AJ: Giles' claims about Astros tenure 'flat wrong'

Manager refutes former closer's assertions that his role wasn't properly communicated

September 24th, 2018

TORONTO -- Astros manager AJ Hinch refuted assertions made by his former closer, Blue Jays pitcher , who said Monday the team didn't communicate clearly with him about his role. Giles was traded to the Blue Jays in July after cursing on the mound while Hinch removed him from a game, ending a tumultuous three-year stint in Houston.

When informed of Giles' comments from the Blue Jays' clubhouse, Hinch said Monday they were "flat wrong." Hinch has a reputation as a strong communicator.

"I wish Ken Giles well, but my advice to him would be to participate in the culture which he's in if he wants the benefits of it," Hinch said.

Giles said he "didn't appreciate the lack of communication" and pointed out how well he pitched in closing situations, though he struggled when he entered the game in a non-closing role. He went into the season as the closer, but Hinch has maintained since he's been in Houston that he's not locked on the same pitcher closing games.

"I didn't know what I was doing there," Giles said. "I'm getting thrown out there like I didn't know what's going on. It keeps me out of the loop a little bit. I wasn't told some information that I needed to know, [and I was] going out there in the dark.

"Other than that, it's a shame. I enjoyed my teammates there and we made a lot of great memories and I'm very blessed to be with those guys and got to learn from those guys. I give them all the love in the world. I'll tell you one thing, I gave everything I had with that team and went to war with that team. ... It's bittersweet the way I had to exit, but overall it's for the best. I'm happy. They're happy. It is what it is."

Giles, who was acquired from the Phillies via trade prior to the 2016 season, never found a groove in Houston. He had moments when he dominated, but he had some high-profile meltdowns, such as allowing 10 runs in 7 2/3 innings in seven outings in the postseason last year, including three runs without recording an out in Game 4 of the World Series. Hinch said Giles always knew his role.

"I'm disappointed he would go down that path given how much work and time and energy and communication our front office, our coaching staff -- we all went through this with him," Hinch said. "I understand there's some disappointment with his tenure with the Astros.

"We gave him every opportunity. We communicated with him effectively. We had an incredible culture. Every single player will tell you it's one of the best cultures they've had and one of the best communication environments they've had. They all know their roles. They all know their situations. To have one person, of all the guys in our clubhouse, to come out and claim otherwise is flat wrong."

Worth noting

• The Astros activated right-hander from the disabled list Monday and will be used in the bullpen in the final week of the regular season. McCullers went on the 10-day disabled list on Aug. 5 with right elbow discomfort. He's never made a regular-season relief appearance, but he came out of the bullpen in two games in the playoffs last year. More >

• Left-hander was recalled from Triple-A and added to the bullpen. He appeared in one game for Houston earlier this season.

• Astros shortstop , who's been shut down for a few days because of a sore back, could return to the lineup on Wednesday, Hinch said. Correa hit in the batting cage Monday and took some ground balls on the field and is feeling better and is pain-free, which his encouraging for Hinch.

• Right-hander Charlie Morton, who was pulled after one inning Sunday because of right shoulder discomfort, is in Houston with his wife, who's expecting the couple's fourth child any day. Hinch said Morton will rejoin the team this weekend in Baltimore and will be reassessed. Hinch said he expects Morton will pitch another short stint this weekend against the Orioles.

• The Astros have yet to name a starter for Wednesday's series finale, which will likely be a bullpen game. will make his final regular-season start in Thursday's series opener in Baltimore, followed by on Friday.