Is Jandel Gustave a future piece of the San Francisco Giants bullpen?
By Brennen Rupp
Rookie Jandel Gustave has quietly emerged as a reliable option out of the San Francisco Giants bullpen.
At the trade deadline, the San Francisco Giants dealt from a position of depth when they shipped out relief pitchers Sam Dyson, Mark Melancon and Drew Pomeranz in separate trades.
Those moves left multiple holes to be filled in the bullpen and left the team somewhat short on proven bullpen arms.
At the time of the deadline, the Giants bullpen had the best ERA in the National League and trailed only the Cleveland Indians leaguewide. They have since moved down to fifth in the majors with a still-respectable 3.89 ERA on the season.
One player who has emerged as a reliable option in the wake of those trades is right-hander Jandel Gustave.
Signed as a minor league free agent during the offseason, the former Houston Astros prospect has been terrific since making his San Francisco Giants debut on Aug. 1 when he allowed just one hit and one walk in two scoreless innings against the Philadelphia Phillies.
In nine total appearances since his promotion, Gustave has a 1.42 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. His only hiccup came on Aug. 11 when he allowed two hits and two earned runs while recording just two outs. He has not been scored on in his other eight outings.
His success continued on Tuesday when he recorded two outs in the sixth inning in the series opener against the Chicago Cubs. In his last four outings, he’s worked four scoreless innings and allowed just one hit and zero walks while striking out three.
With a fastball that averages 96.5 mph and a quality slider, Gustave has the prototypical late-inning repertoire. What he’s done so far this season is made even more impressive by the fact that it’s his first MLB action since undergoing Tommy John surgery.
The San Francisco Giants bullpen underwent significant changes at the trade deadline and there will be more change coming this offseason with closer Will Smith headed for free agency. Jandel Gustave has made the most of the opportunity in front of him and with continued success, he could pitch his way into a long-term role.