Projecting the 2022 SF Giants bullpen

Division Series - San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Three
Division Series - San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Three / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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Dominic Leone, SF Giants
San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants / Brandon Vallance/GettyImages

Projecting the 2022 SF Giants bullpen

Medium leverage - Dominic Leone, Kervin Castro, José Álvarez, Zack Littell

The Giants have a lot of reliable arms that they can depend on in the middle innings. The high-leverage relievers including Camilo Doval, Jake McGee, and Tyler Rogers will likely fill very specific roles in the bullpen.

Outside of these three pitchers, Giants manager Gabe Kapler will have a handful of arms that he can leverage depending on the situation. For example, Dominic Leone, has experience serving as a team's closer while flashing a fastball that sits comfortably in the mid-90's that he pairs with a quality slider.

Surprisingly, Leone does not generate as many strikeouts (8.4 K/9 in 2021) as many would think given the velocity of his fastball. However, he does avoid the sweet spot of the bat as he induced a ground ball in 47.5 percent of batted ball events last season.

Kervin Castro is a reliever that I could envision assuming more high-leverage situations if any one of Rogers, Doval or McGee falters. He has an impressive streak going to begin his career and it is fair to say that his rookie campaign was overshadowed by Doval's emergence. Regardless, Castro has not allowed an earned run in his first 10 appearances and showed good command of the strikezone as he recorded a 3.25 SO/W ratio.

Zack Littell was reeled in on a minor-league pact last season and exceeded any expectations that come with it. He posted a 2.92 ERA in 61.2 innings while having one of the best beards in the bullpen. The 26-year-old pitcher does not throw hard but he gets a fair amount ground balls (46.9 percent), which is a good strategy with a shortstop like Brandon Crawford in the infield.

José Álvarez excels as a situational lefty, limiting left-handed hitters to a paltry .510 OPS in 2021. However, with the advent of the three-batter minimum, situational lefties are a thing of the past but
Álvarez proved to be much more than that.

He does not overpower opposing hitters with his fastball, but he has three quality offerings including a slider and a changeup that keeps hitters off balance. He posted a strong 2.37 ERA in 67 appearances last year while doing well to avoid mistakes.