July 17, 2024

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Giants eye Hayden Birdsong to make MLB debut Wednesday vs. Cubs – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

Giants eye Hayden Birdsong to make MLB debut Wednesday vs. Cubs – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

SAN FRANCISCO — Still missing several key pieces in their starting rotation, the Giants plan to call up rookie Hayden Birdsong to make his NFL debut on Wednesday.

Manager Bob Melvin made the announcement before Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Cubs at Oracle Park and said the team has high expectations for the 22-year-old right-hander.

“We’re excited about it,” Melvin said. “In my opinion, he’s going to have a long big-league career. He’ll probably be starting, a little sooner than we expected because of the need and maybe pitching better out there. I think that’s why the decision was made.”

The Giants haven’t had a fully healthy rotation for most of the season. NL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell and newcomer Robbie Ray, along with Alex Cobb and Keaton Wynn, have been sidelined at various times with a variety of injuries.

A sixth-round pick in 2022, Birdsong is one of the Giants’ top pitching prospects. He started the season in Double-A Richmond where he went 4-2 with a 2.05 ERA. With an extensive repertoire of pitches, Birdsong racked up 61 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings.

He was promoted to Triple-A Sacramento on June 15 and has continued to impress, striking out 14 batters in nine innings over two starts. Birdsong threw 91 pitches in his last start with the River Cats, so he has the potential to go deep into games.

“His start in Triple-A was good,” Melvin said. “He can throw what you would think a baserunner would throw out of the park. Look, there’s some risk with a guy who was just in the triple-A division. He’s a young kid, and he’s very talented.”

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Birdsong spent time with the Giants during spring training, so Melvin and the staff were already familiar with him before seeing his work in the minors.

“When you watch his bullpen, he’s a really talented starter. He’s young but it’s exciting to think he’ll get a chance to start, especially here at home,” Melvin said.

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