Giants

Menez would 'love' to be in Giants' rotation this season

Giants

After an offseason full of pitching signings, the Giants appear to have six arms -- Johnny Cueto, Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Wood, Aaron Sanchez and Logan Webb -- vying for a spot in the rotation. Well, another arm wants to put his name in the mix. 

Conner Menez started the Giants' Cactus League opener this year, and if it were up to him he'd be a starter as opposed to a reliever this season. 

"Honestly, I'd love to be a starter," Menez said Monday night to KNBR's Mark Willard. "That's what I've done my whole life, especially from college through my pro career. I just feel more comfortable that way. I kind of get into a rhythm. Especially through the minors, I got into a really good rhythm starting.

"But it was also good this last year having that experience coming out of the bullpen, being able to be the longer guy if they need me. Right now, I'm just happy to see they want me as a starter, but I'm comfortable going into the long relief position as well."

Menez threw a scoreless first inning in which he didn't allow any hits but did walk two batters in the Giants' spring opener. He appeared in seven games last season, all out of the bullpen, going 1-0 with a 2.38 ERA in 11 1/3 innings. 

The lefty made his MLB debut with the Giants in 2019 and appeared in eight games -- three starts -- two seasons ago. He had a 5.29 ERA in 2019 when he struck out 22 batters in 17 innings but also walked 12. Menez had a 7.11 ERA as a starter and didn't allow a single earned run as a reliever that season. 

 

While Menez clearly hopes to be a starter, he's optimistic no matter what about the upcoming season and will accept any role. 

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"This year should be good," Menez said. "I know there's obviously the possibility of being a starter up in the big leagues, and I'm excited to just compete through spring training and see what happens. I know they want another lefty, but I'm just gonna control what I can control and work as hard as I can."

Menez worked hard with pitching coach Andrew Bailey this offseason, focusing on loading better off his back hip and staying back longer as he goes down the mound. He seems destined for a long-relief role, but as this front office has shown all offseason, depth and versatility are key.

That will be Menez's gateway to making his mark in San Francisco this season.

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