UPDATE 4/1: Ruben Amaro thinks Giles' "mild back strain" is less severe than Cody Asche's recent injury, and believes Giles will be with the team opening day.
Philadelphia sort of exploded this afternoon as the one thing that everyone didn't want to happen of course happened.
Trainer out to see Ken Giles. He is leaving field. Uh oh— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) March 31, 2015
Young pitchers today face a world in which if their arm has not been pinned to a back-alley operating table and savaged by a cackling surgeon with a hacksaw, then they live in dread of this nightmare becoming a reality. Or, it's a professionally done operation performed in a sterile environment by a specialist trusted league-wide, whatever. All that matters is young hurlers who come along and invigorate a fanbase tend to be yanked away at the height of their powers and forgotten for a year as they are taken apart and reassembled.
For the Phillies, Ken Giles is that youngling. He is on the verge of a breakout season, having allowed earned runs in only five of his 44 outings as a triple digit-touching 23-year-old last season and serving as the sole Phillies representation on "top bright spots" and "sleeper fantasy picks" lists this preseason.
So it makes sense for the vicious baseball gods to drool over his demise, which we feared had come today.
Ken Giles in #Phillies clubhouse with team trainer— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) March 31, 2015
What's happening? Is the trainer disease-free? Is Giles in an airtight bubble while they converse? WHY WILL NO ONE TALK TO US. We had helicopters following DeMarco Murray while he drove to the NovaCare Complex, but this doesn't get air coverage?!?
Sandberg said Ken Giles felt a muscle grab him in the lower part of his back. Fastball just 95 today. Velocity been down this spring.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) March 31, 2015
Don't you all feel ridiculous.
It doesn't seem that... at the moment... Giles is suffering from any damage to his pitching arm. A dip in velocity isn't spectacular news, but it is far outweighed by the knowledge that the closer of the future hasn't suffered the same fate as so many other hard-throwing young stars. He'll be around opening day, he says.