Giants have ideas to help new reliever Thomas Szapucki after thumping him in May

The San Francisco Giants lit Thomas Szapucki up when they faced the left-hander in May 25, scoring nine runs off him. So he wasn’t expecting he’d be joining them in a trade two months later.

“I thought it was very funny, I got a good laugh,” Szapucki said Friday after getting called up from Triple-A Sacramento, then adding jokingly, “They must know how to fix me!”

As it turns out: maybe that’s the case, Manager Gabe Kapler said the team identified something Szapucki (za-PUCK-ee) was doing in that outing they thought they might be able to rectify. Asked if Szapucki was tipping his pitches, Kapler wouldn’t provide specifics, saying, “I’m not going to go as far as say anything like that – we felt like we have the ability to help him.”

Szapucki, 26, is getting used to a new role: He primarily has been a starter in the minor leagues, but the Giants had him work out of the bullpen at Sacramento; he allowed six hits, a walk and one earned run in 2 2/3 innings. His minor-league splits would indicate he’s not a lefty specialist – Szapucki’s numbers are roughly the same against right-handed and left-handed hitters this year, and he was slightly better against right-handed hitters last year.

“I think I can do both at the end of the day,” he said. “I have the stuff to be a reliever and I think I have the stuff to be a starter.”

Kapler said that just because Szapucki will be working in relief for the Giants right now, the team won’t rule out using him in other roles.

JD Davis, who was part of the trade with the Mets, said he’s been impressed with Szapucki’s repertoire. “Thomas is a quality lefty,” he said. “Good velo, good curveball, changeup, good command of all his pitches – and a good guy in the clubhouse who works hard. He’s just one of those dudes that kind of got buried in Triple-A and didn’t really get that opportunity, so he’s been chomping at the bit a little bit.”

Both of Szapucki’s big-league appearances have gone poorly. He also allowed six runs in his only outing with the Mets in 2021. He’s very much looking to change things, and Kapler said he wouldn’t hesitate to use Szapucki in a big spot Friday night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker