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SF Giants: The closer of the present and future has arrived

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 28: Camilo Doval #75 of the San Francisco Giants reacts after they beat the Arizona Diamondbacks at Oracle Park on September 28, 2021 in San Francisco, California. Doval recorded his first major league save tonight. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 28: Camilo Doval #75 of the San Francisco Giants reacts after they beat the Arizona Diamondbacks at Oracle Park on September 28, 2021 in San Francisco, California. Doval recorded his first major league save tonight. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Camilo Doval
DENVER, COLORADO – SEPTEMBER 24: Camilo Doval #75 of the San Francisco Giants throws against the Colorado Rockies in the ninth inning at Coors Field on September 24, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The closer of the present and the future for the SF Giants has arrived. Camilo Doval arrived earlier in the season but he is here to stay now and he will hold a key, long-term role for San Francisco.

SF Giants: Camilo Doval is the closer of today and tomorrow

Doval has often been identified as the closer of the future and those predictions are beginning to come to fruition. The hard-throwing righty has impressed in leverage situations recently and it feels like he will be tabbed as the team’s closer when the playoffs begin.

This is not to take anything away from Jake McGee, who has had a very nice season, but Doval brings a power fastball that few can replicate. In fairness to McGee, he has been on the injured list with an oblique strain. He is due back before the end of the year, but easing him back into the picture might be the best approach.

The left-handed reliever has posted a 2.72 ERA, 3.34 FIP, 0.905 WHIP, 8.7 K/9, and a strong 5.80 SO/W ratio across 59.2 frames in 2021. This includes 31 saves in 36 opportunities. All of these numbers are very strong for a closer and McGee does not deserve to lose his role while on the injured list.

That said, it might be in his and the team’s best interest to ease him back in and the emergence of Doval provides them with that opportunity. Doval struggled in his first stint, yielding nine earned runs with 13 strikeouts against six walks in 10.2 innings before being demoted to Triple-A.

He did not fare much better with the Sacramento River Cats as he posted a 4.99 ERA. However, Triple-A West is a very hitter-friendly league, so pitching stats need to be looked at with a huge grain of salt.

Since he was recalled earlier this month, Doval has been electric. The 24-year-old has completed 11.1 scoreless innings with 14 strikeouts against only three walks including one save, which he recorded on Tuesday night.

The Giants have felt much more comfortable using Doval in leverage situations than they did earlier in the season. Plus, he brings a 100+ MPH fastball to the table:

The Giants bullpen has been the best in baseball with a 3.06 ERA. They have plenty of solid options to close out games, but no one brings the velocity that Doval possesses.

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As they gear up for the playoffs, the right-handed hurler will likely be one of the key bullpen arms. It helps that he has limited exposure as few players will have any type of track record against him. In a way, Doval is the SF Giants’ newest secret weapon.

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