Giants

Giants taking look at rookie pitchers who might be part of next wave

Giants taking look at rookie pitchers who might be part of next wave

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants had five rookies in the starting lineup on Wednesday night, and there wasn't any more experience coming out of the bullpen. Four of the six relievers to follow right-hander Logan Webb were rookies, continuing a late-season trend. 

Trades and injuries have blown up the bullpen, so the Giants are taking a look at guys who might be part of the next wave. The same goes for the rotation, where the 22-year-old Webb is getting an extended tryout. 

Relying on youth can get ugly at times. Webb had a rough one and the Giants lost 6-3 to a Pirates team that has been one of the worst in the National League. The Giants have lost seven of their 11 September games, but the evaluation will go on. Here's a breakdown of the five rookies to take the mound Wednesday: 

Logan Webb 

Making his fifth start, Webb failed to get through five full innings for the third time. He was pulled in the fifth and charged with four earned on seven hits and a walk. The contact wasn't particularly hard, but Webb struggled with his command, particularly with a slider that kept veering towards the left-handed batter's box. 

"It's frustrating," Webb said. "I'm a competitor. I want to put the team in the best position to win and I didn't do that. It's frustrating."

Webb followed Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto in the rotation and has a chance this month to jump to the front of the line of young starters vying for 2020 jobs. So far, Webb has a 6.75 ERA as a big leaguer. 

"It's about executing your pitches," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He had good stuff tonight, he did. He had a little bit of trouble executing the breaking ball early. The kid's got good stuff. He just made some mistakes."

Sam Selman 

The lefty took over in the sixth after the Giants had scored three runs to cut the deficit to one. Selman showed his fastball-slider combo while getting two quick outs, but then walked a pinch-hitter. Cole Tucker, the Pirates excitable rookie, jumped on a hanging slider and yanked an RBI double to left. 

Selman was a revelation for the River Cats this season but has yet to carry that over. He has given up a run in four of six appearances. 

Tyler Rogers 

The most notable part of his evening was the fact that he warmed up to "Yellow Submarine." Rogers faced just one batter, elevating a slider that Kevin Newman harmlessly bounced out. That stranded a runner on third. 

The funky right-hander has allowed just two runs in nine appearances and looks like he could be part of the solution next season. It remains a complete mystery why the Giants didn't feel the need to take a look at him last year or the year before that. 

Sam Coonrod 

He quietly has made the most appearances (26) of any active Giants reliever other than Will Smith, and he should be pretty happy with his body of work. Coonrod got through the heart of Pittsburgh's order to lower his ERA to 3.09. 

At the same time, it'll be interesting to see how an analytics-driven front office views Coonrod's work. He has a 4.71 FIP and the strikeout rate of 6.2 is what you would expect from Ty Blach, not someone with a 98 mph fastball. If the Giants can get Coonrod to miss a few more bats, he could be a real weapon. 

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Conner Menez 

Giants officials have long gone back and forth on whether his future is as a starter or reliever. Like Shaun Anderson, his quickest path to a consistent big league job will be as a reliever. The 24-year-old made his third appearance out of the bullpen and struck out No. 3 hitter Colin Moran before getting cleanup hitter Josh Bell to take an ugly two-strike swing at a slider down and in. 

Menez has faced 11 batters since coming up to join the bullpen and has struck out five of them. If you're left-handed with pretty good stuff and you pile up strikeouts, you're going to have a job in the big leagues. 

Giants GM Scott Harris grew up Cubs fan, brother favored San Francisco

Giants GM Scott Harris grew up Cubs fan, brother favored San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO -- As Scott Harris said goodbye to family members on Monday, a Giants employee walked over and dropped off two big bags full of jerseys and orange-and-black gear.

One of his parents needed to load up on the gifts more than the other. 

Harris grew up in Redwood City with a mother who is a Giants fan, but his father, who is from Chicago, is a diehard Chicago Cubs fan. When it came time to pass on their rooting interests, they came up with an easy solution for their children.

"They divided the sons," Scott said, smiling. "I was raised a Cubs fan and my brother was raised a Giants fan, which put my nephew Teddy in an awkward spot because his dad loves the Giants and his uncle was working for the Cubs. Now at least Teddy has a little more clarity."

As Scott finished telling the story, his brother, Chris, laughed and quickly clapped. This worked out well for half of the Harris family. Scott will try and help his mother and brother's favorite team get back to the postseason, and his father has already benefited from the son's talents. Scott was part of the front office that finally brought a championship to Wrigley. 

On his first full day on the job, Scott talked about what made the Giants such a good fit -- aside from the family's rooting interests. He's excited to be back in the Bay Area and noted that as he took profile pictures under the sun at Oracle Park, the temperature was in the mid-20s back in Chicago. Harris has also been through a winter in New York, so he was thrilled to be working back in the Bay Area. The entire Harris family was fired up, too. His parents and brother sat in the fourth row for an introductory press conference and then got a tour of the clubhouse. 

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"I want to thank my family for always supporting me and their relentless pursuit of a way to get me back to the Bay Area. It worked, thank you," Harris said as he looked out as his parents and brother. "It's such a privilege to be here. It's a privilege to come back home. It's a privilege to work for a flagship organization with such a passionate and deserving fan base. 

"I grew up in Redwood City and vividly remember learning what the game looks like at the highest level by watching generations of Giants players come through Candlestick and come through this park."

Giants closing in on new manager after hiring Scott Harris as their GM

Giants closing in on new manager after hiring Scott Harris as their GM

SAN FRANCISCO -- As Giants officials and members of the media filed out of the press conference room at Oracle Park on Monday, a team employee reached over and flicked off one set of lights. Nobody bothered to take down the podium or remove the temporary seating. That all might be needed again in a few hours.

The Giants introduced Scott Harris as general manager on Monday and are poised to hold another press conference for their new manager. Harris is in the process of meeting with the remaining candidates and Farhan Zaidi said he would "have significant input into the final decision."

Zaidi said the manager announcement would come this week, and the Giants were internally preparing to introduce a new manager as soon as Tuesday. There are still three known finalists, and no decision had been made as of Monday morning. There are two who have separated from the pack, though. Former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler and Astros bench coach Joe Espada both have high-level supporters in the organization, per sources, and Kapler met with Giants officials again on Monday. He is said to be the frontrunner at this point. 

The search has lasted more than a month now, in part because it ran as the same time as the search for a new GM.

[RELATED: Why GM Scott Harris didn't root for Giants]

"Having both of these balls in the air at the same time has made scheduling difficult and tricky at times," Zaidi said. "I'm just really happy that we have been able to get (Harris) in place and he does have that chance to connect with those candidates and provide input and really have a say in the final decision that I expect us to make this week."