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SF Giants: Key Bullpen Arm to Begin Triple-A Rehab Assignment

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 11: John Brebbia #60 of the St. Louis Cardinals in action against the New York Mets during a spring training baseball game at Clover Park at on March 11, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 7-3. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 11: John Brebbia #60 of the St. Louis Cardinals in action against the New York Mets during a spring training baseball game at Clover Park at on March 11, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 7-3. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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SF Giants
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 14: John Brebbia #60 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers in the fifth inning of game three of the National League Championship Series against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Despite the rash of injuries that has struck the SF Giants, they did get some good news on a key bullpen arm on Wednesday.

SF Giants: Key Bullpen Arm to Begin Rehab Assignment

Mark Sanchez of KNBR reported that right-handed hurler John Brebbia would begin his rehab assignment on Thursday.

Brebbia underwent Tommy John surgery in June of 2020 and he has been going through the rehab process since then. The next game he pitches will be his first since 2019. In a minor surprise, the St. Louis Cardinals decided to non-tender him in his first trip through arbitration. This was likely due in part to the uncertain economic climate in the post-pandemic world at the time.

Knowing that Brebbia would be out for the first half of the season, the Giants took a gamble on him in a move that could pay dividends down the road. When healthy, the 30-year-old has been a good and durable bullpen arm.

The New York Yankees originally selected Brebbia in the 30th round of the 2011 draft, and he made his way to St. Louis after a whirlwind of transactions, including being plucked in the 2015 Rule 5 draft.

He debuted with the Cardinals in 2017 where he posted a 2.44 ERA, 8.9 K/9, and a 4.64 SO/W ratio in 51.2 innings. Across three seasons with the Cardinals, Brebbia had been the model of consistency as he registered a 3.14 ERA, 3.39 FIP, 10.2 K/9, and a 3.67 SO/W ratio.

The right-handed hurler features a fastball that sits in the mid-90’s with a slider and an occasional changeup. He has thrown the slider 43.1 percent of the time and it is a good pitch as opposing hitters have registered just a .200 batting average against it since his debut.

San Francisco will need Brebbia’s arm in the bullpen as they remain light on reliable right-handed relievers. Outside of Tyler Rogers and Zack Littell, there is a lot of opportunity for a righty to carve out a leverage role in the Giants bullpen.

The good news is that Brebbia is making progress in his recovery and has reached the point where he can appear in a professional game again. The rehab assignments for pitchers returning from Tommy John surgery can be lengthy, so Brebbia likely make a handful of appearances before being activated.

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Editor’s note: Brebbia pitched a scoreless inning for the Sacramento River Cats on Thursday night, needing only 15 pitches to complete the inning.

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