Hembree Breaks Grizzlies Save Record

By Melissa Felkins

Mar 11, 2013; Surprise, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Heath Hembree (72) pitches during the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco Giants prospect and current Triple-A Fresno closer, Heath Hembree, set a Grizzlies record Saturday night with his 25th save. The Grizzlies beat the Isotopes 4-2 after heading into the 9th inning with a 4-0 lead. Despite the game not being a save situation initially, Dan Runzler ran into trouble closing the game out in the 9th and ultimately gave up 2 runs before Hembree came in to do his thing, and got the recording-breaking save. Who said Runzler wasn’t good for anything?

"Hembree’s save broke a tie at 24 with Manny Aybar (2002) and Jeff Darwin (1998) for the most in a season in franchise history. Hembree has converted his past 12 chances and is 25 for 29 overall. – The Fresno Bee"

Hembree has been on Giants fan radar for a while now, and I suspect we may get a chance to see him pitch a bit in San Francisco in September. The Giants have the luxury of having a solid closer in Sergio Romo, so there is no need to rush Hembree to the Bigs. But given that the Giants are mostly out of the playoff race, it may be a good chance to set Hembree face some Major League hitters in a no pressure situation in the fall. Hembree still needs work before he’s ready, but given what he’s doing in Fresno, and the improvements he’s making, I think the Giants future closer will be ready soon enough.

Be patient Giants fans. The farm is producing, but there is no need to rush him and have a Brandon Belt on our hands.