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Mike Krukow breaks down two Giants pitching fliers before spring training begins

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday marks exactly three weeks until Giants pitchers and catchers report. It’s nearly here.

“I can’t wait to get down there,” Mike Krukow said. “I’m getting itchy, I’m being honest.”

The first ones to analyze in Scottsdale will be the pitchers, especially the fliers Farhan Zaidi has taken in Year Two of his reign. The Giants added lefty reliever Jerry Blevins on a minor league deal Monday and southpaw Drew Smyly, a rotation candidate, last week as the team and its options begins taking shape.

“He’s gotta have a good spring,” Krukow said on KNBR’s “Murph & Mac” on Tuesday morning, referring to Smyly. “We’ve seen that guy be very, very good. He’s been very, very good against the Giants. And then there’s other times he gets in to this inconsistent mode where he’ll go four or five starts and disappear. If they get him squared away, he’s absolutely a rotational guy. I hope it’s a good story. It’ll be one we watch closely when we get down there.”

In a pair of regular-season starts against San Francisco, Smyly has posted a 2.84 ERA, including going 5 2/3 innings and allowing four earned runs on Aug. 9 last season, while pitching for Gabe Kapler’s Phillies. The 30-year-old also has pitched in a pair of postseason games against the Giants, getting knocked around in Game 2 of the 2012 World Series, allowing a run and three walks in 1 1/3 innings in a 2-0 Giants victory.

Smyly, a coveted lefty in a righty-heavy rotation, will have a more prominent role than Blevins, who will try to make the team in camp. The 36-year-old, though, will be an obvious trade candidate if he performs and has a history of getting both lefties and righties out.

“He’s long, he’s lanky. Got a little funk to his delivery,” Krukow said. “That lazy arm delivery kind of gets on you. He can pitch high and up and away. I think he’s one of those guys that can get lefties and righties out. He’s not a comfortable at-bat because of the length of his arm. The long, loose piece of spaghetti that he unwraps and just kind of wings it at you.

“It’s not an easy pitch to time. And he’s durable, he takes the ball. But an interesting sign because this year, you gotta pitch against three guys. He kind of fell in the LOOGY guy … he’d come in and face a lefty and see you later. I think it’s an interesting challenge.”


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