Former Giants right-hander Chris Heston announced that he has his sights set on a big league comeback after undergoing a significant procedure on his right shoulder this past June (link to Twitter thread). Heston had surgery to repair his labrum and biceps tendon while also “cleaning up” his rotator cuff. His right shoulder had been bothering him for the past “couple years,” he adds.
Heston, 31, was limited to 19 1/3 minor league innings in 2018 and pitched 72 2/3 innings between the Majors and minors back in 2017. He hasn’t topped 100 innings in a season since racking up 177 2/3 frames out of the Giants’ rotation back in 2015 — a season that saw him throw an 11-strikeout no-hitter against the Mets in what was just his 13th Major League start. Overall, the righty pitched to a 3.95 ERA with 7.1 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a strong 53 percent ground-ball rate. Despite the presence of veterans like Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum, Jake Peavy, Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain on the San Francisco staff that year, Heston finished second in starts (31) and innings to Madison Bumgarner.
It’s been a rocky go of things for Heston since that time, as he somewhat surprisingly fell off the Giants’ radar almost entirely the following season. The team’s signings of Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija impeded his path to the big leagues in 2016, and it seems that Heston’s shoulder began barking not long thereafter. In total, he’s only thrown 189 1/3 innings (big leagues and minors combined) since his terrific rookie campaign in 2015.
Heston is planning to throw for clubs in late February in hopes of securing a minor league contract. The righty notes that he’s picked up his real estate license during the early stages of an arduous rehab process but makes clear that his goal is to continue his pitching career now that his shoulder has been repaired.