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Giants recall Mike Broadway, Steven Okert, demote Chris Heston

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One move was expected. The other one is a bit of a surprise.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With George Kontos going on the disabled list with a flexor strain, it was almost a given that Mike Broadway would replace him. The Giants did exactly that, but they also added a wrinkle, demoting Chris Heston and recalling Steven Okert, as well.

Heston was Monday night's losing pitcher, and he was caught in a bullpen purgatory that wasn't doing him or the Giants any good. While he was ostensibly a long reliever, Bruce Bochy was increasingly forced to use him in high-leverage situations, with less than inspiring results. Heston's sinker was flat and he couldn't command it, a ghastly combination. While it's possible that he was just having a rough adjustment to his new role and routine, the Giants couldn't afford to let him work through it in the majors. Whether he's kept in relief or stretched out to start, Sacramento is assuredly the best place to do that.

(Edit: According to Andrew Baggarly, Heston will be put back in the rotation in Triple-A.)

Broadway couldn't miss bats in his brief trial with the Giants last year, but that was in just 17⅓ innings. He's struck out approximately 30 percent of the batters he's faced in Triple-A, and he works in the mid-to-high 90s, so it's probably worth giving him another chance, just like Cory Gearrin. He's probably overqualified for Triple-A, so congratulations for stashing him so effective.

Okert is Josh Osich's prospect twin, so much so that PECOTA looked at his stats and slapped a Josh Osich comp on him. He throws hard from the left side, though command can be an issue. Was that last sentence about Okert or Osich? Exactly. Okert was off to a fine start in Sacramento, striking out eight without allowing a walk in six innings.

In just one year, the Giants have somehow assembled a bullpen filled with hard throwers after years of bringing up the rear in average team velocity. Throwing hard isn't the same as being effective, but it will at least ape what the rest of baseball has been doing for years now, and it's an interesting collection of pitchers to watch.

From no-hitter to reliever to Sacramento in a year wasn't exactly how Heston planned it, but hopefully he returns to form in whatever capacity he's used in. For now, the Giants just added two more 95-mph arms to a bullpen that can use them.