The Giants announced their invitees to Major League Spring Training on Monday, revealing within that they’ve inked left-hander Sean Newcomb to a minor league pact.
It’ll be the third organization in the past calendar year for Newcomb, a former top prospect who was the centerpiece of the Braves’ return for Andrelton Simmons back in Nov. 2015. Newcomb spent the 2016-22 seasons in the Braves organization, getting several looks at the MLB level but never replicating the promise he showed early in his career, when he logged a 3.87 ERA through his first 332 1/3 big league innings (2017-19). Command was an issue even then, and the Braves moved Newcomb to the bullpen in 2019, but it was nonetheless a promising start to Newcomb’s time in the Majors.
The following three seasons proved difficult, to say the least. Newcomb pitched to a 6.71 ERA across 51 innings with the Braves from 2020-22, walking 37 of the 246 batters he faced in that time (15%) and plunking another five. With Newcomb unable to be sent to Triple-A due to his lack of remaining minor league options, the Braves designated him for assignment and flipped him to the Cubs in exchange for veteran Jesse Chavez. Chicago surely hoped to be able to unlock something in Newcomb, who’s controllable through the end of the 2024 campaign, but the trade didn’t work out at all as they’d hoped.
To the contrary, Newcomb was tagged for 23 earned runs in 22 2/3 innings with the Cubs. He walked 13.8% of his opponents there as well, an ugly rate that was compounded by a sudden susceptibility to home runs at a previously unseen rate. Newcomb yielded a jarring seven home runs with the Cubs despite facing just 108 hitters; his 2.78 HR/9 mark with the Cubs ranked among the highest of any pitcher to throw at least 20 innings in 2022. Chavez, meanwhile, was highly effective in a reunion tour with the Braves, pitching to a 2.72 ERA with plus strikeout and walk rates in 53 frames.
For all Newcomb’s struggles, he still carries a career 3.12 ERA and 28.4% strikeout rate in the minors, including a 2.72 ERA and 31% strikeout rate in parts of four Triple-A seasons. Walks have always been an issue, but Newcomb is still 29 years old, misses bats in bunches and has plenty of success in the upper minors. The Giants have developed a reputation for rehabilitating pitchers and revitalizing their careers, and Newcomb will hope to add his name to a growing list of San Francisco success stories.
He’s gonna need a new comb with all that wind in SF.
I would brush him aside unless he intends to groom another pitcher. Hair’s to another baseball season.
Had high hopes on him with the Braves, good depth could actually turn out well.
#SFGiants World Series Bound!!
Very disappointed in how things ended with the Braves. I always liked Newcomb but he just wasn’t ever able to harness his great potential. I sincerely hope he has a fantastic year in San Francisco and finally puts it all together.
Newcomb just needed to embrace being a bullpen guy but couldn’t get over being a “failed starter”. He has never hit a big contract payday and never will till he figures out he’s a bullpen guy.
He’s a mental midget. This is likely his last chance.
This could be another under the radar signing with some surprising upside.
Man was he a huge bust for the Braves
@comments. Not really sure what happened to Nuke. I hear he was basically 100% against being made into a bullpen guy and I think his stubbornness has cost him millions. I think he could have been a elite bullpen arm.
Couldn’t throw strikes and when he did they were middle-middle.
He did no-hit the ‘18 Dodgers for 8 2/3rds.
He also had a thing where someone dug up old Tweets from when he was a kid that weren’t politically correct – might’ve been the beginning of the end for him.
Maybe the Giants can help Newcomb fix his mechanics. Flies open every time he tries to throw his breaking ball inside to lh hitters. SF got good results w/another pitcher discarded by Atlanta (Gausman.) Good luck to Newk. Hope any lh hitter he faces stays loose in the box. Those that don’t risk expensive dental repair and possible decapitation.
He pitched 140 total innings with the Braves. He was with the Orioles for a LOOOOOOT longer than that. The Braves didn’t fix him but they didn’t break him either.
He was never with the Orioles…
Wow. You don’t even stop to look at a resource before you say that. Kevin Gausman was an Oriole from 2013 until he was traded to the Braves in 2018. Would you like me to provide you with a link?
Didn’t say the Braves broke him or didn’t fix him. I said they discarded him. When a player’s dfa, he’s discarded.
They may have time to fix him. After all, he’s a relative Newcomber…
Low risk signee for Zaidi. Can’t have too much pitching.
Wasn’t he just a 2 pitch guy. You can not stay a starter if you can not have them guess a little. Bullpen which he has not embraced works for that.
I thought his time with the Cubs was enough to send him to Asia or Siberia. Guess I was wrong. Best of Luck to ya.
Get into the lab with open ears, Sean. Good luck.
F’n Giants. Another guy there gonna fix.
Fix and release back to the league
If they fix him, I’ll eat my shoe.
With or Without Mustard ?
Left handers with his stuff will always get opportunities. It’s fair to say his ship has sailed as a starter so the question is can he put together a 2-pitch mix that he can control AND get people out. He’s out of options I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s one of those guys with an opt out in late May if he hasn’t been called up.
I wonder who he knew with the Cubs that he thought that was a good destination for him last year. I say that wondering out loud does the CHC even have a rep for “fixing pitchers”?
Not a bad gamble for the Giants
You’re allowed to start a sentence with the word “meanwhile.” I promise you it’s ok..