SF Giants add left-handed reliever with local ties to the active roster
Alexander is a local product. He was selected in the 37th round of the 2007 draft by the Cincinnati Reds out of Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa, California, but he did not sign.
He was picked again, but this time in the sixth round of the 2010 draft by the Kansas City Royals out of Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California. The distance between Cardinal Newman High School and Sonoma State University is just a couple of freeway exits.
He debuted with the Royals in 2015 where he allowed three earned runs on five hits, three walks, and three strikeouts as a rookie. This began a pretty successful stretch out of the bullpen.
The southpaw was shipped to the Los Angeles Dodgers after the 2017 season in a three-team trade involving the Royals and the Chicago White Sox. The most notable name to be included in that trade was Joakim Soria, who was sent to the White Sox.
This felt like a sneaky move by the Dodgers, and to his credit, Alexander was an effective reliever for Los Angeles when he was healthy. He posted a 3.49 ERA, 4.25 FIP, 1.30 WHIP, 6.6 K/9, and a 1.74 SO/W ratio in four seasons with the Dodgers.
However, he pitched more than 20 innings in just one of those seasons. Of course, it bears mentioning that he only tallied 12.1 frames in 2020 due in part to the pandemic-shortened season. The Dodgers decided to non-tender the lefty last offseason after he missed most of the year with a nagging shoulder ailment.
In seven major league seasons, Alexander has recorded a 3.16 ERA, 3.81 FIP, 1.33 WHIP, 7.0 K/9, and a 1.88 SO/W ratio. He has excelled at inducing weak contact as he has produced a ground ball in 70 percent of batted ball events.
He relies heavily on a low-90's sinker that generates a lot of grounders and he pairs that with an occasional slider that has proven to be an effective pitch over the years.
San Francisco signed him to a minor league deal earlier in the season and it was only a matter of health that he would appear with the Giants. He tallied 7.2 scoreless frames with the Sacramento River Cats before his contract was purchased.
Alexander could be making an audition for next season. He is under team control for 2023, so if he performs well, it makes sense that the Giants would retain him. To make room, the Giants optioned pitcher Thomas Szapucki and transferred Sam Long to the 60-day injured list.