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SF Giants: Key starting pitcher returns to the rotation

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 13: Anthony DeSclafani #26 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning at Oracle Park on August 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 13: Anthony DeSclafani #26 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning at Oracle Park on August 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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PHOENIX, ARIZONA – AUGUST 02: Anthony DeSclafani #26 of the San Francisco Giants delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 02, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

If you watched Friday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies, then you know the good news. The good news is that right-handed hurler Anthony DeSclafani was activated from the injured list. In a corresponding move, Reliever Camilo Doval was optioned to make room.

SF Giants: Key starting pitcher returns to the rotation

DeSclafani last pitched on August 2 against the Arizona Diamondbacks where he allowed five runs (four earned runs) on seven hits in 4.1 innings. He was placed on the injured list with shoulder fatigue, expecting that he would only miss one start.

There is no doubt that most players battle through minor injuries as the season heads into the Dog Days of August and, perhaps, the goal of placing DeSclafani on the injured list was to manage his workload. After all, the right-handed hurler completed just 33.2 innings in a pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

Nevertheless, the return of the 31-year-old is a boost to the rotation. DeSclafani has registered a 3.28 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 1.06 WHIP, 8.4 k/9, and a strong 3.58 SO/W ratio across 126.1 frames. Behind Kevin Gausman and Logan Webb, Desclafani has been one of the Giants’ best pitchers.

That said, it is tough to ignore the struggles that the righty has demonstrated in the second half, posting a 6.63 ERA in four starts. Hopefully, the trip to the injured list gave him the extra rest he needed and a chance to fully recover from shoulder fatigue.

To make room on the 26-man roster for DeSclafani, Camilo Doval was optioned to Sacramento. The writing was on the wall for the hard-throwing reliever as he was asked to cover two innings in Thursday night’s 7-0 victory against the Colorado Rockies. At times, relievers are stretched out before being sent back down and that appears to be the case with Doval.

In his lone appearance since being recalled earlier this week, the 24-year-old impressed as he flashed a 100 MPH fastball while recording four strikeouts against zero walks across two innings. Subpar command has plagued Doval for much of his pro career but he found a consistent arm slot against the Rockies.

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Doval will likely return to the major league roster when rosters expand in September. In the meantime, DeSclafani gives the SF Giants a much-needed rotation arm after Johnny Cueto was just placed on the injured list. The Giants could use all of the quality innings they can get from the veteran starter.

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