Welcome to the StoryStream update on the Giants' search for a 12th man in the bullpen. Don't understand StoryStreams? Don't know what to click on? Don't worry. I'll break you. You'll get it, and then you'll feel bad about yourself. Throughout spring training, there will be updates on the numerous candidates for the 12th spot in the bullpen, and the goal is to collect them in one place.
And via Alex Pavlovic, we have an update:
Throwing to Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Marco Scutaro and Angel Pagan, right-hander Chad Gaudin was impressive. The non-roster invitee allowed just one ball to be put into play and showed plenty of movement down in the zone. Fellow veteran Scott Proctor also drew raves from hitters, and Bochy said he was pleased with what he’s seen from the relief pitchers fighting for the last spot in the bullpen.
Gaudin has always had a Baseball Simulator 1.000 kind of arm, but the results have usually been miserable. So it's not exactly news that he's impressive early in camp. He's always impressive. And then batters start swinging.
But if Gaudin makes me nervous, Proctor really, really makes me nervous. He hasn't been good since 2007, when Joe Torre threw him into a volcano as a sacrifice, and, at 36, he probably isn't going to get much better. If you missed it from when he signed, check out this quote from Proctor:
It was in Korea that Proctor refined a split-finger fastball, which, he said, gave him another important out pitch.
"It was something that I had been tinkering with for years, but it is a dangerous pitch that puts a lot of strain on your arm. You try not to go down that road unless you have to," said Proctor, who has had two surgeries on his right elbow — including a "Tommy John" procedure in May of 2009.
Translation: "Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock, but what the hell, I'm 36."
Gaudin makes me nervous because of his command and control, but Proctor's has never been much better.
The real answer is probably "Sandy Rosario" or "Brett Bochy", but I'm going to guess the last spot in the bullpen is going to be a death match between Proctor and Gaudin, especially since in the Pavlovic article, Brian Sabean described Heath Hembree as "more of a long shot" to make the roster. If those are the choices, I'm #TeamGaudin, but I suppose we should wait and watch them against live competition before we take up arms to defend our choices.
Edit: Ramon Ramirez also exists. I probably should have mentioned that. Considering his down year, though, I think it really is a competition.