Which lefty 'pen arms will be called on in '24?

February 21st, 2024

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Young starting pitchers the Giants have. Same with arms in the bullpen.

It’s which lefties will get the bullpen calls in 2024 that will be dictated over the weeks before camp breaks.

A sure lefty lock for the bullpen is returning veteran , 33, who enters his second season with San Francisco after appearing in 60 games in 2023 in which he allowed just 39 hits in his 51 2/3 innings. This season will be Rogers' ninth year in the Majors, and he's within reach of his 500th career appearance (he's currently at 445). He knows what it takes to make the roster as a southpaw reliever -- and to stay there.

“It’s a process to build up to the season. You can’t make the team on live BP day,” Rogers said Tuesday. “If you have a chance to make the team or an outside chance to make the team, you come in rip-roaring and end up getting over-sore and you’re not as effective as you can be when the game starts.”

The Giants’ bullpen racked up 705 1/3 total innings in 2023, the most in the Majors. Yet the group was one of only seven in the National League with a collective ERA under 4.00 during the regular season (3.92).

Also in camp is , who was acquired from the Phillies in exchange for Yunior Marte in January 2023 and recorded a 2.45 ERA in 54 appearances between Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Sacramento last year. The Giants added him to the 40-man roster in November.

The 6-foot-5 Miller continues to develop his fastball, changeup and slider, and he’s not even a stranger in his new locker room. Miller has been teammates with fellow reliever in both college at Stanford and in Triple-A.

Now they’re spending Spring Training together on the Giants’ pitching staff and look to be teammates again, this time in the Majors.

“I was following along when he was with the Braves, then the Giants' [farm teams],” Miller said of Beck, who appeared in 33 games with the Giants in 2023. “When I got the trade here, obviously he was one of the first that texted me.”

As for where the starting rotation stands as of Tuesday morning, manager Bob Melvin said there’s only one spot left for evaluation, although he stopped short of pinning down just who is among the projected starters.

“Honestly I think it’s one spot, for me right now, that we’re looking at,” Melvin said.

The Giants will open 2024 waiting on 2021 Cy Young winner Robbie Ray to return from last spring’s Tommy John surgery, and Alex Cobb is expected to miss the season’s early games while he recovers from hip surgery this past October.

A handful of candidates appear to be vying for that last spot.

, the top left-handed pitching prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, figures to be in the mix after starting seven games as a late call-up in 2023. Righty , who started in five of his nine appearances after debuting this past June, is another pitcher likely in the mix as he continues to develop breaking balls to complement his already solid fastball and splitter.

“He can get away with two pitches, that’s the thing. Very few starters can,” Melvin said of Winn. “He’s built a foundation of two pitches that he can lean on, and that’s important.”

Beck, meanwhile, started three games as a rookie in '23. Melvin said Beck has a “good chance” at cracking the rotation.

“I’m not sitting here saying that he’s in the rotation,” Melvin added, still not confirming anything in order to keep competition strong in camp. “Again, I have four in my head right now.”