Look, the San Francisco Giants bullpen was historically bad last year in terms of blown saves. They couldn’t find someone to grab a hold of that role, and never let it go. Former studs crumbled under the ninth inning pressure, and the young guys really couldn’t grab a hold of it. For 2017, it’s a new look pen. A younger one. A lot of right-handers as well. That could be a little concerning. Will Smith will miss the entire season, and in turn, the Giants chose not to add a left-handed pure reliever into the bullpen.
Here is the bullpen and their likely roles this season:
- Mark Melancon, RHP (Closer)
- Derek Law, RHP (Setup Man)
- Hunter Strickland, RHP (7th inning)
- Neil Ramirez, RHP (Short Relief)
- Corey Gearrin, RHP (Middle Relief)
- George Kontos, RHP (Middle/Long Relief)
- Ty Blach, LHP (Long Relief/Spot Starter)
For some reason, they decided to leave Steven Okert off the roster, even though he had an amazing spring training. His numbers, and how he looked was way better than Corey Gearrin’s this spring. But, as we will continue to learn with Bobby Evans as the GM, options matter. Okert has some, and Gearrin doesn’t. Unfair? Oh yes. But that’s the reality right now for the Giants.
Overall, I think this bullpen will experience a better year when it comes to holding leads. Theyhave defined roles, which goes a long way. Melancon is the type of guy who wants, and demands the ball in the ninth, which is something the Giants haven’t had since Brian Wilson. After that, Law and Strickland are two extremely good, and young relievers. Somebody like Ramirez having finally come into his own as a reliever, is a really positive thing for the Giants.
Now, we’ll look at the infield, including the catchers.