HE’S HERE! Ken Giles is finally going to be up with the Seattle Mariners, albeit a bit later than expected. We all expected him to make his debut early on in 2022, but that was unfortunately delayed by a finger issue that held him out for an extra 8 weeks or so.
But now, he’s made it through the minors on his rehab circuit, and he has been called up by the Mariners in advance of the series against the Athletics.
Ken Giles is up, and it could be the boost that the Mariners bullpen needs.
With the allowable pitchers on a MLB roster finally dropping back down to 13, the Mariners were going to have to make some changes no matter what. It become more of an issue once Giles was healthy, as it coincided with the same arrival date for his return and the rule adjustment by MLB. We always knew the roster size change was going to happen, but it had been pushed back a bit longer to help teams out.
With Giles coming up to the Mariners, the team designated both Sergio Romo and Roenas Elias to the minors and brought up Kevin Padlo alongside Giles.
What does this mean for the Mariners though? It could be a nice saving grace for the bullpen, not having to rely on the 8.16 ERA from Romo across 14.1 innings, or Elias who’s actually gotten a bit of unfair luck and treatment. With Giles though, the Mariners are adding a potentially dominant reliever to their pen, and someone with plenty of experience in high leverage situations.
One of the things that I really like about Servais is his willingness to not slot relievers into specific innings. He has shown the ability in the past (like 2021 having 3 guys with 10+ saves), to put in relievers in the right situations. Sure, Giles could close games for the Mariners. However, if the best hitters on a team are coming up in the 8th, we should expect to see him then.
He hasn’t really pitched since 2019, having thrown only 3.2 innings in 2020 before going down with Tommy John. The Mariners signed him to a three-year deal, fully knowing that it was a rehab deal in order to have him down the line. 2019 though… if they can get 2019 Giles, opponents are going to be in for a rough time.
Back in 2019, Ken Giles threw 53 innings, giving up just 11 runs for a 1.87 ERA, alongside a 1.000 WHIP, striking out 14.1 per 9, the highest rate of his career. Putting a monster like that into the bullpen would be an incredible addition, and make for a roundabout way of a midseason addition instead of having to send out talent in a trade acquisition.
The Mariners are at a rough spot right now. They do have a couple of things going for them, between Giles coming back, a much easier stretch of opposition, and some bad luck when it comes to leaving runners on base. Things could be looking up for the Mariners ( or at least positive) and getting Ken Giles back is going to be a great start.