The San Francisco Giants announced they have designated relief pitcher Denny Bautista for assignment. The assignment was not initially mentioned, but it will involve Bautista packing his bags and securing transportation out of the San Francisco area.
The cover story is that Bautista is being moved off the team to make room for pitcher Todd Wellemeyer, who just finished a rehab stint after being on the disabled list. In reality, Bautista was on the verge of being declared a Federal hazardous superfund site for a dangerous inability to properly aim his 95 MPH+ fastballs.
When the news of Bautista’s designation was released, medical insurance rates for all National League players immediately dropped 8%.
Bautista’s line was not horrific: 2-0, 3.74 ERA, 44 strikeouts in 32.2 innings, with 27 walks and a 1.54 WHIP. It’s just that he couldn’t seem to harness his location, and balls were sailing over opposing batters’ heads and behind their arching bodies. The final straws were likely Bautista’s four pitch walk of Dodger reliever Hong-Chih Kuo on July 31st, and his wild game against the Rockies on August 4th during which he hit Colorado third baseman Melvin Mora on the side of the left knee.
Wellemeyer, following his rocky tenure as the Giants’ fifth starter at the start of the season, will likely be a two or three inning reliever in games where the Giants are leading by a lot, or are behind by a lot.
Bautista, 27, has pitched for six Major League teams during his career (Baltimore, Kansas City, Colorado, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco). The Giants have ten days to work out a deal for him, after which he will be released and they will be responsible for the remainder of his salary. There's little question Bautista will be picked up by another team looking to harness his impressive fastball.