*As I type this, Adam Duvall just homered to deep left-center. Dave Flemming just estimated Duvall’s shot at 440 feet. Seriously, this kid might turn some serious heads this spring… and I wouldn’t mind it a bit if he did.
Here’s post #2 of the bullpen battle, and the guys who are (in my estimation) most likely to win the remaining two roster spots this spring. Hopefully you’ll find this list a little more appealing, although I’ll admit it’d be very nice to add a veteran guy like Joel Hanrahan to this group. Hey, if these guys don’t perform in the next month or so, you never know what might happen. The same can be said for many spots on the roster.
This is also the final post in the “Spring Battles” series. We looked at 29 players in total. It’s very likely that some combination of those 29 will fill out the final 5 spots on the Giants Opening Day squad. Maybe you learned something about a new player from this series, maybe you didn’t. But hopefully we at least now have an idea of the guys who are really battling this spring, as well as some potential sleepers out there. I think we’ve also profiled nearly every “non-established” player in camp, from the minor league kids to the veteran free agents.
Let the battles begin.
Jean Machi | Age 32
MLB: 59.2 IP, 2.87 ERA, 1.106 Whip, 4.23 K/BB
MiLB: 624.2 IP, 90 Sv, 3.76 ERA, 1.394 Whip, 1.89 K/BB
Outlook: He’s not flashy or overly athletic, but Machi has worked his butt off to get to the bigs at 30. He threw one of the harder fastballs on the staff last year, and should have a pretty good shot at a job if he has his stuff working this spring.
Heath Hembree | Age 25
MLB: 7.2 IP, 0.0 ERA, 0.783 Whip, 6.0 K/BB
MiLB: 162.2 IP, 87 Sv, 3.15 ERA, 1.168 Whip, 3.32 K/BB
Outlook: The kid finally got his shot in September, and never gave up a run. The slider looked good, but the velocity was a little cool. Hopefully he brings the heater (and the control) to camp. If he does, he’s prime for a full-time spot in the Show.
George Kontos | Age 28
MLB: 105 IP, 3.51 ERA, 1.248 Whip, 2.94 K/BB
MiLB: 585 IP, 7 Sv, 3.28 ERA, 1.197 Whip, 3.10 K/BB
Outlook: Didn’t really show up in 2013 after an impressive showing in 2012. Relief pitchers come and go on a regular basis, and it’s up to Kontos to prove he still belongs in a MLB pen. How does he do that? Well, lefties hit .330 off him last year, so ironing that out should be a focal point this year.
Jake Dunning | Age 25
MLB: 25.1 IP, 2.84 ERA, 1.224 Whip, 1.45 K/BB
MiLB: 230 IP, 13 Sv, 3.60 ERA, 1.339 Whip, 3.13 K/BB
Outlook: Did you know Dunning was a 33rd round pick? I actually had no idea he was drafted so far down. Got the call over Hembree mid-season and pitched well, although he didn’t light the world on fire. He’s not overpowering, but has shown he can be a steady option out of the pen. Can he steal the attention away from the flamethrowers this spring? I guess we’ll find out.
Derek Law | Age 23
MiLB: 140 IP, 20 Sv, 2.57 ERA, 1.064 Whip, 5.08 K/BB
Outlook: The Giants surprise bullpen arm of the season, Law could have a bright MLB future ahead of him. Of all the players in camp, he’s in the top 3 most intriguing category for me. I cannot wait to see how he fares this spring, and it sounds like there’s an outside chance he even earns a spot on the 25-man if all goes well. I’ll admit that I’d like for him to get a bit more experience against upper level competition (AA or AAA) before he’s thrown to the wolves. Unless he blows the door down in Scottsdale, I think he’s headed to Fresno for some more seasoning.