Top SF Giants lefty pitching prospect makes statement with a double-digit strikeout effort

The Whiz was on one yesterday, fellas.
Can you handle the Whiz?
Can you handle the Whiz? / Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

The name of Carson Whisenhunt has not been in the ears of SF Giants fans for a short while, not even being discussed as a potential option for the big-league squad, largely due to the pitching dominance of Mason Black for the PCL-leading Sacramento River Cats this season. The Whiz made his presence felt again yesterday against the Tacoma Rainiers, striking out a career-high 10 batters over four scoreless innings in a close 1-0 victory.

Top SF Giants lefty pitching prospect makes statement with a double-digit strikeout effort

Whisenhunt brought the Weber to the camping trip because he was cooking with his changeup, drawing 11 out of the 18 total swings and misses that he induced against Tacoma hitting. His control was a bit off early on, particularly toward his arm-side, surrendering two walks to the first two batters of the game, but was on point afterward, striking out six straight batters. He encountered a bit of traffic in both the third and fourth innings but managed to strike out the final batters of the inning to end the threat.

Sure, the Whiz's 5.40 ERA certainly does not look pretty as he got hammered in his second and third outings of the season, accounting for 12 total earned runs. I have watched both of those games and he sure did not have it, both stuff-wise and control-wise, in both of those outings. However, he is on a tear since, striking out 22 out of the 51 batters that he faced in his last three starts of 12.2 scoreless innings with just six hits and seven walks allowed.

With all the talk of Mason Black potentially joining the big league roster, I feel that Whisenhunt's name should be thrown into the mix as well. The changeup is a true world-beater of a pitch, his fastball and curveball are not bad. It is truly league-average pitches. He even threw several sliders (registered on Statcast as cutters) in one of his early-season starts to give him a true four-pitch mix but has not thrown it since.

If there is one critic that I have to make a valid case against Whisenhunt's big-league chances, it's the control. As I have mentioned, even in his current dominant stretch, he has allowed more walks than hits. He's also only thrown his pitches at a league-average rate or a bit lower. There are also instances like this season where he truly does not have the feel of all of his pitches and has paid a massive price. That is contradictory to what Black has done. Sure, Black has a less superior fastball velocity compared to the Whiz and does not have a true plus-plus pitch in his arsenal, but the control is much better at this point of the season.

Nonetheless, Whisenhunt's journey this season is certainly worth following as he endures some of the best and worst stretches of his professional career. If he can find the level of control that he had last season, he is an easy call-up to the Show candidate. But that chatter should start right now.