Webb building quick rapport with Bailey

June 3rd, 2023

This story was excerpted from Maria Guardado’s Giants Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

SAN FRANCISCO -- has been among the Giants starters who have experimented with calling their own games via PitchCom this season, but the ace right-hander decided to transfer those duties back to rookie catcher  in the final three innings of his start against the Orioles on Friday night.

Webb explained that he and Bailey ended up establishing such a good rhythm that it felt right to have his batterymate take the lead on pitch-calling. 

"I've told him before, all the catchers, if you see something I don't see, you guys can call a pitch whenever you want," Webb said. "All of a sudden it was turning into like every pitch, and it was all the pitches I wanted to throw, so it made sense. There were a couple of times I shook him off, but it was good. It was awesome."

Bailey, 24, entered Saturday batting .310 with an .849 OPS and two homers in his first 12 Major League games, but he’s been perhaps even more impressive with his defense behind the plate. He flashed his strong arm by throwing out the speedy Jorge Mateo at second base in the fifth inning of the Giants’ 3-2 loss to Baltimore and continues to draw rave reviews for his calm demeanor and his ability to build relationships with the club's veteran pitching staff. 

"I think it's getting to the point where he knows exactly what I'm trying to do," Webb said. "We talk about it in between innings, we talk about it before the game. I think that's what's honestly cool about it. He can put it in, I can put it in. I can put it in and he can be shaking his head and put one in, and I can do the same to him. I think that's pretty cool. 

"He's earning the trust of all our pitchers right now, and I trust him 100 percent."

With Bailey seemingly grabbing hold of the starting catching job -- the club is 7-4 when he starts behind the plate -- the Giants will have an interesting call to make on , who has been out since May 17 with a left groin strain but is getting close to coming off the injured list.

Bart, 26, went 1-for-4 and caught five innings in his first rehab game with Triple-A Sacramento on Friday night, but the Giants likely won’t need to rush him back since Bailey has been performing well thus far. ’s ability to play the outfield would give the Giants the option to carry three catchers once Bart is ready to return, though the club will also have to clear spots on the 26-man roster for and  in the coming days.

Manager Gabe Kapler said the Giants will focus on getting Bart back to full strength before making any decisions regarding the configuration of their roster. 

“First and foremost, we just need Joey to be fully healthy and prepared to help our team win,” Kapler said.