Heath Hembree is finally getting his shot at the big leagues, just not with the San Francisco Giants. He’s set to be called up and added to the Boston Red Sox roster before today’s game in St. Louis, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.
Hembree was part of the trade before the deadline that brought Jake Peavy to San Francisco. In return for Peavy and some cash toward his salary, the Giants sent Hembree and another top pitching prospect, Edwin Escobar to Boston.
Hembree has long been thought to be the closer of the future for the Giants. He pitched 7.2 scoreless innings in 9 games at the end of last season for the Giants. This season in Fresno, he had 18 saves with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.347 WHIP.
For Boston’s Triple-A team, he pitched 1.2 scoreless innings in two games.
While Hembree may or may not be ready for the big leagues, the Giants certainly weren’t ready for him, having both Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla available in the bullpen to close the game. Hembree is thought to be able to only pitching about one good inning, so using him in a utility role in the bullpen in the meantime may not have been ideal.
And then, Brian Sabean had this to say about the trade for Peavy, via Bay Area Sports Guy.
“Both the players that we traded, we think are major league pitchers. They were both traded because they didn’t end up on our no-trade list and we had them down on our own prospect list,” Sabean said.
“When there were opportunities to have someone start for Cain or Hudson, we chose Petit over Escobar. There were times that we needed someone coming up from the minor leagues, we chose Kontos. Both of these guys, in our estimation, needed more time.”
So, it boils down to the fact that the Giants thought Hembree needed more time. Given how good the Giants bullpen has been this season, it’s understandable. Hembree may not have progressed as quickly as the Giants would have liked, and like Sabean said, when they needed a reliever from the minor leagues, it’s been Kontos they went to and not Hembree.