The Giants will activate southpaw Jake McGee today, bringing their nominal closer back to the roster in time for a tune-up before the postseason begins next week. To make room on the roster, infielder Thairo Estrada has been optioned to Triple-A, per Maria I. Guardado of MLB.com (via Twitter).
McGee returns after two lost weeks due to a right oblique strain. Fortunately for McGee and the Giants, it was on the milder side of oblique problems, so McGee is able to return even before the regular season is out, let alone the playoffs. After being part of the Dodgers’ World Series team last year, McGee is looking to capture his second ring in as many years, and the veteran lefty has been a major part of the Giants’ success.
McGee has a 2.72 ERA/3.45 SIERA over 59 2/3 innings out of San Francisco’s bullpen, with a 4.2% walk rate that ranks among the league’s best. That excellent control has helped McGee overcome some hard contact, and with a .228 BABIP, it’s fair to say McGee that had some good fortune behind his 2021 numbers.
Though the Giants are pretty flexible with their late-game relief alignment, McGee has gotten the bulk of save chances this year, with 31 saves in 36 opportunities. Seven other pitchers have also gotten saves for the Giants this year, with Tyler Rogers leading the second-choice pack with 13 saves, and rookie Camilo Doval stepping up in recent days with three saves. In short, manager Gabe Kapler will have plenty of bullpen arms to work with as the Giants head into October, as the club is more apt to roll with the hot hand or play matchups rather than deploy McGee in a traditional closer role.