PHILADELPHIA -- Right-handed reliever Kenny Giles has caused quite a stir with his fast start for Reading, the Phillies' Double-A affiliate, especially given the bullpen woes of the parent club.
The 24-year-old Giles, whose fastball has routinely been clocked at 100 mph, has five saves and a 0.00 ERA at Reading, where he has struck out 18 while walking four in eight innings.
"Well aware of what he's doing, and keeping tabs of that," manager Ryne Sandberg said Wednesday before the Phillies' game against Atlanta. "That's all good."
Giles saw 4 1/3 innings for the Phillies in spring training, striking out five and walking three, and Sandberg said his control needed work. He has seemingly improved that, but the question now becomes whether his success would translate to the major league level.
The other question is when (or if) the Phils would want to give him a look.
"I don't think there's any set time," Sandberg said. "Sometimes when there becomes a need for a guy. ... The message (to any minor leaguer) is to be going good and going to the ballpark and trying to improve and work on things that are suggested to help them. In Giles' case he was told to work on his control and establishing early strikes and being in the strike zone. It sounds like he's doing that, so that's all good. But that goes for anybody in the minor leagues -- just be going good and whenever the need comes, then one of those guys will get a phone call, whoever's going good."
STREAK: Lost two
NEXT: Braves (LHP Alex Wood, 2-1, 1.89 ERA) at Phillies (RHP A.J. Burnett, 0-1, 3.94)
--RHP A.J. Burnett, Thursday's starter, was pulled from his last start, against Miami, after 4 1/3 innings with what was later diagnosed as a hernia. Manager Ryne Sandberg said Wednesday that Burnett was "feeling very good about where he's at." Burnett is 5-12 with a 4.14 ERA in 21 career appearances against Atlanta, 20 of them starts.
--LHP Cliff Lee struck out 13 in a complete-game effort Wednesday against Atlanta, but he took a 1-0 loss. It was the 29th double-digit strikeout performance for Lee, who threw a career-high 128 pitches (85 for strikes). He allowed 11 hits and walked one.
--2B Chase Utley went 0-for-4 Wednesday and saw an 11-game hitting streak come to an end. Utley is hitting .449 this season.
--LHP Cole Hamels will make a rehab start for Class A Clearwater on Thursday, and assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said it is a "distinct possibility" that Hamels will make his first start of the season next week in Los Angeles. Hamels went 8-14 with a 3.60 ERA in 2013.
--OF/1B Darin Ruf, out with an oblique injury, has resumed baseball activities and likely will begin a rehab assignment next week, according to assistant general manager Scott Proefrock. Ruf hit .247 with 14 homers and 30 RBIs in 73 games last season.
--RHP Ethan Martin, idled by shoulder soreness, has been throwing bullpen sessions and could begin a rehab assignment in the near future. Martin, tabbed for bullpen duty this year, went 2-5 with a 6.08 ERA in 15 games last year, eight of them starts.
--RHP Miguel A. Gonzalez, recovering from shoulder soreness, is "close to getting on a mound," according to assistant general manager Scott Proefrock. Gonzalez allowed five runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings during spring training.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Well aware of what he's doing, and keeping tabs of that." -- manager Ryne Sandberg, on RHP Kenny Giles, who has five saves and a 0.00 ERA at Double-A Reading.
--RHP A.J. Burnett (small inguinal hernia) threw in the bullpen April 13 for about 15 minutes and was encouraged with his recovery. Burnett left his start on April 11 after 4 1/3 innings. The 37-year-old was diagnosed April 14. The Phillies said it's manageable and Burnett will pitch through it, making his scheduled start on April 16. Burnett left his outing on April 11 after 4 1/3 innings with groin soreness. "I guess manageable is that I'm going to have to deal with it, is what it means," Burnett said. "Paying attention to it, knowing it's there, knowing what I can do to overdo it and knowing what I can do to keep it where it needs to be."
--OF Ben Revere (sore ribcage) was out of the starting lineup on April 14 for the fourth consecutive game. He served as a pinch-hitter on April 11, 12 and 13.
--2B Freddy Galvis (staph infection) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Clearwater on April 8 and was activated April 11.
--LHP Cole Hamels (left biceps tendinitis) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. He was sent on a rehab assignment to Clearwater on April 6, with starts April 12 and April 17. Assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said it is a "distinct possibility" that Hamels will make his first start of the season the week of April 21 in Los Angeles.
--RHP Mike Adams (right shoulder surgery in July 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Clearwater on April 3, and he hopes to be back with the Phillies by mid-April. He will pitch April 12 for Triple-A Lehigh Valley and could return the week of April 14.
--RHP Ethan Martin (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. He was hurt in late February, and he was throwing again in late March. He started throwing bullpen sessions in mid-April and could begin a rehab assignment in late April.
--OF/1B Darin Ruf (left oblique strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21. He resumed baseball activities in mid-April and likely will begin a rehab assignment April 21-26.
--RHP Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez (right shoulder soreness) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on March 29. He was playing long-toss in late March. On April 16, assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said Gonzalez was "close to getting on a mound."
LHP Cliff Lee
RHP A.J. Burnett
RHP Kyle Kendrick
RHP Roberto Hernandez
RHP Jonathan Papelbon (closer)
LHP Antonio Bastardo
LHP Jake Diekman
RHP Brad Lincoln
RHP Jeff Manship
LHP Mario Hollands
RHP Luis Garcia
RHP B.J. Rosenberg
1B Ryan Howard
2B Chase Utley
SS Jimmy Rollins
3B Cody Asche
INF Freddy Galvis
INF Jayson Nix
LF Domonic Brown
CF Ben Revere
RF Marlon Byrd
OF Tony Gwynn Jr.
OF John Mayberry Jr.
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- Ryne Sandberg