The Phillies have a righty-heavy lineup, with Bryce Harper the only lefty position player starting Sunday, and so the Giants added a righty to their bullpen.
Though, they hope John Brebbia will be a weapon for them long past this series.
Brebbia was activated from the 60-day injured list and could make his Giants and 2021 debut following June 2020 Tommy John surgery. To make room on the 26-man roster, lefty Conner Menez, who has struggled in his past two outings, was optioned, and Aaron Sanchez was flipped to the 60-day injured list for 40-man roster space.
Brebbia, who is growing back his red beard, fills the Giants’ quota of two relievers who could be Amish, slotting in next to Zack Littell. If he pitches like he has for the rest of his career, he would be quite helpful.
The 31-year-old was “one of the better right-handed relievers in the game,” Gabe Kapler said, in 161 games from 2017-19 with the Cardinals in which he posted a 3.14 ERA.
In seven innings of a rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento, he allowed three earned runs (3.86 ERA) and struck out 11 with a 0.857 WHIP.
“He’s looking healthy, is bouncing back well,” Kapler said before the finale with the Phillies at Oracle Park. “Hard to make many predictions going forward based on rehab innings, but things have gone smoothly so far.”
Brebbia, whose best pitch is a slider and brings a mid-90s fastball, will throw his first major league pitch since Sept. 28, 2019. The Giants already have remade their bullpen internally by adding Littell, Dominic Leone and Jimmie Sherfy from Triple-A, and they now will see if Brebbia is again a difference maker 12 months after surgery.
The Giants will stay on schedule and pitch Anthony DeSclafani and Kevin Gausman on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
Alex Dickerson and Darin Ruf “came out of the game just fine” Saturday, their first day of a rehab assignment at Triple-A. Kapler expected Ruf, who had DH’d, to play three innings at first Sunday and Dickerson to DH.
Sunday is Kapler’s first Father’s Day without his father, Michael, who passed in December. Shortly after Michael’s death, Gabe said goodbye publicly and wrote that his father was “a runner, a yogi, a mover, a musician, and most importantly for this conversation, a writer. He wrote music, poetry, and letters, sometimes serious, often times nonsensical, almost always romantic.”
The Giants manager said he has talked with his two sons Sunday, but it was a difficult day for Gabe.
“My dad was among the most influential people in my life,” Kapler said. “…So today is going to be a somewhat emotional day for me. I’m proud to be his son.”