Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Giants confident in righty-heavy bullpen

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

PHOENIX -- To compensate for the presence of only one left-hander in the team's season-opening bullpen, the Giants' hierarchy made sure to select right-handed relievers who have shown aptitude against left-handed hitters.

Derek Law (.188 opponents' batting average against left-handed hitters in 2016), Cory Gearrin (.209), closer Mark Melancon (.221) and George Kontos (.243) thrived against lefties last year.

View Full Game Coverage

PHOENIX -- To compensate for the presence of only one left-hander in the team's season-opening bullpen, the Giants' hierarchy made sure to select right-handed relievers who have shown aptitude against left-handed hitters.

Derek Law (.188 opponents' batting average against left-handed hitters in 2016), Cory Gearrin (.209), closer Mark Melancon (.221) and George Kontos (.243) thrived against lefties last year.

View Full Game Coverage

Hunter Strickland (.270) and Neil Ramirez (.300) were more vulnerable.

But Giants manager Bruce Bochy maintained confidence in all of them.

"I'm not just sitting on the fence," Bochy said before Sunday's season opener against Arizona. "That's why we went this way. We're comfortable with all our righties against lefties."

San Francisco's lone bullpen lefty, Ty Blach, held left-handed hitters to a .130 average in his four big league appearances last season.

Bochy sounded particularly upbeat about Law, due primarily to his pitching style.

"He's a four-pitch guy with velocity, two breaking balls and a changeup. He can go in and out. In certain situations with a lot of lefties, we'll be comfortable with him."

For now, Bochy said he will use Melancon only in the ninth inning or later, preferring not to install him in the eighth even against a formidable hitter or two.

Melancon rarely has been asked to handle multiple-inning situations. He pitched more than one inning just three times in 75 appearances last year.

• Several future Giants will be involved in a version of musical chairs as the organization strives to find enough quality playing time for its top prospects at Triple-A Sacramento. Bochy discussed how certain players will be used.

Jae-Gyun Hwang, primarily a third baseman, also will play first base and left field.

Christian Arroyo will share third base with Hwang besides playing some second base and shortstop.

Orlando Calixte will receive time in center field as well as at shortstop.

However, opportunities at shortstop also must be found for Kelby Tomlinson, Bochy said.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Cory Gearrin, George Kontos, Derek Law, Mark Melancon