When you get traded from the Yankees to the Giants, I wouldn’t doubt there were plenty of snickers going around that Kontos had lost his shot at a title, since the Yankees are the Yankees, and the Giants got what some believed to be a bit of a lucky stretch in 2010, and would be definitely hard-pressed to repeat that sort of accomplishment. Instead, Kontos got to ride in a car this offseason down Market Street, all while being a pretty legitimate force out of the bullpen, especially in the final months of the season.
When you trade a back-up catcher in Chris Stewart for a George Kontos, how good to you expect that reliever to be? I would think a sub-4.50 ERA would be a fair estimation, but Kontos (and his defense) gave the Giants a 2.47 ERA in 44 G in 43.2 IP. A right-handed pitcher, Kontos actually saw better numbers against the left-handed hitters: a .164/.246/.222 and .218 wOBA from them versus a .227/.267/.385 and a .281 wOBA when he battled against same-sided hitters. As 36.1 of his 43.2 IP were gauged as “low leverage” by Fangraphs, maybe it is a credit to manager Bruce Bochy and his staff as for when Kontos was used, and it should come as no surprise to the people that Bochy knows how to use a bullpen now.
Not a bad rookie campaign from Kontos, who is under team control through 2018, and should continue to figure as one of the relief men before the core corps of Romo, Casilla, Affeldt, and Lopez, and should one of them go down with an injury, if Kontos continues his success, no one would be surprised to see him get the call to provide some short-term relief work in higher leverage situations than what he was used to dealing with in 2012.