Giants might have rotation depth with Petit


Giants might have rotation depth with Petit

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. They say pitching is forever in demand.This time a year ago, Yusmeiro Petit had his doubts.

Petit, 27, had been released out of his minor leaguecontract by the Seattle Mariners. He went home to Miami and waited for thephone to ring. A month passed and nobody called.

I didnt want to go to Mexico, he said. But I need it.

Petit built strength in his troublesome shoulder whilepitching in Oaxaca, then started finding his groove with Margarita in theVenezuelan winter league. His manager there was Giants hitting coach HensleyMeulens and his bench coach was Giants roving infield instructor Jose Alguacil.Both of them used their influence to get him a minor league contract, whichPetit signed in November.

He went on to become one of the best pitchers in Venezuela.Tigres de Aragua picked him up for the playoffs and he was named MVP of thechampionship series.

Now hes back on the cusp of being back in the big leagues.

Petit pitched well enough in minor league camp to get acouple of opportunities in Cactus League games, and hes taken advantage ofthem. He pitched three scoreless innings of relief on Sunday and added fivemore Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, starting in place of MadisonBumgarner. (The Giants didnt want Bumgarner to face an NL West rival, eventhough the two clubs dont meet until May.)

Petit held the Dodgers to four hits, walked one and struckout four in the Giants' 4-1 victory at Scottsdale Stadium. His slider had good movement and his fastball was mostly near thebottom of the zone.

Its only eight innings, but Petit already is racing up thedepth chart. Especially with Eric Surkamps elbow requiring a couple weeks ofrest, the Giants dont have many attractive alternatives for their rotation.And teams never make it through a season with just five starting pitchers. RyanVogelsong is still building arm strength after his back injury, while BarryZito forever will be cause for concern.

Petit has starting experience, but not a track record ofsuccess. He was 3-10 with a 5.82 ERA in 23 games (17 starts) for the ArizonaDiamondbacks in 2009. He has appeared in 150 big league games overall for theDiamondbacks and Florida Marlins.

He knows how to pitch, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. Heuses both sides of the plate, hes got savvy out there and good stuff, too. Itsencouraging to know weve got him down there. Were trying to get him stretchedout and hes doing a good job.

Petit said his winter ball experience gave him theconfidence he needed, and hes got a better feel for his cutter and slider.

Ive been throwing a good ball, especially down in thezone, Petit said. Fastball and cutter look the same. Thats hard for thehitters rhythm. My feeling is to stay here, work hard and if they need somethingand call me, thats good.

Hes also glad to have Venezuelas regular-season MVP,Gregor "White Shark" Blanco in his side.

Blanco, I faced him a lot, Petit said, smiling. He got acouple knocks.

Padres non-tender former A’s P Ross, former Giants C Sanchez

Padres non-tender former A’s P Ross, former Giants C Sanchez

NEW YORK -- Tyson Ross, an All-Star pitcher for San Diego two years ago, was among 35 players who became free agents when their teams declined to offer them 2017 contracts on Friday.

Washington outfielder Ben Revere and Philadelphia outfielder Cody Asche also were cut loose, along with Arizona catcher Welington Castillo and pitcher Rubby De La Rosa; Baltimore pitcher Vance Worley; and Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Louis Coleman.

Milwaukee first baseman Chris Carter and Pittsburgh pitcher Jeff Locke were non-tendered as well; their teams had already designated them for assignment earlier this week.

Teams cut players at the tender deadline to avoid committing to salary arbitration, in which about one-sixth of next season's salary is guaranteed.

Ross, a 29-year-old right-hander, was 13-14 with a 2.81 ERA in 2014 and 10-12 with a 3.26 ERA the following season. He was limited to one major league appearance this year and had surgery in October for thoracic outlet syndrome. Recovery time was expected to be four to six months, and the Padres deemed him too pricy for arbitration after he earned $9,625,000 this year.

Asche, 26, was designated for assignment earlier Friday to clear a roster spot for left-hander David Rollins, claimed off waivers from Texas. Asche hit .240 with 31 homers and 125 RBIs for the Phillies during 371 games in the past four seasons and would have been eligible for arbitration for the first time.

The 28-year-old Revere was acquired from Toronto in January for reliever Drew Storen but strained his right oblique in his first at-bat of the season, left after four innings and went on the disabled list. Revere returned May 6, hit just .217 with two homers and 24 RBIs in 103 games and would have been on track for a raise from his $6.25 million salary.

Castillo batted .264 with 14 homers and 68 RBIs and would have gotten a big raise from his $3.7 million salary.

Giants tender contracts to all six arbitration-eligible players

Giants tender contracts to all six arbitration-eligible players

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants tendered contracts to all six arbitration-eligible players on Friday, agreeing to one-year contracts with two of them. 

Right-hander Cory Gearrin will get $1.05 million and infielder Ehire Adrianza will receive $600,000, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network. The Giants will exchange figures with George Kontos, Will Smith, Eduardo Nunez and Conor Gillaspie. They traditionally have avoided going to actual arbitration hearings. 

Gearrin, Kontos and Smith will make up a chunk of the bullpen next season, while Nunez is expected to start at third base. Gillaspie, the postseason hero, should see more playing time and Adrianza is currently slated to return in his familiar bench role. 

The day was smoother for the Giants than other NL West teams. The Diamondbacks non-tendered Welington Castillo and Rubby De La Rosa and the Padres later sent mini shockwaves through the market by non-tendering former ace Tyson Ross, who is coming off a season lost to injury. Ross was one of six Padres to be let go, a list that included former Giant Hector Sanchez.