SAN FRANCISCO — As the 6-3 Giants open a three-game series against the 6-3 Reds on Monday at Oracle Park, there’s no denying how much San Francisco’s early success has been influenced by Cincinnati castoffs.
Five former Reds made the Giants’ 26-man roster this season and while a few are among the team’s highest-paid players, it would have been relatively easy for Cincinnati to keep nearly all of them.
Kevin Gausman, the Giants’ Opening Night starter and their probable pitcher for Tuesday’s matchup, revitalized his career in the Reds’ bullpen at the end of the 2019 season, but the organization chose to move on from him by non-tendering him in the offseason.
After signing a one-year, $9 million deal with the Giants less than two weeks after the Reds parted with him, Gausman established himself as the Giants’ most reliable starter in 2020 and signed a one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer this winter with the goal of building upon his success in San Francisco.
Gausman has been outstanding in two starts this season, giving up just two earned runs in 13 2/3 innings, but he’ll face a tough test against a Reds offense that enters the series leading the majors with 7.33 runs per game.
The Giants’ No. 2 starter, Johnny Cueto, spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Reds and twice finished among the top four vote-getters in the National League Cy Young race while pitching for Cincinnati. With a year and a half remaining on his contract, however, Cueto was dealt to the Kansas City Royals ahead of the 2014 trade deadline.
The Giants made Cueto one of the richest pitchers in baseball by signing him to a six-year, $130 million deal in December, 2015, but they didn’t need to spend nearly as much to add another member of their rotation who first made his mark with the Reds.
Anthony DeSclafani, who tossed six innings of scoreless ball in Sunday’s shutout win over the Rockies, was once viewed as a key part of Cincinnati’s future, but when he became a free agent this offseason, the Giants were able to sign him to a one-year, $6 million deal that could turn out to be a bargain.
The two other Reds on the Giants’ roster, reliever Wandy Peralta and Curt Casali, were both let go by Cincinnati too.
Peralta, who owns a 2.92 ERA in 37 games with the Giants, was designated for assignment by the Reds in September, 2019 and has remained a steady presence in San Francisco’s bullpen ever since. Casali, who has drawn high praise from Giants pitchers this spring, was non-tendered in December despite posting an .866 OPS in 93 plate appearances last year.
One of the three Giants’ hitting coaches, Donnie Ecker, also made a name for himself in the Reds’ organization as he developed a strong reputation as an assistant in Cincinnati before Gabe Kapler hired him ahead of the 2020 season.
None of the players on Cincinnati’s Opening Day roster have appeared with the Giants, but the Reds are managed by former Giants farm director David Bell and their probable starter for Tuesday’s game, Luis Castillo, was involved in one of the most regrettable trades of the Brian Sabean era.
Castillo, who has a career 3.68 ERA in 92 starts with Cincinnati, was originally signed as an international free agent by the Giants in 2011 before he was dealt to the Miami Marlins in 2014. The trade brought infielder Casey McGehee to San Francisco for a 49-game tenure that will best be remembered by the 15 double plays the third baseman hit into with the Giants.
At the time he was traded, Castillo had only appeared as a reliever in the Giants’ farm system and had never pitched above the Low-A level, but the deal remains a costly miscalculation for an organization that has struggled to develop homegrown starting pitchers since Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner all advanced through the farm system.
Click this link for the original source of this article.
Author: Kerry Crowley
This content is courtesy of, and owned and copyrighted by, https://www.eastbaytimes.com and its author. This content is made available by use of the public RSS feed offered by the host site and is used for educational purposes only. If you are the author or represent the host site and would like this content removed now and in the future, please contact USSANews.com using the email address in the Contact page found in the website menu.