New Giants pitching coach Price details traditional approach to game

New Giants pitching coach Price details traditional approach to game originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The Giants' new coaching staff will march to the beat of a different drum than the previous regime, which should be a breath of fresh air for many fans and players alike.

New manager Bob Melvin's staff is a mix of coaches with new- and old-school philosophies and can offer players a much more balanced approach to the game.

One of the team's new voices is pitching coach Bryan Price, who joined KNBR 680's "Murph & Markus" on Friday at Scottsdale Stadium to discuss his new role and his approach to the game.

"I think there's some new ideas and expectations. We'll see what ends up working out better, but I think we're a better staff, we're a better bullpen if these guys aren't down there doing as much heavy lifting," Price said. "If we want to have that next generation of iconic Giants players, they're going to have to throw more innings, where last year it was really reliant on Logan Webb and Alex Cobb and we need more contributions, and I think we have those players here."

Price's emphasis on pitchers pitching deeper into games is well-received by young Giants arms like Kyle Harrison, who was on a strict innings limit throughout multiple levels of the organization in 2023 and will be relied upon every fifth day in San Francisco's starting rotation this season.

"That's the message," Harrison told KNBR of Price's philosophy. "He's been nothing but good in the bullpens, he's been working my butt off and he's been tweaking every little thing about me. Not even worrying necessarily about the outcome, he's just more worried about the feel of things. It's good to have someone who's pitching and talking to you like a pitcher and not really caring about the iPad too much and back to this is the game we played our whole lives and let's go play it."

Not only does Price want to increase Giants pitchers' workload, but he emphasized the importance of doing it safely, with young arms like Harrison, Keaton Winn, Tristan Beck and Jordan Hicks not having experienced a full season as a major-league starter.

"I think the whole idea is, think about finishing what you start and sometimes a great start is five innings because a pitcher will throw a lot of pitches in the early innings and they find a way to stay in the game for five," Price added. "Not every game is going to be a classic. But I think the mindset has to be we're not going to throw you a life ring after five innings and the challenge, of course, is that beyond Logan Webb we don't have guys here that have thrown a surplus of innings before.

"So we also have to keep an eye on that, it's hard to take a pitcher from 100 innings to 180. [Jordan] Hicks has been a reliever, Harrison threw 100 innings last year, Beck, Keaton, these are guys that haven't had a surplus of innings. So there's a certain responsibility that goes with building them to become that next great San Francisco Giants starting rotation.

It should come as no surprise then that Price is not particularly a fan of the opener strategy, which the previous coaching staff, oftentimes to the team's benefit, used a lot in recent seasons.

"I kind of leave that to the people that are smarter than me about how we piece together the analytics to put the best product on the field or the best chance to win," Price said. "I've never been a part of that, I've never been a part of a team where we've done an opener. Ever," Price explained. "I'm sure there's a strategy to it that plays, I understand it. It's not my cup of tea, but then again I don't have to make those decisions."

For better or for worse, the Giants' coaching staff will approach the game differently in 2024 and beyond, which appears to be resonating well with a hungry, young roster.

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