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Giants call up interesting righty and DFA Matt Wisler as bullpen evolves


Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports


Matt Wisler’s final outing before the Giants designated him for assignment was fairly representative. Four sliders struck out Texas’ Jose Trivino on Tuesday, and he showed the kind of dancing offering that so intrigued the Giants this offseason.

And then Eli White lined a double to left. An infield single later, and Wisler’s day was done before Jose Alvarez could save it.

The Giants’ DFA of the righty was not surprising but was difficult during a season in which Wisler has shown flashes of being his 2020, nearly unhittable self, but had not put it all together. He struck out 26 hitters in 19 1/3 innings and walked six, which is encouraging. He also allowed 13 earned runs (6.05 ERA), and hitters averaged a 90.7 mph exit velocity against him, the worst in Wisler’s career.

The conversation with Wisler “was really tough because there are some underlying things that he’s done really well. And, look, I still think he’s a good pitcher,” Gabe Kapler said before Wednesday’s matinee in Texas. “…There was just some contact at more unfortunate times that turned into big innings, and it was just kind of tough for him to get out from underneath it.”

The Giants called up righty Jimmie Sherfy, who had pitched both for Triple-A Sacramento and Team USA in Olympic qualifying. The 29-year-old pitched for parts of three seasons with the Diamondbacks and carries a 1.98 ERA in 45 1/3 innings. Like Wisler, he has a big-time slider, but also a low-90s fastball.

“He was pitching great for us in Sac, and his slider has been really effective,” Kapler said of Sherfy, who had not allowed a run in 7 2/3 innings with the River Cats. “He feels ready to go.”

Bit by bit, the Giants have remade their bullpen. First it was Zack Littell who was added, then Dominic Leone. Sherfy is now in the mix. Conner Menez has been excellent in a multiple-inning role. They have sought weapons to pair with Tyler Rogers and Jake McGee, and the internal ones will get the first shots.

Wisler, who really only throws a slider, did not show enough consistency.

“I think he understands that this game is about performance, and we have a lot of competition for every roster spot,” Kapler said.

 

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