SAN FRANCISCO -- There were a couple of years there where Kyle Crick looked like he might turn into a bust as a top draft pick. The young right-hander had other ideas, and on Tuesday he got the news he's been waiting for since being selected 49th overall in the 2011 draft. Crick was called up to the big leagues for the first time.
To clear a roster move for Crick, the Giants made a bit of a surprise move. Struggling right-hander Derek Law was optioned back to Triple-A Sacramento. The demotion is Law's first since his call-up early last season. He was supposed to be Mark Melancon's set-up man this season, but he has allowed eight runs over his past three appearances and he gave up four without recording an out in Monday night's loss.
Crick, still just 24, has a fastball that touches the upper 90s and a wipeout curve. The stuff has never been in question, but he had trouble commanding it as a starter. Walks were always Crick's issue, but he has settled in since a full-time move to the bullpen. As Sacramento's closer, Crick had a 2.76 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings. He is still walking four batters per nine innings, too many, but that rate is down from 9.4 two years ago. Crick's strikeout rate is up and his WHIP is down to 1.26
The Giants will likely work Crick in as a middle-inning guy, and he has the past as a starter to handle multiple innings. With Hunter Strickland suspended and Law optioned, Bryan Morris and George Kontos seem likely candidates to elevate. Of course, the Giants have not had many leads to protect this month, and Law helped turn a close game into a blowout on Monday. He has been off for most of the season, and this is a chance for the Giants to possibly work on some things away from the glare of big league games.