Giants closer candidate: Sidewinding right-hander Tyler Rogers
By Joel Reuter
After making his MLB debut in 2019, Tyler Rogers quickly earned a late-inning role in the San Francisco Giants bullpen. Could he close games in 2020?
The San Francisco Giants selected Tyler Rogers with their 10th-round selection in the 2013 MLB draft out of Austin Peay.
He was one of the best closers in college baseball during his senior season, leading all of Division l with 23 saves while posting a 1.63 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 41 strikeouts in 49.2 innings.
However, his lack of power stuff and questions about his command gave him an uphill battle to reach the majors.
It took him seven seasons and 342 minor league appearances, but he finally made his MLB debut on Aug. 27, 2019.
Is he here to stay?
The 28-year-old pitched a perfect inning in his MLB debut, and he quickly earned the trust of departing manager Bruce Bochy over the season’s final month.
He finished with a 1.02 ERA and 0.85 WHIP in 17 appearances, striking out 16 batters while walking just three in 17.2 innings.
Despite averaging just 82.6 mph with his fastball and 72.8 mph with his slider, according to Brooks Baseball, Rogers limited opposing hitters to a .185 batting average while allowing just three extra-base hits in 70 plate appearances.
He certainly doesn’t fit the mold of a traditional late-inning reliever, but his deceptive mechanics allow his average stuff to play up.
We’ve already touched on a number of free-agent options the San Francisco Giants could consider as they search for a replacement for departing closer Will Smith.
However, they could ultimately wind up going with an in-house option when all is said and done.
After proving himself over a small sample size, Rogers appears to have at the very least given himself a leg up to win a spot on the Opening Day roster in 2020.
We’ll have to wait and see what moves are made this offseason, but if the San Francisco Giants fail to add a proven closer, Tyler Rogers could be among the first in-house options to get a crack at the gig.