Giants

Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Pacific Coast League started using major league baseballs this season, and for a month that has proven to be a nightmare for pitchers used to a ball with larger seams. Giants prospect Tyler Beede is one of the few exceptions. 

In a league where just one team has a staff ERA under four, Beede has a 1.99 through five starts for the Sacramento River Cats. That could earn him a second chance in the big leagues as soon as this weekend.

The Giants put Derek Holland on the injured list Monday and are currently leaning towards having Beede take that spot in the rotation on Friday in Cincinnati. 

"Tyler was so good in spring training for us that I think one of the big storylines for us early this year was going to be whether he carried that into the season," president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said. "And he certainly has."

The rest of Beede's numbers show there's nothing fluky about the ERA. He has held hitters to a .179 average and given up just one homer, and he has 34 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings. 

That's the Beede the Giants saw this spring. The former first-round pick showed up in Scottsdale with renewed confidence and a plan to use just three pitches: A fastball that again is hitting 97-98, a big curveball, and a changeup that is often his best pitch. Beede struck out eight in four innings in his season debut and kept it rolling from there. 

On Sunday, manager Bruce Bochy said Beede, still just 25, was on his radar, noting that he was getting through starts by simply overpowering Triple-A hitters. 

"He's not doing it with mirrors," Bochy said. 

This is a different Beede than the one who showed up last year and gave up seven runs in two short spot-starts. That was clear this spring, and it has carried over at a time when hitters are carving up PCL pitching. Beede is second in the league in strikeouts and is one of just four pitchers who have made five starts and have an ERA under 3.00.

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Zaidi noted the difficulty of the league when discussing Beede.

"He's still got a sub-two ERA and is missing a lot of bats," he said.