SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants will be selective when rosters expand Sept. 1. They’re not going to call up everyone on the 40-man roster.
But club officials say one pitcher is a near lock to be added: right-hander Heath Hembree.
Hembree has dazzled over the past two months as the closer for Triple-A Fresno. Although he struggled for a 7.84 ERA in June, he rebounded for a 1.50 ERA in 19 appearances since July 1. His scoreless streak was at nine games entering Thursday, and his 30 saves are a Grizzlies franchise record.
Left-hander Mike Kickham, who recently rejoined the Giants from Fresno, said Hembree’s fastball is crackling and his slider has been a wipeout pitch.
Overall, Hembree has 60 strikeouts and 15 walks in 51 2/3 innings.
As if Hembree’s performance wasn’t enough of a reason to reward him with his first big league promotion, there are other practical concerns that make it a slam dunk. The Giants would have to add him to the 40-man roster after the season, anyway, to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.