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Thursday BP: Is Luis González going to become a bullpen regular?

The answer is no, obviously, but it could potentially happen a bit more regularly than people expect.

A photo of Luis Gonzalez, outfielder, mid-pitch. Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, baseball fans!

I don’t know about you guys, but I could use a little bit of humor these days.

And for me, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area provided it earlier this week, in the form of this piece about why Gabe Kapler has been leaning on González as an inning-eater during blowouts.

The gist of it is that he’s young, healthy, and has pitched before, though it’s been a while. But the strangest reason is that it’s been effective. Big league hitters aren’t coming into a game looking for 46mph “floaters,” as Jon Miller has deemed them. So, for the most part, hitters haven’t had any idea what to do with him.

Obviously that changed in Monday’s game. But overall, his unique style of pitch (occasionally mixed in with more traditional position player-speed fastballs) has been effective at getting his team the desired result: a quick inning that gives the bullpen a break.

Pavlovic goes on to quote Gabe Kapler as saying:

“I think it just goes from being a different look to a wildly different look, and I think the wildly different look is, clearly in small samples, valuable,” Kapler said. “I mean, he has good hitters taking some really strange swings, and usually when you have a position player come in and he’s throwing 80 mph four-seamers, those swings are just a little bit better, a little bit more comfortable.”

Obviously, González pitching is not a sign that a game is going well, so it’s not really something we want to see every day. But Kapler also discusses the possibility of González pitching in a Giants-led blowout situation as well. So it might not always spell doom and gloom to see him on the mound.

I just find all of this amusing and it made my Tuesday afternoon a little brighter, so hopefully it does the same for your off-day.


What time do the Giants play today?

The San Francisco Giants do not play today. Instead, they’ll be embarking on a three-city, nine-game road trip in nine days, starting off against the Cincinnati Reds tomorrow.