© Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
As the San Francisco Giants near the end of spring training, Sam Dyson’s numbers stick out like a sore thumb. The 29-year-old reliever is 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA in 4.2 innings pitched over five games.
Nonetheless, Mike Krukow reassured Murph & Mac on Thursday morning that Dyson’s spring struggles aren’t from his lack of ability on the mound. In fact, the Giants broadcaster said when Dyson is at his best, “he’s got some of the nastiest stuff in baseball.”
Rather, Krukow said Dyson’s efforts to master an adjustment in his delivery in time for the regular season, is the reason for the veteran reliever’s swollen numbers.
“When he got down there, the one problem he has is that he isn’t quick,” Krukow said. “He’s not quick out of the stretch and that’s a little odd for a sinker-baller.
“Usually guys like that, who get the ball in play and on the ground, they want to be quick because there’s going to be a time that they always have, when there’s a runner at first base,” Krukow added. “They want to keep that runner close and get the double play.”
Dyson began spring training with a pair of scoreless innings, where he allowed one hit without surrendering a walk. It wasn’t until he gave up his first run of the spring in his third appearance on March 9 against the Seattle Mariners that, statistically, the wheels began to fall off.
“They’ve said, ‘we want you to be quick’ and that has really caused the rhythm problems that he’s had,” Krukow said. “He’s had two outings in a row where he’s gotten roughed up. His stuff is good, maybe it’s not quite the sink that he wants and that just tells me he’s not mechanically in the groove.”
In his previous two appearances, Dyson has pitched 1.2 innings; giving up seven hits and six runs. He failed to finish an inning against the Oakland A’s on March 12, allowing four runs to cross the plate. Then, he blew a save against the Mariners on Wednesday after giving up two runs in the ninth inning.
“That’s where he’s at, it’s kind of a project,” Krukow said. “But when you get to the end of spring training, you’re looking for confidence and whatever mode or rhythm he can get to to get that confidence he needs to break camp with. Right now, he’s just working on some things.”
Being quick is something that will not only help Dyson, but also the Giants tremendously come the regular season. The Giants did well to buff up their bullpen by adding Tony Watson, but several question marks remain with Mark Melancon and Will Smith coming off major surgeries last season.
“Well he’s there, he’s going to be one of those big arms in the bullpen,” Krukow said. “If something were to happen to Melancon, he’d be the closer. No question about that.”
To listen to the full interview check out the podcast below, and skip to 4:12 for Krukow on Dyson.