© John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
The San Francisco Giants scored when they signed Tony Watson, but one reliever isn’t all that’s needed for a strong bullpen. Sure, they have the established talents of Mark Melancon and Sam Dyson, but the Giants will need their young relievers to also rise to the occasion this season. General manager Bobby Evans highlighted three he’s looking forward to watching this Spring Training with Gary & Larry on Thursday.
“Our Rule-5 pick Julian Fernandez looks great,” Evans said. “I mean, he’s just extremely athletic and the ball is coming out of his hands well. His breaking stuff is probably still a work in progress, but the overall delivery looks sound and he should be a guy to watch this spring.”
Last December, the Giants selected Fernandez from the Colorado Rockies with their second pick in the Rule 5 draft. In order for the Giants to keep Fernandez, they will have to give him a spot on their major league roster this season, or be offered back to the Rockies.
Although Fernandez can touch 100 mph with his fastball, the 22-year-old right-hander was only able to reach Low-A Asheville after five years in the minor leagues. Not to mention, his Spring Training schedule was delayed when he cut his index finger while reaching into his locker in the clubhouse on February 18.
Nonetheless, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, manager Bruce Bochy said, “we don’t think it’s serious at all.”
“I think Reyes Moronta has looked great,” Evans said. “Came in in much better shape, but, again, it’s still early, but it’s nice to see him throwing the ball well. Osich looked good yesterday in a live batting practice session.”
Unlike Fernandez, both Moronta and Osich have spent time in the major leagues. Moronta debuted with the Giants as a September call-up last year and in 6.2 innings the 25-year-old right-hander posted a 2.70 ERA and struck out 11 batters with his fastball that can hit 100 mph.
The Giants have seen roughly 36 innings pitched per year from Osich since he debuted in 2015. Although his numbers started off strong, to the tune of a 2.20 ERA with 27 strikeouts in his first 28.2 innings pitched in the major leagues, Osich’s success has gradually declined to the point where he finished last season with a 6.23 ERA in 43.1 innings pitched.
“These guys are still really cutting their teeth on the spring,” Evans said. “But there’s a lot to like early.”
To listen to the full interview check out the podcast below, and skip to 5:11 for Evans on Fernandez, Moronta, Osich.