It’s time for the San Francisco Giants to reward Triple-A reliever Sam Selman and add him to the big league roster.
While it’s been a trying season for the San Francisco Giants, the bullpen has been a consistent strength since Opening Day.
The relief corps currently ranks fifth in the majors with a 3.77 ERA, and while save opportunities have been few and far between, they’ve nailed down an MLB-best 84.6 percent of them.
With Will Smith, Sam Dyson, Tony Watson, Mark Melancon, Reyes Moronta and Trevor Gott all performing well and doing a good job staying healthy, and ousted starters Derek Holland and Dereck Rodriguez filling mop-up roles, the opportunities to assess some of the team’s other in-house bullpen options have been few and far between.
That has proven to be a bit of a double-edged sword since this team is clearly playing for the future and needs to take inventory of their young assets.
However, with Smith, Watson and Dyson all candidates to be moved before the July 31 trade deadline, there will be some spots to fill later this summer.
Left-hander Sam Selman should be at the top of the list for a promotion once they do start dealing.
The 28-year-old joined the San Francisco Giants on a minor league deal this past offseason after spending the first seven seasons of his pro career with the Kansas City Royals who selected him in the second round of the 2012 draft.
In 2018, he posted a lackluster 4.87 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 35 appearances between Double-A and Triple-A.
His ability to miss bats carried some intrigue after he racked up 58 strikeouts in 40.2 innings for a 12.8 K/9 rate, but he also walked 30 batters at a 6.6 BB/9 clip.
The stuff was there for him to be an impact lefty out of the bullpen if he could take a step forward with his command.
He’s done just that.
Through his first 27 games this season, he sports a pristine 1.42 ERA and 0.63 WHIP, punching out hitters at a staggering 15.2 K/9 rate while offering up walks at a much more palatable 2.1 BB/9 clip.
He’s been filthy against left-handed hitters, allowing just three hits in 50 plate appearances while punching out 24 batters. Right-handed hitters have not fared much better with a .140/.146/.267 batting line in 90 plate appearances.
In his last nine appearances, he’s tossed 11 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out 18 batters.
There’s nothing left for Sam Selman to prove at the minor league level.
It’s time for the San Francisco Giants to call him up and see what he can do against MLB hitters and if he can be a part of the team’s long-term plans.