Tyler Herb

Tyler Herb looking to be successful 'Player to be Named Later' for Giants


Tyler Herb looking to be successful 'Player to be Named Later' for Giants

SCOTTSDALE — Tyler Herb sat down in the visiting bullpen at Camelback Ranch last weekend and saw a familiar face two seats away. He hadn’t met the other right-hander yet, but it was a man he will always be linked to. Steven Okert was sitting between the two, and Herb tapped him on the shoulder.

“Is that Chris Heston?” he asked. 

Okert quickly made an introduction. 

“Hey,” Heston said. “I’m the guy you got traded for.”

It took Heston and Herb about a month of being in the same organization to actually meet. It took significantly longer for them to be traded for one another. 

The Giants dealt Heston to the Mariners on Dec. 7, 2016 to clear a 40-man roster spot for Mark Melancon. It wasn’t until July 3 that Herb found out he was actually the Player to be Named Later in the Chris Heston trade. Unbeknownst to Herb, he had spent much of that time on the trade block. 

Teams usually designate between two and five players to watch when there is a Player to be Named Later in a deal, and then they get to scout them a bit more before making a selection. The Giants gave the Mariners a small watch list and kept an eye on the players. On July 3, the deal — which was technically a separate trade than the Heston one because they waited longer than the required six months that you get to choose a player — was completed, and Herb spent the next day driving from Arkansas to Double-A Richmond. He saw several fireworks shows in the distance as he drove.

“It was weird,” he said. “The whole trade situation kind of happened so quickly. I didn’t really understand it at first, but I realized that if you’re being selected it’s a good thing. It was kind of like getting drafted all over again. They evaluate you and select you from a group of guys. It was a good thing.”

The PTBNL is often an afterthought, but there are success stories, like David Ortiz, Marco Scutaro and Coco Crisp. The Giants knew they would have to DFA Heston and they were hoping to get a lottery ticket in return. They liked Herb’s repertoire, and they believe he can be a back-end starter or a bullpen piece in time. They also liked his durability — he threw 163 innings last year — and think he will continue to improve because of his natural athleticism. 

Herb is said to be one of the better-hitting pitchers in camp, and he was an all-conference quarterback and shooting guard in high school. He played at a small school with an 89-person senior class, and his baseball field didn’t have fences. “It was an oversized softball field,” he said. He wasn’t recruited, but he attended camps to put his name out and ended up at Coastal Carolina. 

The Mariners took Herb in the 29th round in 2014, but his minor league numbers last season show that he might be the rare late draft pick and PTBNL to get his big league shot. After the trade, Herb posted a 2.76 ERA in 10 starts for the Flying Squirrels. He has a big believer in pitching coach Steve Kline, who said Herb is one of the most competitive players he has coached. 

Kline will be the pitching coach for Triple-A Sacramento this season and Heston likely will start the season there. Herb appears ticketed for Sacramento, too.

“I guess it all worked out pretty well for the Giants,” he said, smiling. 

Beede, Garcia among Giants protected from Rule 5 draft


Beede, Garcia among Giants protected from Rule 5 draft

SAN FRANCISCO — A top pitching prospect highlighted the list of Giants added to the 40-man roster before Monday’s deadline. 

The Giants put right-hander Tyler Beede on their 40-man roster, along with Aramis Garcia, Tyler Herb and D.J. Snelten. The four players were protected from the Rule 5 draft, held in December on the final day of the annual Winter Meetings. To clear roster spots, the Giants designated Orlando Calixte and Micah Johnson for assignment and outrighted Dan Slania to Triple-A. 

Beede, a 24-year-old former first-round pick, likely would have ended up on the roster earlier if not for a groin injury that ended his Triple-A season early. The Giants anticipated him making a September debut, but he ended up needing time in the Arizona Fall League to make up for lost innings. Beede was sharp in the AFL once he knocked the rust off, allowing three runs over 10 innings in his final two starts. He is expected to compete for a rotation spot at some point next year, although he also stands as one of the organization’s best offseason trade chips. 

Garcia, 24, has struggled with injuries at times in the minors, but he hit 17 homers in just 402 at-bats in 2017 and earned a promotion to Double-A Richmond. Garcia is currently one of just two catchers on the 40-man roster. 

Herb was essentially the player to be named later in the Chris Heston deal. The 25-year-old had a 2.76 ERA in 10 starts for Double-A Richmond last season. Snelten is a lefty reliever who had a 2.20 ERA across two levels last season and could break into the big leagues as a bullpen weapon next year. 

The roster now stands at 40 after the churn, which included a couple of players picked up as flyers because the Giants are at the front of the waiver process. Johnson was added in October and infielder Engelb Vielma, added during the season, was claimed by the Phillies on a  waiver claim. Slania, who made his big league debut during the season, cleared waivers and joins Triple-A Sacramento’s offseason roster. 

Giants acquire Double-A pitcher from Mariners

Giants acquire Double-A pitcher from Mariners

The Giants have added an arm to their minor league pitching depth.

On Monday, the team announced that they acquired right-handed pitcher Tyler Herb from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for cash considerations.

Herb, a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native, will be assigned to Double-A Richmond.

In 16 starts for the Arkansas Travelers, the Mariners' Double-A affiliate in the Texas League, Herb has a 3.31 ERA with 88 strikeouts and 30 walks in 98 innings.

The 25-year-old Herb was a 29th round pick in 2014 out of Coastal Carolina.