While the Giants’ bullpen has surprisingly been one of the best in baseball this year, posting a collective 3.30 ERA that ranks third in the majors, it doesn’t have too many pitchers who have experience pitching during a high-pressure playoff run. The club addressed that need on Friday, bringing back old friend Tony Watson in a deadline deal. Lefty Sam Selman and right-handers Jose Marte and Ivan Armstrong went back to the Angels:
The 36-year-old Watson has 16 games of postseason experience with the Pirates and Dodgers, and he was dominant as Los Angeles advanced to the World Series in 2017. He pitched for the Giants from 2018-20, posting a 3.20 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP over that span, and the front office obviously liked him enough over that stretch to bring him back for another stint in San Francisco.
Watson hasn’t been great with the Angels this year, putting up a 4.64 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP, 25 strikeouts, and 14 walks in 33 innings. But given the fact that he’s held opponents to a .148/.258/.148 slash line in July and has a proven track record, the Giants are obviously giving him the benefit of the doubt and hoping he’ll turn it around.
Selman, 30, was quite good during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, posting a 3.72 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP in 24 appearances. He’s struggled with his command this season, though, posting a 4.03 ERA while walking 19 and striking out 24 in 22.1 innings at Triple-A Sacramento. He also issued four walks while striking out eight in eight major league innings this year.
Marte, 25, has a combined 2.79 ERA with a 1.35 WHIP in 24 relief appearances between High-A Eugene and Double-A Richmond this season. Armstrong has been outstanding at Low-A San Jose, posting a 1.88 ERA with a 0.99 WHIP in 38.1 innings of relief.