Where does one begin with the loveable Jeremy Affeldt? Coming into 2012, there were a handful of orange and black faithful who were less than thrilled at the money Affeldt received after the Giants picked up his $5 million dollar option, especially after the Giants had already re-signed lefty Javier Lopez. Still – despite the initial “overpay”, the Giants had good reason to retain the southpaw, especially with closer Brian Wilson iffy coming into the season and no known “backup” closer. Skip forward a few days into the 2012 season and Brian Wilson’s elbow gives out, his year over, forcing the Giants into a bullpen scramble – a scramble that could’ve been much worse without Affeldt in the ‘pen.
Still – even with the insurance of Affeldt, the native Arizonian had to play up to his standards – and play up to them he did.
It wasn’t the lights out Affeldt we saw in 2009 (though, it would be hard for any player to replicate that type of season) nor was it the extremely effective Affledt of 2011, at least from a numbers standpoint but the best hitting reliever on the team (HAR!) certainly proved his worth to the Giants – not only in the regular season but did so on the biggest of stages, putting together 10.1 innings of shutout ball during the 2012 Giants World Series run, with his best (and longest) performance of the postseason coming in the series clinching game where Jeremy struck out four tigers in 1.2 innings of work.
Through the regular season, Affeldt was about as reliable as one can be. Like any player, he had his off day here and there (and anybody who has watched Affeldt knows when it’s bad, it’s bad) – he gave up runs in 14 of his 67 regular season appearances, though, in five of those fourteen appearances he gave up multiple (2) runs – a trend Affeldt has shown throughout his career. Still – when Affeldt was on, you’d be hard pressed to find a pitcher with nastier, knee-buckling movement and the Giants’ big lefty was on point for most of the season, despite a few small hiccups here and there.
Sure, the initial $5 million dollar option was a hefty price to pay – but after finishing the season with a very respectable 2.70 ERA, 1.26 WHIP in 63.1 inning, not to mention saving his best for the postseason, it was insurance money well spent.
Season Grade: B+