Punching himself in the face was apparently not the lowest point for Ken Giles.
The Astros demoted the reliever to Triple-A Fresno on Wednesday, a day after he appeared to hurl an obscenity at A.J. Hinch when the manager jogged from the dugout to remove him. Giles had been in the throes of another tumultuous ninth inning, in which he allowed three single on eight pitches.
He was removed from Houston’s Tuesday night win against the A’s in favor of Hector Rondon to applause from the Minute Maid Park crowd. Rondon didn’t do much better, allowing four runs that sent the game into extra innings.
The Astros called up southpaw Cionel Perez to take Giles’ place. Hinch declined to talk about the specifics of the incident.
“We need to get him right. He’s not right. We need to get him right mentally and physically,” Hinch told reporters.
General manager Jeff Luhnow told the Houston Chronicle it was a “baseball decision.”
“I don’t know what he said,” he added. “Things are said between players and players and staff, and that’s a clubhouse issue.”
The embattled former closer has struggled all season, carrying a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings. Giles infamously punched himself in the face earlier this year after allowing a three-run home run to Gary Sanchez in the ninth of what had been a scoreless game against the Yankees.
Giles entered last year’s World Series as Houston’s closer. Hinch removed him from that role mid-series, though, after dismal performances in the Astros’ Game 2 and 4 losses to the Dodgers.
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