Tyler Beede tossed seven brilliant innings in a dominant victory over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday and was rewarded with a trip back to the minor leagues.
Yes, after the best start of Beede’s young career, he’ll spend the All-Star break with Triple-A Sacramento.
The Giants announced the decision to option Beede on Wednesday, but the Giants discussed the transaction with him prior to his second career win.
It was initially unclear if Beede would start Tuesday’s game after his stepfather, Andrew Rivers III, died Saturday. Manager Bruce Bochy said Beede informed the Giants he wanted to pitch and was granted permission to fly to Boston to mourn Rivers’ death with his family Wednesday.
Bochy said Beede will return to the Giants’ rotation to start July 14 in Milwaukee and Beede indicated after his outing that he’s open to pitching in the minors or throwing in a simulated game when he returns from the East Coast.
“I’m certainly up for whatever they have in mind,” Beede said on Tuesday. “I like where I’m at and I certainly want to continue the game plan for what we’re doing and to stay consistent. The more I’m out there and the more I’m consistent, the better things have been.”
The Giants used the roster spot vacated by Beede to promote reliever Ray Black, who has a 5.21 ERA in 19 games with the River Cats. Black has posted scoreless outings in nine of his last appearances with Sacramento and overcame an early-season pronator injury to return to the Giants’ roster.
“I knew going into this year with Farhan (Zaidi), moves were going to be made throughout the season,” Black said. “Everybody’s been kind of hands on deck down there in Sacramento and just trying to throw our best and get an opportunity.”
After Beede became the third consecutive Giants starter to log at least seven innings, most of the club’s top relievers are well-rested. The Giants finish a stretch of 20 games in 20 days in San Diego on Wednesday, but should head into the All-Star break on Monday with a relatively fresh bullpen.
Optioning Beede provides the Giants with maximum roster flexibility coming out of the break, when their pitching staff will be tested in a grueling way.
Following the All-Star break, the Giants will play 14 games in 13 days including a double-header at Coors Field on July 15. The first seven games come in a six-day stretch that includes a three-game series in Milwaukee and four games in three days in Denver against the Rockies. San Francisco will be allowed to activate a 26th player for the double-header and Triple-A pitchers Dereck Rodríguez and Andrew Suárez are both candidates for that spot.
By optioning Beede after Tuesday’s game, he’s eligible to return to the majors on July 12, but the Giants will wait two days to activate him and likely keep an extra reliever on the 25-man roster in his spot.
“Coming out of the break, the first four days we have five games and we think we need some help in the early go of that consecutive game streak,” Bochy said.
If the organization wants to maximize its bullpen depth for the trip to Milwaukee, the Giants can open the second half with three starting pitchers and nine or 10 relievers on the 25-man roster. San Francisco could go with a rotation of Madison Bumgarner, Jeff Samardzija and Drew Pomeranz out of the All-Star break and option Shaun Anderson to Sacramento following his Wednesday start with the intent of bringing him back to the majors to start during the four-game series in Colorado.
Relievers with minor-league options like Sam Coonrod and Williams Jerez could start the second half with the Giants and then return to Sacramento when the club needs to make space for Beede and Anderson.
Beede said staying in a consistent rhythm is important, but given his increased workload this season, a break could pay dividends down the line.
“I want to be out there every fifth day, but understanding where I was last year, the amount of innings I threw and coming out of the bullpen, this could be beneficial,” he said.
Beede will miss out on the chance to earn a major league salary and service time during his stint in the minors, but once he does return to the Giants, it’s unlikely he’ll be demoted again this season. He’s flashed enough potential to warrant an extended look in the Giants’ rotation, particularly after dismantling the Padres on Tuesday.
“We tried to get these guys to pound the strike zone with strike one and that got better as the game went,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Beede’s performance. “He just seemed like he got in a nice groove there and his confidence really picked up.”