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Giants prospect Mason Black to make MLB debut Monday vs. Phillies

Giants prospect Mason Black to make MLB debut Monday vs. Phillies originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

After strong start for the Giants' Triple-A affiliate Sacramento River Cats to begin the 2024 season, highly touted pitching prospect Mason Black will make his MLB debut on Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Black -- a Pennsylvania native -- is on San Francisco's taxi squad with the Giants in Philadelphia, and is scheduled to be the team's starting pitcher in the series finale against the Phillies, making his major-league debut in his home state.

While addressing reporters before Sunday's game, manager Bob Melvin revealed his excitement for Black to make his debut so close to his hometown of Scranton, Pa.

"At times in baseball things play out [in a way] that baseball does," Melvin told reporters. "To be able to come here [Philadelphia] and get his first start, it's not the easiest opponent in the world, but I think you just kind of insulate on, 'I'm a big leaguer now.' Go out there and do his thing, stay on his strengths. He's been pitching pretty well. Tomorrow will be a very, very special day for him."

Melvin lauded Black's impressive numbers in Triple-A this season, stating the 24-year-old deserves this chance based on his body of work in the minor leagues.

"You look at the numbers, there's only so much you can go on as far as Triple-A; it's a whole different deal here at the big leagues. But he definitely deserves it based on what he's done in Triple-A," Melvin told reporters.

Black has started six games for the River Cats this season, posting an eye-popping 1.01 ERA across 26 innings of work in the Pacific Coast League. The 24-year-old has held opposing hitters to a .178 batting average, boasting an impressive 0.90 WHIP in his six starts.

With San Francisco reeling after a pair of key injuries to Patrick Bailey and backup catcher Tom Murphy, Black's debut offers a much-needed glimmer of hope in what otherwise has been a brutal East Coast road trip for the Giants.

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