The Los Angeles Dodgers have taken plenty of fliers on high-upside relief pitchers over the recent seasons, and this year has been no different.
Over the past several months they have already brought in J.P. Feyereisen, Alex Reyes, Shelby Miller and Jimmy Nelson to join a pair of injured relievers in Blake Treinen and Daniel Hudson, who were already on the roster.
All of them come with concerns, whether it be injuries or struggles, but each has the potential to be one of the team’s best relief pitchers when on the mound.
Now, the Dodgers have reportedly taken a chance on another low-risk, high-upside reliever, signing Ken Giles to a Minor League contract, according to Jon Heyman of The New York Post:
Ken Giles agrees to Dodgers deal. Minors deal.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 20, 2023
The 32-year-old was once one of the top relievers in baseball, where he was nicknamed 100 Miles Giles for his elite fastball. However, Giles has not been able to stay on the field recently due to injuries, most notably Tommy John surgery in 2020, and that has limited his effectiveness.
Giles made his MLB debut with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2014 and immediately became one of their top options out of the bullpen, posting a 1.18 ERA in 45.2 innings. The following season, he continued to dominate, throwing 70 innings with a 1.80 ERA.
Giles was then traded to the Houston Astros for a haul of prospects, where he spent the next two seasons. During the 2017 season, he saved 34 games for the Astors with a 2.30 ERA.
Giles has stated he would give back his championship ring if asked and that he was extremely disappointed to learn about the scandal when MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s report was released on the Astros’ sign stealing.
The Astros traded Giles to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2018 as part of a package for Roberto Osuna, who was serving a 75-game suspension for domestic violence.
He elected free agency following the 2020 season and signed with the Seattle Mariners, but only threw 4.1 innings for them, which came during the 2022 season, and they ended up releasing the right-hander.
Giles then latched on with the San Francisco Giants late in the 2022 season, but was released after just one week in their organization.
Giles was recently throwing and held a showcase before signing with the Dodgers.
Could Ken Giles join the Dodgers bullpen?
Giles will get a chance to prove himself in the Minor Leagues to show the Dodgers he is capable of helping their team.
The Dodgers have a long history of taking on pitchers at their lowest value and getting them to contribute, such as Brandon Morrow and Tyler Anderson, but they have also taken chances on players such as Dellin Betances and Cole Hamels, of which neither panned out.
It’s impossible to say which version of Giles the Dodgers are getting, but if it works out, he could push his way into a high-leverage role in the bullpen.
At the very minimum, he provides some veteran experience in the Minor Leagues and could help some of the younger pitchers develop.
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