Hey, you. Yeah, you.
Have you ever done one of those Sporcle quizzes, where you spend ten minutes trying to remember every person who suited up for the San Francisco Giants during the 2019 season, in which they had a record-setting number of players?
I bet you have.
And did you miss a number of names, because 64 players is so, so many, and the Giants weren’t worth watching, and many of their players were forgettable?
Oh I bet you did.
And was one of those players Nick Vincent?
You’re damn right it was.
Well he’s back.
Back like he never left. Which would make sense since it kind of felt like he was never here.
Vincent, a 33-year old right-handed reliever, was one of Farhan Zaidi’s moves in his first offseason with the Giants. And he was one of Farhan Zaidi’s moves in his second offseason with the Giants.
On Friday, it was reported that Vincent was signing a minor league deal with the Giants, with an invite to major league camp.
Source: Giants sign reliever Nick Vincent to minor-league deal with ML camp invite.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) January 31, 2020
Vincent wasn’t particularly good for the Giants last year, which is part of why you may not remember him. He pitched 30.2 innings over 18 games, allowing 36 hits and 8 walks, while striking out 30. He had an ERA of 5.58 and an FIP of 5.30. Not good.
He did have the cool distinction of being the pitcher on the mound when the Giants tried an opener. They only tried it once in 162 games, and Vincent was tasked with the assignment.
So he’s a part of their history, and that’s worth celebrating by bringing him back.
After the Giants designated him for assignment in the summer, Vincent caught on with the Philadelphia Phillies, where he was a good bit better. Scratch that, a ton better. Vincent appeared in 14 games for the Phils, and in 14 innings he allowed 11 hits, 4 walks, and struck out 17. His ERA shrunk down to 1.93, and his FIP down to 2.79.
Perhaps most important is the team he did it for. The Phillies were, at the time, managed by Gabe Kapler, who now holds that position with the Giants. There were some rumors that Kapler’s sometimes unorthodox bullpen treatment resulted in pitchers not liking him too much.
Vincent choosing to sign with the Giants is arguably a sign that he enjoyed playing for Kapler. It’s also a sign that Kapler saw some good stuff from Vincent’s arm.
If Vincent can keep the form he found in Philly, the Giants will be very happy. They started 2019 with a strong bullpen, but traded Sam Dyson and Mark Melancon, saw Reyes Moronta suffer an injury that will keep him out of most, if not all of 2020, and lost Will Smith in free agency. That’s the team’s top four relievers, gone.
But Vincent is back.