Saturday, November 16, 2013

Giants Depth Chart: Relief Pitching

Relief pitching is a huge topic, so this is not going to be a complete list of every RP prospect out there.  I will try to list 3-4 of the RP's at each level who I think have a chance to eventually make a MLB bullpen.  You have to keep in mind, though, that many MLB relievers are former minor league starters.

MLB Closer:  Sergio Romo  5-8, 2.54, 60.1 IP, 12 BB, 58 K, 38 Saves, 43 SVO's.

Romo solidified his spot in the closer chair as he remained in the role throughout the season and showed surprising stamina.  His unusually high number of decisions reflect how many tie games he pitched in, which is probably a suboptimal situation, but not his fault.  I think he is the closer going forward as long as he remains healthy and effective.

Other MLB Relievers:  Santiago Casilla  7-2, 2.16, 50 IP, 25 BB, 38 K, 3 Saves.
                                  Jeremy Affeldt   1-5, 3.74, 33.2 IP, 17 BB, 21 K, 4 Saves.
                                  Heath Hembree   0-0, 0.00, 7.2 IP, 2 BB, 12 K.
                                  Jean Machi         3-1, 2.38, 53 IP, 12 BB, 51 K, 2 Saves
                                  George Kontos    2-2, 4.39, 55.1 IP, 18 BB, 47 K, 1 Save
                                  Jake Dunning      0-2, 2.84, 25.1 IP, 11 BB, 16 K
                                  Sandy Rosario     3-2, 3.02, 41.2 IP, 20 BB, 24 K.
                                  Guillermo Moscoso 2-2, 5.10, 30 IP, 21 BB, 31 K

That is 8 pitchers and their is generally room for only 6 non-closers in a MLB bullpen.  There will also be at least 1 LHP added, whether it be Javier Lopez coming back or another FA.  The RHP's who I think should be locks are Casilla, Hembree and Machi with Dunning and Kontos on the bubble.  The Giants may want a long man, though, which might give Moscoso a leg up on Dunning and Kontos.  Chad Gaudin is another wild card given his health issues and FA status.  I've even read a rumor that the Giants are talking to Brian Wilson.  That just seems like asking for trouble between him and Romo, though.

AAA:  Brett Bochy(RHP)  1-1, 3.99, 56.1 IP, 16 BB, 57 K, 2 Saves.

Melonhead Jr. Pitched pretty well considering it was the PCL and all.  I'm just not sure he has the stuff to get MLB hitters out consistently.  He'll likely be back in Fresno to start 2014.

AA:  Cody Hall  2-2, 2.39, 26.1 IP, 8 BB, 27 K, 8 Saves.
        Josh Osich  2-3, 4.85, 29.2 IP, 12 BB, 28 K, 3 Saves.
These are the two bullpen guys from Richmond who seem to be the true prospects.  Cody Hall appears to be on a fast track to the majors and I wouldn't be shocked to see him break down the door in spring training.  Osich seems to be more of a work in progress, but that kind of velocity and talent from the left side is rare to find.  Osich had a 2.87 ERA over his last 10 appearances.  Hall pitched in the AFL with mixed results finishing with a 3.00 ERA in 9 IP.

High A:  Derek Law  4-0, 2.10, 25.2 IP, 1 BB, 45 K, 11 Saves.
              Bryce Bandilla  1-4, 3.65, 44.1 IP, 25 BB, 72 K, 5 Saves.
              Chris Marlowe  3-2, 3.97, 70.1 IP, 35 BB, 55 K.
              Hunter Strickland  1-0, 21 IP, 5 BB, 23 K, 9 Saves.

Law is on the fast track for sure after an equally impressive AFL performance, but take another look at those K and BB ratios.  Wow!  Bandilla had his ups and downs but certainly can make batters swing and miss.  Marlowe also had his ups and downs but continues to show interesting stuff.  Strickland was the early season closer but did not appear after 5/23.

Low A  Mason McVay  3-5, 4.12, 67.2 IP, 18 BB, 75 K, 1 Save.
            Steven Okert    2-2, 2.97, 60.2 IP, 24 BB, 59 K, 2 Saves.
            Ian Gardeck     4-3, 3.21, 56.0 IP, 40 BB, 66 IP, 1 Save.
            Stephen Johnson  5-1, 3.61, 52.1 IP, 30 BB, 71 K, 8 Saves.
            Tyler Mizenko  1-4, 2.75, 52.1 IP, 24 BB, 50 K, 25 Saves.
            Jorge Bucardo   2-1, 1.84, 44 IP, 11 BB, 40 K, 6 Saves.

McVay had 1 start and could be converted to starter at any time.  Okert had a solid season.  Gardeck and Johnson are both very hard throwers who need to sharpen their command.  Mizenko has a 0 ERA for about half a season then was not as sharp in the second half.  Bucardo is on the comeback trail as a reliever.

Short Season:  Raymundo Montero  2-2, 1.82, 29.2 IP, 7 BB, 43 K, 14 Saves.
                      Cameron McVey      3-2, 3.19, 42.1 IP, 14 BB, 48 K, 1 Save.
                      Jake Shadle             4-1, 3.03, 38.2 IP, 12 BB, 40 K.
                      Tyler Rogers            1-1, 3.10, 20.1 IP, 9 BB, 16 K.
                       Eduardo Encinosa   0-0, 3.12, 17.1 IP, 10 BB, 21 K, 1 Save.
                      Dan Slania               1-1, 3.95, 13.2 IP, 3 BB, 14 K, 3 Saves.

Those are some mighty nice looking numbers from Montero who has gotten almost no attention from anybody.  Rogers is a sidearmer who I was not impressed with when I saw him pitch in the Cal League playoffs.  Slania is the marquee name here.  He could be groomed as a closer or converted to starter.

Rookie AZL:  Dusten Knight  5-1, 1.13, 32 IP, 11 BB, 43 K, 2 Saves.
                    Eury Sanchez   1-0, 1.13, 16 IP, 4 BB, 26 K, 7 Saves.
                    Carlos Alvarado 2-0, 2.20, 28.2 IP, 6 BB, 37 K, 5 Saves.

Lots of other pitchers with very small sample sizes.  These 3 seemed to be the active core of the bullpen for the AZL Giants.

DSL:  Jose Morel  6-0, 1.22, 59 IP, 6 BB, 55 K, 6 Saves.
          Luis Castillo  0-1, 0.64, 28.1 IP, 3 BB, 34 K, 20 Saves.
          Shawn Gomez  7-0, 2.76, 42.1 IP, 15 BB, 27 K.
          Cesar Yanez  1-2, 2.23, 32.1 IP, 14 BB, 32 K.
           Clarence Richardson  0-1, 5.16, 22.2 IP, 14 BB, 33 K, 2 Saves.

Don't know much about these guys.  Castillo was 20 yo.  Morel was 19 yo.  Love Gomez' size at 6'4" but the low K's and flyball tendency are not a good mix.  Yanez is 6'5" and Richardson is 6'3", 190 lbs.   We'll just have to see who emerges.


  1. Derek Law is coming on like a freight train. A reliever who doesn't walk fools? Yes, please! Please! He has that crazy show me the your number delivery, its very different than other looks, which is a nice bonus for our corps. And he throws heat with a mean curve. Cody Hall and Hembree got serious competition here for limited # of spots.

    I gotta plug Nick Jones for a second. He's a tall lefty like McVay, and he might be a conversion project as well. Did I mention that the 2013 draft is looking good?

    Okert did have a solid season. We were expecting a lot, he didn't really provide huge hype during the season, but overall those are pretty nice numbers.

    I notice you didn't put Machi's lefty twin Mijares in the list. Already out the door in your mind?

    1. Yeah, I've kind of crossed Mijares off the list. He could be back if Lopez ends up not signing, though.

  2. Thanks again Doc for another great write up.
    My only comment, I am glad I am not the guy who decides who makes it in spring and who doesn't.
    Love how loaded our system is.

    Richard in Winnipeg

  3. I know I will get some heat for this but I still don't like Romo as a closer. I know he can do the job but I like it much better with him as a set up, shut down type of role.

  4. I've had my doubts about Romo along the way. I think he still is a bit shaky against LH batters. He depends on deception and outguessing the hitters which can turn around and bite if the hitter happens to guess right.

    All in all, though, if you take the totality of his 2013 performance and add it to his postseason performance in 2012, I think you have to tip your hat to him and say he got the job done. The next question is whether or not you give him veteran closer money when he hits FA. Not so sure about that.