Mark Melancon was supposed to be the solution, not the problem, when he signed with the Giants this offseason for four years and $62 million. The three-time All-Star was the first high-profile reliever signed by San Francisco during its dynastic run of success, and he was portrayed as the answer to the bullpen woes that did the Giants in last year.
Of course, Melancon’s teammates haven’t done much to create save opportunities for him, but his stats aren’t exactly All-Star caliber either. With a 4.58 ERA and 11 saves, it’s safe to say Melancon won’t be making his third consecutive appearance in this year’s Midsummer Classic.
Now, a report from Ken Rosenthal says Melancon’s early-season actions in the clubhouse may have gotten under the skin of some of his teammates. Rosenthal did note that Melancon has been well-liked with past teams and is liked by many Giants as well.
“But Melancon, sources say, rubbed some teammates the wrong way early in the season by putting an end to the bullpen’s 3:30 p.m. stretching session before night games, a practice that the relievers began in 2012,” Rosenthal wrote. “And for a time, Melancon and a handful of other Giants veterans often were late for the team’s main stretching sessions, prompting manager Bruce Bochy to call a team meeting about a month ago to address that matter and other concerns that he declined to specify.”
These issues seem to be quite minor, and Rosenthal rightfully pointed out that they likely wouldn’t be issues at all if San Francisco sat atop the NL West instead of being buried in the cellar. But this last-place team is searching for answers, both on and off the field.
As for Melancon himself, Rosenthal said the closer is happy with the Giants and doesn’t think there’s any friction between he and his teammates. We’ll see if an improvement in Melancon’s or the team’s performance can boost clubhouse chemistry, but for the time being, things look like they may only get worse in the way of on-field results.