SF Giants made surprise move in calling up lefty reliever for brief stint

Chicago Cubs v San Francisco Giants
Chicago Cubs v San Francisco Giants / Brandon Vallance/GettyImages
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The S Giants made a move to buttress their beleaguered pitching staff Monday, calling up lefty reliever Raymond Burgos to make his major league debut. Burgos has now become one of a whopping 11 arms in the Giants’ bullpen, as they currently only have two healthy starting pitchers in Logan Webb and Jordan Hicks.

SF Giants made surprise move in calling up lefty reliever for brief stint

To make room on the active roster, the Giants designated 1B/OF Trenton Brooks for assignment, who went 3-25 with San Francisco and would have lost playing time anyway once LaMonte Wade Jr. returns.

Burgos, a Puerto Rican southpaw drafted by Cleveland in the 18th round of the 2016 draft, primarily features a sinker, cut fastball, and a changeup. He’s had great success in the early going of his River Cats season, where he’s put up a 1.64 ERA in 22 innings along with 23 strikeouts. The 25-year-old will have to immediately make good on that potential with the big-league club for him to stand out amongst a revolving door of bullpen arms.

Making his debut in the fourth inning against the Cubs on Monday, Burgos gave up one earned run along with three hits and a walk, while also tallying his first career strikeout. Each of the three hits he gave up were on the ground, and the RBI single he allowed to Michael Busch probably should have been ruled an error on Nick Ahmed, who failed to make a force play before making a late and poor throw to first baseman Wilmer Flores.

Whether or not Burgos is able to stick with the big-league club once rehabbing arms like Kyle Harrison, Blake Snell, and Keaton Winn return, it is clear that the Giants need all the help they can get with shoring up a bullpen that has been taxed more than almost any other.

Grant Brisbee of The Athletic (subscription required) noted that the Giants have the second-highest percentage of innings thrown by relievers (46.2%) as well as the second-highest number of outings where relievers pitched without a day off (55).  He also noted that out of 454 relievers used in the majors this season, “Ryan Walker has appeared in the most games, with 39 appearances. In second place is Tyler Rogers with 38.”  Erik Miller has thrown the 11th-most pitches of any reliever this season as well.

If the Giants are able to make the climb back up to .500, they’ll need to get a lot more out of their rotation to do it. Like, a lot more. In the meantime, they could use a few feel-good stories to provide a spark of optimism, and Burgos could help the club out a little in that regard.

The Giants did option Burgos back to Triple-A on Tuesday to make room for Mason Black according to the team's transaction log.