Now entering his 12th season as a Major League Baseball pitcher, reliever Jeremy Affeldt may have his best start to a season yet. With the San Francisco Giants‘ starters recently not being as sharp as they were when the season began, they may turn to Affeldt a bit more from the bullpen.
In Affeldt’s three appearances, the left-handed pitcher has pitched one inning in each game and has given up one walk, an intentional walk, and hit one batter. He hasn’t given up any hits, runs, and has recorded three strikeouts.
Affeldt has been a relief pitcher since his fourth season with the Kansas City Royals, when he went 0-2 with a 5.26 earned run average in 49.2 innings pitched. After that season, which was Affeldt’s last with the Royals, he became a journeyman, switching between the minors and the majors with few teams before landing with San Francisco in 2009.
His second season with the Giants in 2010 was a bit rocky with a 4.14 ERA in 50 IP, but the last two seasons have vastly improved, with a combined ERA of 2.67 in 125 IP. The amount of strikeouts have been better, and just one home run was given up in 2012 compared to five the year prior.
It’s not a big sample size yet, but the early showing from Affeldt is certainly promising. Combine that with the last three starters being slightly off on the mound, and he’s providing a way to to get a little pressure off of the starters needing to come out and throw a nearly perfect game.