Hard-throwing Giles joins Phillies bullpen

Hard-throwing Giles joins Phillies bullpen

CINCINNATI -- Ken Giles heard the pleas from Philadelphia the moment he threw his first 100-mph fastball in Double-A Reading.

How could he escape it?

"It trickled down pretty fast," Giles said Sunday morning at Great American Ball Park.

The Phillies' bullpen has struggled this season and Giles dominated hitters in Double-A. He had a 1.20 ERA in 13 appearances with Reading. He struck out 29 and walked five in just 15 innings with stories about his velocity hitting Philadelphia immediately. The Phillies promoted him to Triple-A early last month and he posted a 2.63 ERA in 11 appearances, although he struck out just nine and walked eight in 13 2/3 innings.

Giles, 23, earned his promotion to the big leagues Saturday when the team announced it had placed Mike Adams on the disabled list with inflammation in his right rotator cuff.

Giles, a seventh-round selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, said he feels no pressure to live up to the hype.

"Not at all," he said. "If it's there, it's there. If it's not, it's not. I know what I can do, and I'm going to show them what I can do. ... I'm ready to go. No one is going to say no, right? I'm ready to go whenever they want me."

The Phillies front office had been asked incessantly about Giles' progress and their plans to promote the right-hander to the big leagues. They often spoke about his command, namely, he needed to show better fastball command and improve his slider.

Giles said both have improved since the beginning of the season, but he is not there yet.

"I'm not perfect," he said. "I'm not a complete project yet, but I'm only going to get better with experience."

Triple-A hitters struck out noticeably less than Double-A hitters, but Giles had an explanation for that.

"They were more experienced, but I wasn't trying to do too much," he said. "I wasn't trying to strike everyone out kind of thing. I just tried to make good pitches and get outs. Get out of innings as quick as possible. The less pitches I had, the better. ... They're a lot smarter than they were at Double-A, so I just had to kind of pitch a little bit better, keep them off my fastball, be a little more selective."

Giles called his family following the promotion Saturday. He had been called into IronPigs manager Dave Brundage's office for the news. But the coaches started the meeting by asking him what he had learned in Triple-A. They then told him they got him a flight to Cincinnati.

"I was like, 'Did I get traded?'" Giles said. "And then they told me, 'You're going up to the Phillies. And I'm like, 'Oh, OK. I'll get out of here then.'"

His family will be in Philadelphia this week.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.