San Francisco Giants left-hander Drew Pomeranz has turned in a pair of impressive relief outings since being bumped from the starting rotation.
Signed to a one-year, $1.5 million deal during the offseason, Pomeranz posted a 6.42 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 17 starts before he was bumped from the starting staff. He tallied just one quality start, and that came back on April 24.
So what is his role going forward?
His first two appearances out of the bullpen could be a good indication.
In his first relief appearance of the season on Monday, he came on in relief of starter Shaun Anderson in the sixth inning with the Giants trailing 3-2.
It took just 29 pitches for him to steamroll through two perfect innings, striking out four along the way. That kept the deficit at one run and set the stage for a late comeback in a 5-4 victory.
Not surprisingly, he showed a notable uptick in his fastball velocity working out of the bullpen:
The 30-year-old entered the game in another pivotal situation on Wednesday.
With the Giants trailing 4-1, the Cubs were threatening to blow the game open when starter Tyler Beede walked David Bote to load the bases with two outs in the sixth inning.
He induced a fly out from Kyle Schwarber to end the threat, then pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning with two more strikeouts.
Of course, two appearances and 3.1 innings of work is an extremely small sample size, but it’s been an extremely encouraging transition to relief work.
There have been multiple times this season when it looked like Pomeranz was on the cusp of being designated for assignment.
Instead, the San Francisco Giants stuck by him, and now it looks like they might have another quality bullpen arm in what is already one of the best relief corps in baseball.