NBC Sports

Rogers has strategic reason for wearing white cleats

NBC Sports
Tyler Rogers

Brandon Crawford wears so many different kinds of cleats each season that the Giants' director of team travel, Abe Silvestri, once created an Instagram account dedicated just to Crawford's "show shoes." Over the last couple of seasons, Mauricio Dubon has brought his own flair to the field, and coach Antoan Richardson is taking fashion to a new level in the first base box. He recently sported cleats that appeared to have a tiny martian directing traffic on the heel.

The most important cleats in the clubhouse, though, belong to a soft-spoken reliever who has developed into one of the best weapons in the National League, and they're all white. Before Tuesday's game against the Cincinnati Reds, right-hander Tyler Rogers explained that there's a very good -- and sneaky -- reason for his sparkling spikes.

"A few years ago Austin Slater brought it up because my release point is down by my shoes, so I should wear white cleats," Rogers said. "White ball, white cleats, down there in that area or vicinity. Not only does it look good, but hopefully it's helping a little bit, too."

There it is. Slater, the Stanford alum, added yet another level of deception for Rogers, who already has been just about impossible to square up this season because of his submarine delivery and command of pitches that appear to be rising. 

Rogers wore the white cleats Monday night while picking up his third save of the road trip and fifth of the season. He leads the Majors in appearances with 24 and has thrown in seven of the last 11 Giants games, but there are no signs that he's slowing down. Rogers has a 0.73 ERA for the season and has allowed just four hits in nine shutout appearances in May. 

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"I've been able to get ahead (in the count), which is big for me. The times I'm not getting ahead I seem to be right back in the count, so that's been good," Rogers said. "This month I've found some double-play balls, which has been good for me, as well. With the defense that we've been playing this year, if I could put the pressure on the hitters to put the ball in play and not give away free bases and let this defense work, it turns out it'll be fun to watch."

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