Results tagged ‘ Zack Wheeler ’

Tidbits from Tuesday

Tuesday, May 25

SAN FRANCISCO — Shortstop Edgar Renteria’s right hamstring injury is extremely ominous.

Renteria’s 34. He struggled through elbow and shoulder ailments last year. He worked hard to return healthy this season, and his .326 batting average reflects the fruits of his labor.

But he missed two games in late April with discomfort in his left shoulder. Then he went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin. Renteria rejoined the lineup last Saturday in Oakland, and now comes his hamstring injury.

It’s fair to wonder whether Renteria’s body is breaking down. This is not at all a criticism of Renteria. It’s just a question that inevitably arises when an athlete his age, who has played as extensively and diligently as he has, encounters an alarming sequence of injuries.

So much for the retooled lineup manager Bruce Bochy used in the series-opening 4-2 victory over the Washington Nationals. Juan Uribe likely will return to shortstop, with Pablo Sandoval going back to third base and Aubrey Huff resuming his tenure at first base after his Tuesday stint in left field. John Bowker probably will play left, unless Nate Schierholtz’s bruised right shoulder has healed enough to enable him to start in right field. If that’s the case, Andres Torres, who appears destined to stay in the lineup for a while, will occupy left.

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After striking out the side in Tuesday’s ninth inning for his 11th save, Giants closer Brian Wilson has 27 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. That’s a rate of 14.02 whiffs per nine innings. Remarkable.

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You may have read this elsewhere, but right-hander Zack Wheeler, the Giants’ first-round selection (sixth overall) in the First-Year Player Draft who’s pitching for low-Class A Augusta, went on the disabled list with what manager Dave Machemer called “a problem with a fingernail” on his throwing hand, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

In the Minors, a visit to the DL requires a minimum seven-day stay instead of the 15-day base in the Majors.

Wheeler, who turns 20 on Sunday, is 1-3 with a 5.03 ERA in seven starts, though he has improved somewhat in his last four outings (1-1, 3.95).

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Don’t mean to scare you, but had the Giants lost Tuesday, they would have dropped into fourth place in the National League West. Then again, with 118 games remaining, there’s no need to dwell on the standings. 

– Chris Haft

Wheeler eyes vertical horizon

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants are eagerly waiting for Zack Wheeler to grow into a Major Leaguer before their very eyes, with an emphasis on “grow.”

Wheeler, 19, already stands 6-foot-4. One of his brothers also is 6-4 and another is 6-6. Their father, Barry, is 6-3 while their mother, Elaine, checks in at 5-9.

“I’m hoping to grow a half-inch,” said Wheeler, San Francisco’s No. 1 selection in June’s First-Year Player Draft who’s participating in the club’s conditioning camp that began Monday at AT&T Park. 

Extending the measuring tape would give Wheeler a bigger frame to accommodate the 10 pounds he hopes to gain. Currently at 185, Wheeler should easily carry the extra weight even if he doesn’t grow a millimeter.

The added bulk would bode well for Wheeler’s fastball. The right-hander, who received a reported $3.3 million bonus after the Giants selected him sixth overall, learned this as an upperclassman at East Paulding (Ga.) High School.

“Between my junior and senior year I gained 15 pounds,” Wheeler said. Before the weight gain, Wheeler said, his velocity dwindled from 92 mph in the first couple of innings to the high 80s for the rest of the game. But Wheeler related that as a senior, he was able to touch 96 mph as late as the seventh inning.

– Chris Haft

Giants sign No. 1 pick Wheeler

NEW YORK — The Giants approached Monday’s signing deadline for the second year in a row and ended the drama by signing right-hander Zack Wheeler, their No. 1 selection in June’s First-Year Player Draft, to a reported $3.3 million bonus.

Wheeler, the sixth player taken in the Draft, received the second-largest bonus in Giants history. Catcher Buster Posey commanded a $6.2 million bonus last year. In both cases, the agreements weren’t officially announced until shortly before the midnight deadline.

With Wheeler in the fold, the Giants signed each of their top 17 picks and 34 of 50 overall.

Since Wheeler signed a 2010 contract, he won’t play for any of the Giants’ Minor League affiliates in the season’s final weeks. Bobby Evans, the Giants’ vice president of baseball operations, said via text message that Wheeler will work out at the club’s Scottsdale, Ariz., training headquarters until the Minor League season ends, then will return later in September to participate in instructional league.

Wheeler posted a 9-0 record with a 0.54 ERA in 13 games for East Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga., this season. The 6-foot-4, 185-pounder struck out 151 and walked 20 in 77 2/3 innings. He allowed 31 hits as opponents batted .118 against him. Named 2009 Gatorade High School Player of the Year for Georgia, Wheeler compiled a 95-36 record in four varsity seasons.

– Chris Haft

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