TORONTO — With the tying run on second and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. due up in the eighth inning on Tuesday night, Gabe Kapler turned to his closer for a four-out save. But not before the staff had a discussion about whether to stick with Tyler Rogers, who had already recorded five outs.
For the Giants right now, they’re equally effective options, and it’s a big reason why they’ve won 10 straight road games and 13 of their last 15 overall.
Doval, the National League’s leader in saves, is likely to be an All-Star when the teams are announced next month. But the Giants feel Rogers has earned the right to join him, and the submarining right-hander has a very compelling case.
With 1 2/3 scoreless innings Tuesday, Rogers lowered his ERA to 1.79. Every reliever has bad outings that he wishes he could take off his stat line, that’s just the reality of the job. But it’s at least worth pointing out that half of the eight runs Rogers has allowed this season came during the Mexico City Series, which was played at the highest elevation in MLB history and at times didn’t resemble real baseball.
If you take that weekend out, Rogers has a 0.92 ERA. Even with it, he has a 0.99 WHIP and .199 opponents average. Rogers also ranks seventh among NL relievers in relief innings, and he’s one of just two pitchers in the top 20 in the league in relief innings while also having an ERA under 2.00. The other is his teammate, Doval.
“Tyler, because of his unorthodox style and maybe because of his personality to some degree or another — it’s pretty understated — he doesn’t get that sort of attention,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “But from a manager’s perspective, from a coaching staff’s perspective, there really isn’t a more valuable piece of our pitching staff than Tyler. He’s totally selfless, takes the ball anytime, wants the ball anytime, he’s available to go out there for multiple innings.
“I think internally there was always plenty of faith and I think you can go back and look at some of the conversations that we’ve had over the last couple of years. But there were moments where there was a lot of doubt and skepticism about Tyler (from the outside) and he’s just a really, really good, Major League, dependable reliever that’s really easy to bet on going forward. It’s just a completely different look than hitters (usually) see.”
When Rogers finally got called up after making 179 appearances in Triple-A over parts of four seasons, most expected that the league would eventually get used to the different look. Four years later, he continues to baffle hitters. No pitcher in the Majors has made more appearances than his 229 since he got called up.
While there certainly is something to familiarity — seven of the eight runs he has allowed this season have come against NL West opponents — Rogers has figured out how to more effectively mix it up when seeing a hitter for a second or third time. And when he’s facing teams from other divisions, the matchups often end with the guy in the batter’s box looking like he has seen a ghost.
That was the case Tuesday, when Rogers struck out George Springer, Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio and Danny Jansen. He was approaching 30 pitches as Guerrero came up, but the staff still had a discussion about whether the powerful right-handed hitter would have a tougher time with Doval’s velocity or Rogers’ deception.
“That tells you how we feel about Tyler Rogers,” Kapler said.
Source: Yahoo Sports