SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The joy of participation illuminated Tyler Beede's smile on Monday. As for the thrill of competition, that'll have to wait a little longer.Beede, ranked No. 4 among Giants prospects by MLB Pipeline, felt understandably happy just to stand on a pitcher's mound and stare down opposing hitters
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The joy of participation illuminated Tyler Beede's smile on Monday. As for the thrill of competition, that'll have to wait a little longer.
Beede, ranked No. 4 among Giants prospects by MLB Pipeline, felt understandably happy just to stand on a pitcher's mound and stare down opposing hitters again. His 2017 season ended last July with an odd groin injury that he sustained while warming up for a game.
Now healed, Beede joins the field of contenders for the pair of vacancies in the Giants' starting rotation. Chris Stratton and Ty Blach are the favorites to secure those roles. However, injuries or ineffectiveness, coupled with a successful Spring Training from Beede, Derek Holland or Andrew Suarez, could change matters drastically.
Beede, 24, knows what's at stake with virtually every outing. He also knows that his health comes first. In fact, Beede might have received a late-season promotion to San Francisco last year after building a 6-7 record with a 4.79 ERA for Triple-A Sacramento.
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"I think at this point, you have to be more realistic with where you're at," Beede said after yielding three runs in two innings as the Giants dropped a 10-6 Cactus League decision to Kansas City.
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"Would I like to go out there and throw zeros? Yeah, absolutely," Beede said. "But it's more realistic to know that I'm feeling great and my stuff's in a good position going forward.
"There are definitely things I need to work on. I'm not saying that things are perfect. But I like where my stuff's at and I like how I'm feeling. I think it's just a couple of clicks away and then statistically it'll kind of take care of itself from there."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy thought that Beede was "wild in the strike zone" -- that is, prone to throwing too many hittable pitches. Overall, Bochy said, Beede did a "decent job."
Five of 11 batters reached base safely against Beede, who fully realized that this would be unacceptable under almost any other circumstance.
"The results weren't what I would like to see," said Beede, San Francisco's No. 1 selection in the 2014 Draft. "But it's Spring Training, so I'm not going to put everything into the statistics. I want to know that I'm feeling great, feeling healthy, and that my stuff's coming out good. It's sharp for where I am right now."
Beede lasted long enough to gain a sense of what needs improvement, including his sequences of pitches.
"My changeup was my best pitch," he said. "I threw some good curveballs. My fastball command was all right. I think I didn't get [pitches] inside enough in certain situations, and my two-strike pitches probably weren't the best that they could have been."
Everything could have been worse for Beede. But he kept his arm limber and his pitching memory sharp by making four Arizona Fall League starts last autumn for Scottsdale. He totaled only 16 innings, but the stint sharpened his technique and whetted his desire to pitch.
"Mechanically, things are a little bit different -- much better rhythm and tempo for me," Beede said. "I'm confident with where I am because of the innings I got to throw in the Fall League."
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.