Clayton Cain Blackburn…he and his wife, Ashton, were married on 12/29/17...Amarillo native was selected by the Giants in the 16th round of the 2011 June draft out of Edmond Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Oklahoma…participated in 2018 Rangers Winter Caravan stop in Oklahoma City...was 10-1 with a 1.37 ERA as a senior in 2011 to help his school reach the OK state semifinals.
Acquired in a trade with SF on 4/16, he did not appear during lone stint with Texas from 7/31-8/2 despite warming up during one of those games…marked 2nd big league stint in which he did not pitch (also 5/12-15/16 with SF), as he has 7 days of service time without an appearance…made just one start at Sacramento (AAA) before being designated for assignment by Giants on 4/11 ahead of the trade, then went 6-2, 4.65 (48 ER/93.0 IP) in 19 G/18 GS at Round Rock the rest of the way…his overall 1.365 WHIP figure in 20 G/19 GS for the season was highest of his career…tied Adam Loewen for Express lead in wins, ranked 2nd on staff in starts and innings, and was 3rd in strikeouts (78)…permitted just 4 HR at Round Rock (0.39 HR/9)…on DL 4/30-5/29 with left back strain…posted 4 quality starts, including season-high 7.0 SHO IP on 8/17 at Nashville.
Blackburn's second trip to Sacramento didn't go as well as the first with his 4.36 ERA over 136.1 innings significantly higher than his 2.85 mark over 123.0 innings in 2015...His homers allowed tripled from six to 18 in 2016...Was recalled from triple-A on May 12 while the team was in Arizona playing the D-Backs...took the roster spot of Jarrett Parker as the team needed coverage in the bullpen after seven relievers were forced into the game the day prior against the Blue Jays...however, spent just three days with the big league team before being optioned back to triple-A on May 15...never appeared in a big league game...Missed nearly two weeks while on the disabled list with the River Cats from July 16-27.
Triple-A rookie posted a 2.85 ERA - the best in the Pacific Coast League - with a 10-4 record in 23 games...his 123.0 innings pitched gave him just enough (115.2 innings pitched is the minimum) to qualify, but it took until game 143 for Blackburn to solidify his place atop the league's pitching and ERA leaders....Owned a 99-to-32 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his 123.0 innings while he was at his best late in the season as evident by a 1.98 ERA in six August starts....Missed the first month of the season with a sore shoulder....Was bumped from the starting rotation when Giants starter Matt Cain arrived in Sacramento for his first rehab stint....Blackburn made three appearances out of the bullpen, throwing 6.2 innings...when Cain wrapped up his time with the River Cats, Blackburn was plugged back into the starting rotation and put together an excellent second half of the season... In his 13 games after rejoining the rotation, he went 8-1 with a 2.07 ERA....In addition to taking home the PCL ERA title, he also hit .296 and slugged his first professional home run....Was added to the Giants' 40-man roster on November 20, 2015....Ranked by Baseball America as the Giants' number eight prospect entering the 2016 season.
Combined to make 20 starts between ARL-Giants and double-A Richmond, going 5-7 with a 3.31 ERA (36er, 98.0ip) and 94 strikeouts...yielded just one home run in 98.0 innings of work...Missed 51 days with two separate stints on the disabled list with a rib injury and a cracked finger nail....Was a non-roster invitee at Giants' Major League spring training for the first time in 2014....Went 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA (7er, 11.2ip) in six games with the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League.
Spent the entire year with Class A Advanced San Jose, going 7-5 with a 3.65 ERA (54 ER, 133.0 IP) and 138 strikeouts in 23 starts...Finished fourth in the California League in ERA (3.65) and strikeouts (138)...Was named to the California League mid-season All-Star squad...Was named the California League Pitcher of the Week for the week ending July 28...had a perfect game into the 7th inning on July 25, tossing 8.0 innings, allowing just one run and three hits with six strikeouts during his 83-pitch masterpiece...Posted a 2.09 ERA (13 ER, 56.0 IP) in his last nine starts of the season with San Jose...Enters the 2014 campaign as the 10th-best prospect in the Giants' farm system by Baseball America.