SF Giants Reliever Prospect Appears to Leave Game w/Injury
By Marc Delucchi
While the SF Giants defeated the Colorado Rockies 9-8 in Friday’s spring training matchup, the team might have suffered a blow to its bullpen depth. Right-handed pitcher Dedniel Núñez has been one of the bright spots early in the preseason. Selected by the Giants in last offseason’s Rule 5 Draft from the New York Mets organization, Núñez has been explosive thus far, reaching the high-90s with his fastball alongside an intriguing slider.
However, according to the stadium gun in Scottsdale on Friday, Núñez barely reached 91 mph with his fastball. After walking the first three batters he faced, manager Gabe Kapler and the Giants training staff came to the mound and removed him from the game. In a postgame videoconference, manager Kapler revealed that he was suffering some wrist pain.
SF Giants pitcher Dedniel Núñez left his outing Friday with an apparent injury.
Núñez was ranked the 30th best prospect in the Giants system in Around the Foghorn’s preseason SF Giants prospect rankings. Here is an excerpt from Núñez’s scouting report.
"At instructs, in abbreviated outings, Núñez’s fastball sat around 94 mph and touched 97 mph. While he has flashed that velocity throughout his career, his fastball only averaged 91.5 mph in 2019 out of the rotation. That increased velocity paired with a curveball that has generated 2600-2700 RPM should give him two above-average or better pitches…Núñez is the first in a group of pitchers that have seen their stock sore in the absence of a minor-league season. As impressive as they’ve looked in these shortened outings, it’s a far cry from the wear and tear of a full season in relief. Núñez’s 2019 season was cut short by shoulder soreness, and the Rule 5 status only further impedes the Giants in their attempts to develop his potential."
Given Dedniel Núñez’s unique status as a Rule 5 selection, the SF Giants could retain him if he is placed on the injured list. However, given how effective he’s looked early in camp, the organization would obviously prefer him healthy and on the MLB roster.