Archive for July 12th, 2018

The Meltdown

‘Stro reliever Ken Giles was drafted in the 7th round by the Phillies in the 2011 MLB Draft. Who was the first overall player drafted in the 2011 MLB Draft?

Royko sent this yesterday after my take on those who had a role in bringing The Yard to Downtown Houston:

No. I would never thank them for saddling taxpayers with so much bond debt just to allow wealthy team owners skirt the tax codes.


Maybe he ought to tell the local, state and national GOP not to accept Bob McNair’s millions. Just saying.

Remember when Commentary said this yesterday:

Sigh! The Skipper needs to tell reliever Ken Giles to please grow up. The way he stormed off the mound yesterday in the ninth inning was not cool. It was an embarrassment.

They sent Giles down to Triple A yesterday. Good!

Commentary has said before that the folks who run the ‘Stros are smarter than the rest of us. They have real rings while most of us have replicas. Well, they are smarter than us most of the time. Here is from an MLB story from last night on why Giles was sent down:

When asked specifically about the verbal exchange, (Astros Manager A. J.) Hinch said: “We deal with a lot of different things behind the scenes, internally, as a team. Let’s keep it to baseball.

“I think it’s important for him to get himself right to where he’s direrecting all of his attention toward the hitter and all of his attention toward his job. He pitches with a lot of emotion. When things are going well, we love it. When things aren’t going well, we have our concerns just because of the volatility with the end-of-the-game-type stuff. When he’s good, he’s really good.”

In his third season with the Astros, Giles has surrendered 36 hits and 17 earned runs over 30 2/3 innings with 31 strikeouts in 2018. Giles, who earned a career-high 34 saves in ’17, carries a 4.99 ERA with 12 saves in 34 games this season, but he has only one save in nine appearances since June 17.

The Fresno Grizzlies, Houston’s Triple-A affiliate, will return from its All-Star break Thursday in Tacoma, Wash. While the Astros enter MLB’s All-Star break Monday, Giles will be able to pitch with Fresno during the off week, said Astros general manager and president of baseball operations Jeff Luhnow.

“Ken Giles was optioned so that he has opportunity to go work on some things that he needs to work on,” Luhnow said. “He has not had the success up here this year that he’s had in the past or that he’s capable of having. We need to keep the Astros first and foremost as our priority, winning games here. We’re engaged in a tight division race with the Mariners. The A’s are a good team. The Angels are a dangerous team. He needs to pitch. Right now, he won’t get as much as an opportunity [here].”

Luhnow echoed Hinch’s response about the demotion revolving around Giles’ emotional exit from Tuesday’s game, saying the option of the 27-year-old reliever was “a baseball decision.” Giles was acquired from the Phillies in 2015 for Mark Appel, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, and four other players.

“As AJ said, this was a baseball decision,” Luhnow said. “I don’t know what [Giles] said. Things that are said between players or between players and staff, that’s a clubhouse issue. That’s dealt with separately. This is a baseball decision. He’s had success in certain situations, and he hasn’t been successful in other situations the way he really should be [having]. We have a plan for what he needs to work on.

“He needs innings. And it’s best that he gets those innings in Triple-A rather than here at this point.”


MLB’s Alyson Footer had the best takes. Here are from her tweets from yesterday:

Guess the Astros have had enough of Giles for a while. Effective today, the Astros have optioned RHP Ken Giles to Triple A Fresno and have recalled LHP Cionel Pérez from Double A Corpus Christi.

Relievers blow leads a few times a year. Really good relievers will cough it up several times, even. The key is how it’s handled after. The good ones brush it off and sleep well that night. They’re also the ones that pitch in the big leagues a long, long time. 

A couple of my own observations based on this Hinch clip: Giles’ outburst coming off the mound was an issue, even if it’s not being said, and Giles’ emotional state is as much of a concern as his physical performance (if not more).

Bottom line is this IMO — your team is 30 games over .500. THIRTY. You lose no more than twice a week. Stuff happens. A bad game doesn’t mean a bad season. If a blown save or blown lead simply allowing runs to a good-hitting team throws you off that much, well, that’s alarming.

I wish Luhnow wouldn’t talk down to us. It was a headcase and bad behavior decision pure and simple. A meltdown.

Gerrit Cole of course was take by the Pirates with the first overall draft pick in 2011.

Last night’s game was ugly. Well, at least I ran into two of my favorites last night at The Yard. I also picked up a replica ring.


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