In a somewhat surprising move, Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch announced Monday that Luke Gregerson would retain his role as the team’s closer, beating out former Phillies closer Ken Giles for the job.
The two battled throughout spring training, but ultimately Giles’ struggles were too much for Hinch to overlook.
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The 25-year-old Giles allowed seven earned runs on 12 hits in 9 1/3 innings of work during the spring. Giles posted a 1.80 ERA and converted 15 of 20 save opportunities in 70 innings with the Phillies last season.
The Astros acquired Giles in a trade this offseason that sent 2013 No. 1 draft pick Mark Appel to the Phillies.
Gregerson went 7-3 with a 3.10 ERA and converted 31 saves in 36 opportunities last season.
Giles was the more popular pick in fantasy drafts. He was owned in 94 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 95.7 of ESPN leagues. Gregerson was owned in just 68 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 12.8 percent of ESPN leagues as of Monday at 1:15 p.m.
If you’re already in need of a closer, Gregerson is a solid option. With the Astros coming off their first playoff season since 2005 and poised to compete for the AL West title, Gregerson will get his fair share of save chances.
Giles may be worth hanging on to, depending on how deep your league goes. While he won’t be getting save chances on a regular basis, he still has value. Giles has a career 11.7 strikeout-per-nine rate, 1.56 ERA and 1.037 WHIP, making him at least a three-category threat.