So. This happened.
I can’t say this news was expected. I also can’t say that I’m not confused by it, mainly because, as Grant at McCovey Chronicles mentioned, “If whatever he was taking was performance-enhancing, I sure as hell hope he saved the receipt.”
Of course, this means that the Giants don’t really have a long reliever at the moment and they’re down to 11 pitchers. It’s possible they’ll just use this space to activate Aubrey Huff from the DL today, but I wouldn’t put all my money on it.
There are three options in Fresno who are on the 40-man roster: Dan Otero, George Kontos, and Eric Hacker.
Otero and Hacker have already seen big league time this season and both are definitely reasonable to have in the bullpen. Kontos’ numbers, though, are solid bullpen numbers. 6.14 K/9, 1.84 BB/9, 0.61 HR/9, 3.34 FIP in AAA this season. And in a hitter’s league like the PCL, those are very reasonable.
I’m not saying that Kontos will become bullpen hero or anything, but if he can get those numbers to translate in the big leagues, it’s a good option to have available if Zito is Zitonian.
This isn’t a situation I’d like to see Heath Hembree called up in. He’s a late inning guy and the late inning roles are already covered by Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla. As much as I would love to see Hembree in the bigs, it’s not worth it to rush him and have him be a middle of the game guy or do some long relief. And with Otero, Kontos, and Hacker being options to fill in the long relief role, no need to even consider Hembree right now.