Happy Tuesday, San Francisco Giants fans. Pitchers and catchers report sometime next week, which is pretty darned exciting if you ask me. Soon the Giants news we’ll get to talk about will be reports of who is looking good (or bad) instead of signings, and that’s fun!
Until then, we have Sean Newcomb. The Giants signed Newcomb to a Minor League deal on Monday, immediately before sending out their list of non-roster camp invitees. That’s how most people found out that the Giants had signed Newcomb.
I’m so braindead from the Giants churn that when I saw the name I thought, “Wow, I totally forgot that the Giants signed him back in November.” It wasn’t until I heard a few other people ask, “When did that happen?” that I checked the Giants transactions page to verify my memory and realized that had actually signed him an hour ago, not in November. Same difference.
Anyways, you’re not here to read personal anecdotes about my struggling brain (or maybe you are). You’re here to
read about Newcomb debate cake vs. pie.
Newcomb is a Giants guy if ever I saw one. He’s everything they look for, which is to say he’s a bad player who used to have a whole lot of promise, and the Giants are hoping they can access the latter for the price of the former. The Giants live for that sort of thing. They live for it so much that they were willing to sign Newcomb despite the fact that he wasn’t born within a 100-mile radius of Oracle Park.
Newcomb, a left-handed pitcher, was a first-round pick (No. 15 overall) back in 2014 by the Los Angeles Angels. A year later he was one of the big pieces in the trade that sent Andrelton Simmons to the Angels. Newcomb debuted in 2017 with the Atlanta Braves as a starting pitcher, and had two half-decent seasons in which he was able to accumulate 3.0 fWAR despite falling in love with walking people.
But the love of walks proved too much to overcome, and eventually he fully fell apart. In 2019 he was moved to the bullpen and, truthfully, he hasn’t been a particularly good pitcher since. Last year, splitting time with the Braves and Chicago Cubs, Newcomb had an 8.78 ERA, a 6.91 FIP, and walked 19 batters in 27.2 innings.
And now he’s on the Giants, as a Minor League signing with an invitation to camp, and this time next year you will either have completely forgotten that he ever was employed by your favorite baseball team, or you’ll be pencilling him is an the setup man for Camilo Doval. There is no in between.