous seasons, his strikeouts per 9 innings is up to 12.1, second only to his rookie year in Philadelphia. He also has recorded seven holds this season, proving to the Astros that he can pitch is high-pressure situations.
Yes, Giles has given up more home runs this year than he had in his entire career. Yes, Giles, on average gives up 10.9 hits per nine innings. But, he has proved to the Astros in this impressive month of May that he could thrive in the ninth inning. If Giles were to take the closer job and run with it, Gregerson should be very worried about not getting the role back.
Next: Option 2