Giants: Who is newly acquired pitcher Jake Jewell?
By Dzintars Grinfelds
The San Francisco Giants added a new pitcher to the roster on Monday with a waiver claim of Jake Jewell. So who is he?
Another day, another waiver claim for the San Francisco Giants.
Team president Farhan Zaidi has been as active anyone in baseball on the waiver wire since taking the reins of the front office last offseason, and his latest claim came on Monday afternoon.
Here’s the news from Amy Gutierrez of NBC Sports Bay Area:
Before we dive into who Jake Jewell is, let’s unpack the rest of this transaction.
To make room on their 40-man roster, the Giants designated the recently acquired Zack Cozart for assignment. He was added in a trade with the Angels earlier this offseason.
Despite being a reputable name after seven season with the Cincinnati Reds, the 34-year-old Cozart was unlikely to break camp with the team as the Giants are in full rebuild-mode and he comes off two injury plagued seasons.
The focus of that trade with the absorbing of Cozart’s contract as a means of acquiring infield prospect Will Wilson.
With that covered, let’s turn our attention to Jewell.
A fifth-round pick in the 2014 draft, he had spent his entire career in the Angels organization prior to this trade.
The 6’3″, 200-pound right-hander has endured his share of struggles recently.
In 28.1 innings pitched over 21 games at the MLB level between 2018 and 2019, he posted a 6.99 ERA and 1.38 WHIP with eight home runs allowed in that limited action.
Despite the initial numbers, Jewell brings with him the “stuff” managers like to see out of the bullpen, per MLB.com:
"A move back to the bullpen allowed Jewell to focus on his fastball-slider combination. His hard, sinking two-seamer leads to a ton of ground-ball outs and he can also change a hitter’s look with a four-seamer up in the zone that can touch 97 mph. His slider flashes plus and has cutter action to it. He had a changeup he was working on as a starter, but it’s not as important in short relief."
The 26-year-old showed flashes of what he can bring to the bullpen during the 2018 season when he posted a 3.08 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 38 innings over 26 relief appearances between Double-A and Triple-A.
Control remains the biggest issue, as he’s waked batters at a 4.9 BB/9 clip in 53 appearances at the Triple-A level, but there’s enough upside with his stuff that the Giants have decided to roll the dice.
If he can better locate his fastball and slider, Jewell could become a viable option out of the bullpen for the Giants in 2020.