Subtitled: Things that terrify Bruce Bochy
Watching Sergio Romo get the save in yesterday’s 6-5 against the Padres was awesome for a couple of reasons, one of which was that Sergio Romo’s badassery is nearly unmatched in history. Oh, what’s that trick knee? You’re hurting? Shut up, let’s go save this game. Oh, hey other good knee, you’re also hurting? Cram it, let’s go save this game.
Yes, watching Romo strap on two – two! – knee braces before heading into the ninth inning was truly terrifying.
The bullpen, as currently assembled:
Overall, it’s not a bad collection of arms. Casilla, Affeldt, and Romo have all pitched quite well this season; Javier Lopez is still a lefty slayer; and, Clay Hensley – and his two-seam fastball – has been fun to watch, if not a little inconsistent at times. Yet, lurking in the shadows is the duo of Steve Edlefsen and Shane Loux, two guys whose mere presence in the bullpen really makes a statement. And that statement is, “the bullpen is hurting right now.”
Loux has faced 571 batters in his major league career; he’s struck out just 41 of them. Edlefsen, he of sinkerdom, is probably a little better than Loux, but not by much.
Clearly the Giants could use an upgrade in the back of their bullpen. If you subscribe to the line of thinking, the question then becomes: Can that upgrade come from within? And that answer is “maybe.”
Pre-season, Heath Hembree was ranked #5 on our Top-15 Prospect List. Ideally, Hembree had all the tools needed to appear in the bullpen at some point in the 2012 season. He threw very hard, scouts loved his pure stuff, and he was labeled the “closer in waiting” by many. Alright, let’s get him on the next bus to San Francisco. Let me just punch up his AAA numbers real quick …
Oh. Oh, that’s not good. Also, arm tenderness. Yeah, so maybe Hembree isn’t the guy. That leads us to George Kontos.
Kontos was the return in the Chris Stewart Yankees trade. At 27-years-old, he’s not really a prospect, but for a reliever, he’s got plenty of time left. Additionally, Kontos is already on the team’s 40-man roster, so moving him onto the 25-man roster shouldn’t be too difficult as he’d likely replace one of Edlefsen or Loux. Kontos is unlikely to be a bullpen savior, but he’s healthy and would give Bruce Bochy, and the Giants, another slightly better option to use.
Slightly better. I think that should be our new tagline for the 2012 season!