San Francisco Giants Spring Training Preview: Relief Pitchers
Longshots and Bad Fits…for now:
Black has been one of the most interesting prospects to come along in recent history. His 100 mile per hour fastball has become his signature talking point in recent years, which is only matched by his injury history. Black has been lights out at times and his fastball has carried him through his struggles.
When MLB.com profiled him in 2015, they went over his long injury history.
"Black said he threw between 88 and 92 mph in high school, before having Tommy John surgery. Once he got back on the mound, his fastball was in the upper-90s. Black then found himself back in rehab after he tore his right meniscus and broke his right hand. Then, Black tore his right labrum, delaying the start of his professional career. After the Giants selected Black in the seventh round of the 2011 Draft he didn’t pitch until 2014, but when he did something happened. Black’s fastball velocity had peaked again, this time hitting triple digits. “I’d always flirted with it,” the 25-year old said. “Before I had my shoulder fixed I’d hit 99 one time, but that’s as high as I’d got.”"
Black pitched in Double-A last year, striking out 53 in only 31.1 innings, but he also earned a 4.88 ERA and 1.564 WHIP. With 100 mph-plus on the radar gun and 17.2 K/9 throughout his minor league career, Black will continue to be given chances if healthy.
For more on Ray Black’s career and his journey, check out the interview I did with Black in March of 2015.
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Crick was a supplemental first round pick of the Giants in the 2011 amateur draft. After a promising start to his career, Crick has struggled. Crick was considered a top 100 prospect in 2013 and 2014 by most major outlets, but has fallen off since. Over 109 innings pitched in Double-A last season, Crick earned a 5.04 ERA and 1.624 WHIP. He was used exclusively as a starting pitcher in 2016, but the Giants tried him as a relief pitcher in 2015. The 24-year-old right-hander may be out of chances to stay on the 40 man roster, and with the Giants organization.
Gardeck is another pitcher who has been kept on the roster by the Giants despite injuries. He missed the entire 2016 season because of Tommy John surgery and might not be able to pitch at Spring Training at all. Despite the injury, the Giants still believe Gardeck is worth keeping on the roster.
Next: Giants Sign Gordon Beckham
San Francisco Giants pitchers and catchers report to Scottsdale, Ariz. February 13 and begin workouts February 14.