The Astros have optioned right-handed reliever Ken Giles to Triple-A Fresno, per a club announcement Wednesday:
The Astros have optioned RHP Ken Giles to Triple A Fresno and have recalled LHP Cionel Pérez from Double A Corpus Christi.— Houston Astros (@astros) July 11, 2018
Giles, who was removed from the Astros’ closer role during the World Series last year, hasn’t always been the guy the Astros have called on in the ninth inning this year, but he does lead the team with 12 saves. Those opportunities have lessened recently as he’s struggled, but he had continued to get occasional ninth-inning opportunities, saving a game as recently as July 4 and appearing in the ninth inning (with a four-run lead) last night. He allowed three runs on three hits, however, and may or may not have cursed out manager A.J. Hinch as he was pulled from the game. This was just the latest instance of Giles struggling to control his emotions, as he infamously punched himself in the face after being pulled from a game earlier this year.
Hector Rondon, who has experienced a major resurgence this year and has been the Astros’ primary closer over the past few weeks, will continue to get the majority of the save opportunities. Brad Peacock has and likely will continue to be cast into the ninth-inning role on days where Rondon is unavailable.
Giles, who has a 4.99 ERA over 34 appearances, has been hit hard this year — opponents are hitting .286 against him — a sign that he probably isn’t getting enough movement on his fastball, as he’s throwing that pitch 57 percent of the time and it’s averaging 97 MPH. With that said, his periphrals are very good, as he’s struck out 31 hitters and walked just three in 30.2 innings. It seems that he’s been more unlucky than anything and will likely snap out of his slump sooner than later, but clearly the Astros must feel that an attitude adjustment is in order after his repeated public outbursts this season.
Lefty Cionel Perez, who will have an opportunity to make his major-league debut, was recalled from Double-A Corpus Christi to fill Giles’ spot on the roster.