SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The overall stats don't paint Trevor Cahill as someone you would think you have to pay a lot of attention to this spring. The Giants' latest non-roster invitee had a 5.98 ERA for the Los Angeles Angels last season along with a 1.46 WHIP, and he struck out just 7.1 batters per nine innings.
But here are the numbers that might really matter: 3, 3, 2 2/3, 2 2/3, 2 1/3, 2, 2.
Those are the lengths of some of Cahill's relief outings last year in which he gave up one run or held the opponent scoreless, and that kind of production on a consistent basis would make him a perfect fit for the 2020 Giants staff.
The Giants figure to have Jeff Samardzija, Johnny Cueto, Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly in their rotation, along with one of Tyler Beede and Logan Webb. But they haven't committed to that plan publicly and team officials talk often of having a staff full of swingmen. The bullpen could include a few guys who go two to three innings at a time in a three-batter minimum world, and pitchers like Cahill could ultimately get some starts, too.
"The idea that some of our pitchers can go back and forth, make a start and then come out of the 'pen, or be in the 'pen for a considerable amount of time but still be stretched out enough to start, I think it's valuable for any club," manager Gabe Kapler said Wednesday.
Cahill joins a large group of guys who fit this mold, including incumbents like Dereck Rodriguez, Andrew Suarez and maybe even Shaun Anderson. Kapler said there were a lot of pitchers in camp who would stay stretched out longer than in previous years.
Despite the fact that he's primarily known as a starter, Cahill, a 31-year-old right-hander, actually has more relieving experience than most in Giants camp. He made 26 relief appearances for the Angels last year and came out of the bullpen 49 times for the Cubs in 2016, posting a 2.74 ERA.
Cahill has 122 relief appearances in his lengthy career, but he primarily was a starter between 2016 and 2019. Kapler said everything Cahill has done in recent years factored in. He had a rough time with the Kansas City Royals in 2017 but posted a 3.69 ERA in 11 starts for the San Diego Padres before compiling a 3.76 ERA for the A's the next year, when he made 20 starts.
"Cahill is not that far removed from a really strong season in 2018, and 2017 was also a really good year for him," Kapler said. "The first thing I think Trevor brings is versatility. I could see him making starts for us and I could also see him pitching out of the bullpen. His stuff plays and he's great at making adjustments, too."