Happy weekend, San Francisco Giants fans.
Some negative news hit the Giants on Friday, and while it’s not serious, it does complicate matters: Kyle Harrison has a strained hamstring.
Harrison, nearly unanimously seen as the top prospect in the system and the top left-handed prospect in baseball when the year began, was scheduled to play in the Futures Game today, along with AA Richmond lefty Carson Whisenhunt. But a “moderately strained hamstring” will keep him out of the game, and out of his next handful of starts with AAA Sacramento, as well.
This is bad for the obvious reasons: injuries are a bad thing, especially when they occur to a top player or prospect.
But it’s also bad for a reason that we didn’t know about until it happened. Farhan Zaidi met with reporters on Friday and discussed Harrison. Zaidi doesn’t meet with the press all that often, but when he does he is very open. Which led to him dropping a tiny bit of a bomb, per The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly. Zaidi revealed that the club intended to call up Harrison this month, with hopes of gauging his readiness to compete at the MLB level prior to the trade deadline.
No, they weren’t planning on evaluating him ahead of the deadline because they wanted to trade him, take a deep breath. The plan was to see how ready he is to contribute, so the Giants have a better feel for their rotation, which would seem to be the biggest area to target at the deadline.
Zaidi said that, “It would be nice to have that bullet to fire at some point, particularly before the deadline just to have a better sense of what we have. And we won’t be able to do that now in all likelihood. So that’ll make it a little bit trickier.” With a specific date no longer accelerating Harrison’s debut, there’s less of a rush to get him on the roster, though Zaidi did add that “We still expect him to pitch for us at some point this season.”
That shouldn’t be surprising. Among the 728 Minor League pitchers who have thrown at least 40 innings this year, Harrison’s 14.7 strikeouts per nine innings ranks sixth ... and he’s a 21 year old in AAA. His 7.0 walks per nine innings remain an issue, but then again ... if they disappeared in the shuffle from Sacramento to San Francisco, it wouldn’t be the first time. Just ask Camilo Doval.
What time do the Giants play this weekend?
The Giants close out the first half of the season with a pair of games against the Colorado Rockies. Both Saturday and Sunday’s game is at 1:05 p.m. PT.