Giants

Mike Yastrzemski reacts to Giants call-up after seven years in minors

Mike Yastrzemski reacts to Giants call-up after seven years in minors

SAN FRANCISCO -- The media scrum was waiting inside the clubhouse for the young kid with "the name," but he went straight into Bruce Bochy's office.

We would have to wait a little bit longer to talk to him.

Mike Yastrzemski arrived at Oracle Park on Saturday morning. His locker was filled with the typical Giants gear and a single light blue shirt that appeared to have buttons. 

The outfielder told the circle of reporters he hadn't gotten as much sleep as he would have liked, or as much as he should have, but that's what happens when you get your first major league call-up.

The grandson of the legendary Carl Yastrzemski is now a San Francisco Giant and more than comfortable to be in the atmosphere -- it's a clubhouse, after all, he told NBC Sports Bay Area. But we wanted to know how he felt when he got the call -- the one that he spent almost a decade waiting to receive.

"I was ecstatic, it's a lifelong dream to be here and to finally step foot in a big league clubhouse is something special," he said.

He also called his wife first thing to tell her the news.

And as far as the guy we're all asking him about, he had spoken with him earlier that morning on the way to the field before playing the Diamondbacks.

"I got a quick talk to him on the ride in," Yastrzemski said when asked about his grandfather. "It was nice to be able to tell him over the phone."

Carl more than likely won't be making an appearance here on the West Coast, the young outfielder told us.

"He's not much of a traveler."

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But hopefully, that won't stop him from seeing him playing against the other orange and black team.

Big Yaz is currently in Boston we were told, which is close to Baltimore -- an organization Mike is very familiar with having spent seven seasons playing in the minors. He'll get a chance to play at Camden Yards soon when the team heads to the East Coast to face the Orioles next week, an institution he's wanted to play at for a long time ... even if it is in a visitor's uniform.

Giants rookie Tyler Rogers opening eyes with unique submarine slider

Giants rookie Tyler Rogers opening eyes with unique submarine slider

Only jury duty kept Giants pitching coach Curt Young from putting together a summit of submariners this month. Young was with the A's when Chad Bradford dominated hitters with his unique approach, and he hoped to put Bradford in a room with Giants rookie Tyler Rogers.

"He got called in for jury duty," a smiling Young said of Bradford. "But we'll make it happen at some point."

With the way Rogers is pitching, there's no real rush. Nobody is taking greater advantage of a September opportunity than Rogers, a submarining right-hander who has a 1.54 ERA in 12 appearances and has allowed just seven hits. Rogers provides a look that's not seen anywhere else in the majors, and big leaguers haven't adjusted yet.

With every bewildered stare back at the mound, Rogers gets closer to putting himself in position for a bullpen job in 2020. 

"The results kind of speak for themselves so far. I've been able to execute pitches," Rogers said. "Between the two levels, that hasn't changed. If you execute the pitch, more times than not you're going to be successful. And if you don't, you know, they're going to hurt you."

There's been very little pain thus far, particularly on a slider that's become a put-away pitch for Rogers and has fascinated teammates and fans. Because of where Rogers releases the ball -- he's dead last in the majors with a release point of just 1.05 feet above the dirt -- the slider often appears to be rising the entire way to the catcher's glove. It floats into the strike zone and elicits ugly swings. 

"Absolutely, it almost rises even for the catcher," said Aramis Garcia, who caught Rogers in Triple-A. "Depending on how he throws it, if it's high or in the middle of the zone, it gets really good rise. Guys in the batter's box say it all the time. They hate seeing that slider after the fastball."

Rogers' slider isn't a high-spin pitch. At 2,279 RPM, it has one of the lowest spin rates on the Giants' staff, but the results thus far have been impressive. Rogers has thrown the pitch 36 times and allowed just one hit, a single. Seven of his eight strikeouts have come on the slider and it's being hit an average of just 79 mph when put into play. 

The funny thing about the pitch for Rogers is that it didn't even use to be in his repertoire. As a freshman at Austin Peay, he threw exclusively fastballs. 

"I just couldn't figure (the slider) out and it still takes a lot of tinkering in practice," Rogers said. "That pitch has definitely evolved a lot over the years. Now I just kind of let it do what it wants that day. It's not the same day to day. Some days I can really cut it loose and give it what I've got and other days I've got to be a little more about finesse with it."

The pitch, which Rogers throws off of his low 80s sinker, helped him put up eye-popping numbers during a curiously long stay in Triple-A. Rogers had a 3.27 ERA in 179 career appearances in a tough league for pitchers, but the Giants didn't take a look until this September, the end of his fourth season in Sacramento. 

Teammates who were there the day Rogers got called up say the eruption from the clubhouse was as loud as they could remember. They were curious to see how Rogers' delivery would work against big league hitters, and so far the results have helped Rogers grab a more high-leverage role in a shifting bullpen.

That doesn't surprise Garcia, who actually might have learned more about Rogers' slider when an opposing hitter had success against it. Garcia often played first base in Sacramento and said even a hitter who reached would come away grumbling. 

[RELATED: Sacramento River Cats win Triple-A National Championship]

"There were a lot of times where a guy would get to first base and all he would be talking about is how much he hates facing him," Garcia said. 

Big league hitters apparently feel the same way. 

Giants affiliate Sacramento River Cats win Triple-A National Championship

Giants affiliate Sacramento River Cats win Triple-A National Championship

While the Giants were busy breaking a record and beating the Red Sox 7-6 in 15 innings Tuesday night, their Triple-A affiliate was winning another title. 

The Sacramento River Cats already took home the crown of Pacific Coast League champions this season. Now, they can add an even bigger trophy to their mantle. 

Instead of a series, one game decides who is the king of Triple-A baseball. That title now belongs to the River Cats after they beat the Columbus Clippers, 4-0, in the Triple-A National Championship. 

Sacramento became the first franchise to have three Triple-A National Championship titles. It's the first time the River Cats have done so as an affiliate of the Giants. 

“It feels great,” River Cats manager Dave Brundage said to the Sacramento Bee's Joe Davidson after the win. “They played their hearts out.”

Brundage deserves all the credit in the world for the title. This season was a marathon, to the say the least, for him and his entire staff. The River Cats played 146 games and dealt with 319 player transactions. 

That's right, 319. 

In a world where Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi is willing to make any move and use a player's minor league options whenever necessary, the River Cats will have to deal with plenty of changes to their roster as long he's in charge. Caleb Baragar, the game's winning pitcher, is a prime example. 

When the Richmond Flying Squirrels -- the Giants' Double-A affiliate -- saw their season end without a trip to the playoffs, Baragar thought he could finally take break. Wrong. Baragar was added to the River Cats' roster for the playoffs and ended up being a hero. 

The 25-year-old right-hander pitched five shutout innings Tuesday night while allowing just two hits and striking out five batters. He was named MVP of the game for his valiant effort.

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"I saw a young man who wasn’t scared,” Brundage said to Baseball America. "Sometimes you’re not sure. Is the moment too big? The moment wasn’t too big against Vegas. He was even better tonight.”

In a year of constant shuffle for San Francisco and Sacramento alike, the River Cats came out on top with a ring. The Giants hope they too can soon do the same.