ORACLE PARK — As expected, the San Francisco Giants are going to call up top pitching prospect Tyler Beede to start Friday’s series opener against the Cincinnati Reds.
The circumstances that return Beede to the big leagues involved a botched bunt, a drug suspension and a shoulder surgery, but after a dominating start to his season at Triple-A Sacramento, it was only a matter of when — not if — Beede would be called up.
“With our situation with Holland going on the IL, and Blach coming up to help out in the bullpen, now, we need a starter,” said manager Bruce Bochy before Wednesday’s series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
With Derek Holland going on the injured list Monday with a left forefinger injury stemming from being hit in the hand during spring training practice, the Giants brought up Ty Blach to soak up some relief innings after the bullpen had been overtaxed over the weekend against the New York Yankees. Blach did what he was brought up to do: Threw 3 2/3 innings against the best offense in the National League in a 10-3 loss to the Dodgers.
Late Tuesday night, AP reporter Janie McCauley broke news that catcher Stephen Vogt — the former A’s All-Star who last played in the Major Leagues in 2017 — was making his way from Triple-A to San Francisco. It was not until early Wednesday morning that news broke that San Francisco’s top pitching prospect — Logan Webb — would be suspended 80 games for performance-enhancing drug use, thereby opening up a spot for Vogt on the 40-man.
Blach was optioned to make room for Vogt on the 25-man roster (as the only non-starter on the roster to have options left), but that left the Giants with three catchers and still one starting pitcher short. Hence, Beede’s call up, which may mean saying goodbye to backup catcher Erik Kratz.
The rest of the rotation has not been announced outside of Beede on Friday and Dereck Rodriguez on Saturday, and Bochy said it was uncertain whether the Giants would carry 12 pitchers moving forward.
In recent days, Bochy has said that Beede had made a big impression on the club not only in spring, where he struck out 13 in 10 1/3 innings, but also with his work in Triple-A this season, where he was sent to get more consistent work than had he been up in the Major Leagues, where the Giants had an established rotation.
“It’s hard not to see that,” Bochy said on Sunday. “With how he threw the ball this spring, he really opened up eyes there. Trust me, he’s on the radar. What he’s doing down there, the stuff he’s throwing with, too, he’s not doing it with mirrors. He’s really demonstrating good command with high velo with a good changeup and breaking ball.”
Beede, the Giants’ No. 7 prospect, was called up at the end of last season and went 0-1 in two starts, with an 8.22 ERA, but in Sacramento, he’s posted a 1.99 ERA in 22 2/3 innings over five starts with a 1.06 WHIP and 34 strikeouts to 10 walks, attacking the strike zone and commanding all three of his pitches.
“It’s part of development for a player,” Bochy said of the 25-year old righty. “Learning to pitch up here, harnessing your stuff, you can see how much better he’s gotten.”
A 2014 first-round pick out of Vanderbilt, Beede split his time between starting and relieving in 2018 at Triple-A, going 2-7 in 10 starts with a 7.28 ERA, and 2-2 in 23 relief appearances with a 6.67 ERA. This season, he’s been used exclusively as a starter, but has averaged just over five innings per outing.
“From last year to what you saw this spring into Sacramento, he should feel good about where he’s at,” Bochy said. “His confidence should be way up there, and we’re excited about getting a chance to watch him.”
San Francisco, Bochy said, will keep him on a pitch count on Friday.
“We’re not looking to go six, seven innings with him,” Bochy said. “We kept a close eye on him, but he’s good to go.”