Of course Giants' minor league personnel knew what they were doing when they made a career reliever into a starting pitcher. Of course they knew it would result in creating one of the best Eastern League starters since late May. Dan Slania, a powerful closer for Notre Dame before the draft and a solid late-inning reliever in the Giants' system for three and a half post-draft years, is now 10 games into his new experiment, which probably isn't an experiment anymore.
He set a career-high in innings pitched on Monday night in Akron, Ohio, going eight strong while allowing just one earned run on four hits and one walk. He needed only 82 pitches to complete the eighth inning before Tyler Mizenko and Chase Johnson threw the final two innings as Christian Arroyo's run-scoring, opposite-field single won the game for the Flying Squirrels in the 10th.
I caught innings five through seven of Slania's 10th start of the season, which featured just seven swinging strikes. Instead, Slania pitched to contact and forced a mix of ground balls and fly outs. Slight sink and run were present on Slania's fastball, coupled with a nice breaking ball and an occasional changeup.
Slania's 10 starter outings have yielded a 1.83 ERA and just 45 hits in 60.2 innings. He's shown no problems going deep into pitch counts, averaging 90.1 pitches per outings and has gone over 100 twice, including a late-June start where he threw 111 pitches. That's crazy for a guy who had not started a game since at least high school. Opposing hitters are slugging .328 off him overall on the year, but just .275 since moving into the rotation, and his FIP continues to drop. He owns the seventh lowest mark at 3.24 among Giants' minor league starting pitchers.
— Do you like pace stats? Dylan Davis has eight home runs in 108 plate appearances since joining the San Jose Giants. So that adds up to around 40 dingers in a full 500-plate appearance season. His eighth was an opposite-field shot and plated three runs in San Jose on Monday night. It's his 16th of the season, having clubbed eight as a GreenJacket before his promotion, which is now four over his career-high of 12 set last year spent mostly in Augusta.
— Giants' top draft pick Bryan Reynolds is 21 games into his pro debut, and in seven at-bats Monday night, plated four runs with a double and a triple. He's slashing .286/.375/.494 so far, drawing walks at a 10.4 percent rate with striking out 22 percent of the time. With 20 more plate appearances as a left-handed batter, the switch-hitting Reynolds has a better average and slugging percentage so far from the right side. Full splits here.
— In their 12-inning game Monday night, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes had outfielder Julio Pena get the final out of the top of the 12th, forcing Dimas Ojeda to fly out to left field. The team used nine pitchers in total, with Matt Krook throwing the first 3.2 innings.
TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP
- Christian Arroyo: 2-for-5, R, RBI, SO
- Tyler Beede: DNP
- Phil Bickford: DNP
- Lucius Fox: 1-for-3, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB
- Chris Shaw: DNP
- Sam Coonrod: DNP
- Aramis Garcia: DNP
- Andrew Suarez: DNP
- Adalberto Mejia: DNP
- Clayton Blackburn: DNP
- Jalen Miller: 1-for-4, RBI, BB
- Ray Black: DNP
- Chase Johnson: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
- Jordan Johnson: DNP
- Steven Okert: DNP
- Kyle Crick: DNP
- Hunter Cole: 2-for-5, 2 SO
- Austin Slater: DNP
- Joan Gregorio: DNP
- Michael Santos: DNP
- Ty Blach: DNP
- Rodolfo Martinez: DNP
- Steven Duggar: 2-for-5, 2 SO
- C.J. Hinojosa: 2-for-4
- Reyes Moronta: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
- Mac Marshall: DNP
- Ronnie Jebavy: 1-for-5, R, 2B, SO
- Chris Stratton: DNP
- Ian Gardeck: DNP
- Dylan Davis: 1-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, SO