The box score says the Giants had a relatively uneventful 6-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday, with a few homers and Logan Webb leading the way against a team that played poor defense but did get to one Giants reliever. But big picture, it was an interesting day for the big league roster.
Before the game, the Giants put Reyes Moronta on the 60-day IL, meaning he won't be eligible to be activated for at least three weeks. Manager Gabe Kapler said Moronta and fellow right-hander Aaron Sanchez are not currently throwing. During the game, Webb felt some shoulder soreness and then right-handed reliever Matt Wisler gave up two more runs, forcing Tyler Rogers into a game for the seventh time in 11 days.
The Giants are feeling a crunch already, and one or two more dominoes falling could lead to a disaster, but there is good news on the horizon: Right-hander Tyler Beede has made three rehab starts for Triple-A Sacramento and is throwing well.
Beede, who had Tommy John surgery last spring, has 10 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings and has allowed just two hits, two walks and two runs. He is sitting 96-97 mph as he builds his arm strength back up, and Kapler said the reports from Triple-A have been good.
"The ball is coming out good," he said. "I also have watched quite a bit of video and he looks healthy, he looks strong, and he's progressing nicely."
Beede needs to get his pitch count up, but he is eligible to come off the 60-day IL at the start of June. He's not, however, currently a candidate to fill the biggest hole on the roster. The Giants need reliable right-handed relievers to get the ball to Rogers, but Beede will be stretched out as a starter. They view him that way long-term anyway, but even short-term, teams generally do not like to throw rehabbing players into an unfamiliar role, as the Giants would be doing by asking Beede to pitch in short relief.
"Obviously things can change, but (starting) is the game plan right now," Kapler said. "We're building him up to start games for us."
Beede's return could be a huge boost to a rotation that has been as good as any in baseball but doesn't have much depth. Webb was supposed to be the sixth man but has already been pushed into the rotation by three different injuries. The Giants will have to figure out their relief holes using other pieces. They know they'll need Beede in the rotation at some point, whether in June or later, and he looks poised to be a contributor.
Beede showed flashes of his potential down the stretch in 2019 and was throwing as well as anyone in camp last spring before his UCL became an issue. Kapler said the Giants are just as confident in Beede as they were in February of 2020.
"He was electric at the point at which he got hurt last year. The ball was coming out really good and breaking balls were sharp and he was in the zone," Kapler said. "We were feeling really optimistic about him, and then he has also had a really good recovery and rehab. Oftentimes when guys come back from Tommy John surgery, they come back with similar stuff and we've seen that with some pretty powerful right-handed pitchers around the game. We remain optimistic."