With 2014 role secure, Petit sets sights on rotation

With 2014 role secure, Petit sets sights on rotation
September 11, 2013, 12:00 pm
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Yusmeiro Petit, 28, will likely get four more regular-season starts, including Wednesday's, to audition for the 2014 rotation. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Yusmeiro Petit was one out away from baseball immortality. Though he came up just short of MLB's 24th perfect game, Petit proved he belongs in the bigs.

"He's already made enough noise," manager Bruce Bochy said. "This guy can help us next year. In what role? That's to be determined. But I like the way he's throwing and commanding the ball."

Hector Sanchez is back behind the dish to receive Petit five days removed from his near-perfecto, and while the 23-year old said he didn't have anything specific to tell his fellow Venezuelan countryman, Sanchez proceeded to provide sage wisdom.

"You have to turn the page and be focused," Sanchez said. "It's a new start. Don't think about what happened. Enjoy the moment. That was an amazing day, amazing game. We have to keep working. It's time to focus on a new game.

"Be one out better."

Sanchez couldn't pinpoint one thing in Petit's Sept. 6 gem against the Diamondbacks that led to the amplified success. He saw the same pitcher he has grown to know and appreciate.

[REWIND: Perfection eludes Petit on 'beautiful' night]

"He's a really good pitcher," Sanchez said. "He's got good stuff. He throws a lot of strikes. He commands his pitches very well. He's confident in his pitches. He's not scared to throw anything in any situation.

"That's the key for him, is to trust his stuff."

Though the Giants are 20.5 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West, it's an important 17-game final stretch for Petit. The 28-year old will likely have three more regular starts after Wednesday's to prove he belongs in San Francisco's 2014 starting rotation.

[REWIND: Petit proves he belongs with Giants]

The Giants are sure to buy out the final year of Barry Zito's contract for $7 million, and free agent-to-be Tim Lincecum's future with the team is uncertain. With only Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner inked to long-term deals, the Giants will have some decisions to make in crafting next season's starting rotation.

A few more one-hit shutouts from Petit would do a lot of persuading.

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