Anyway, the Giants have signed pitcher Marc Kroon, an American who’s averaged nearly 30 saves per season over 6 years in Japan while piling up a whopping 12.3 Ks per 9 innings. The 37-year-old holds the record for the fastest recorded pitch in Japanese baseball history (101 mph) and his fastball reportedly still touches the high 90s on occasion.
Here’s a video of Kroon pitching for the Yokohama BayStars:
I don’t know if he still uses that funky delivery, but it kind of puts Robb Nen’s toe tap to shame, doesn’t it?
If the Giants decide to go with a 12-man staff, there’s likely only one spot left for a pitcher to claim out of Spring Training. Croon figures to be up against both Jeff Suppan and Guillermo Mota for that spot, and Suppan has the edge because of the role the Giants want him to fill. Still, if Croon has a strong spring, he might find a way to force himself onto the roster. He throws hard, and you can’t ever have enough hard throwers in the bullpen.
Whatever happens, it’s nice to see the Giants looking outside the box for roster depth. And I hope they really do have someone scouting Swedish Rivera.
- Chris Ray, the main piece the Giants received in the Bengie Molina trade, has signed a minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners.
I’ve always liked Ray’s arm, and it’s a shame he never got much of a chance to help the Giants last season. Injuries made him mostly irrelevant down the stretch, but here’s hoping he finds success in the Mariners’ bullpen.
And, all is not lost from the Molina trade: the Giants also received Michael Main in the deal, who posted a 13.83 ERA in Double-A Richmond last season. On second thought, yeah, all is lost.
- If you haven’t already, check out the piece I did for Yahoo Sports Big League Stew recapping the Tim Lincecum TV special here.
Until next time.