Jakob Junis continues to offer Giants invaluable pitching depth

·3 min read

Junis offering Giants pitching depth they desperately needed originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

One of the Giants' primary goals this past offseason was to add depth to the starting rotation.

After resigning starters Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood in the offseason, San Francisco added veteran Alex Cobb and flamethrower Carlos Rodón to round out the starting five. Depth-wise, they signed Jakob Junis and Matthew Boyd to go along with long reliever/starter Sam Long.

Through four appearances this season, Junis has stepped in as the invaluable sixth-man role. In the Giants' 4-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday at Busch Stadium, the 29-year-old posted his fourth consecutive appearance of at least five innings and two earned runs or fewer.

On the season, Junis has thrown 20 2/3 innings pitched, allowing 16 hits, four earned runs and striking out 18 batters.

Junis faced the Cardinals for the second time in six days and despite taking the loss, was pleased with his performance on the mound.

"I'll take 5.2 (innings pitched), two runs any day," Junis told reporters after the game. "Gave the team a chance to win. Would have really liked that last home run that went out to stay in, but all in all, after facing the same team two starts in a row, there's not a lot you can ask for."

His first two appearances came out of the bullpen in relief of Sam Long, who served as an "opener" against both the Washington Nationals and Oakland Athletics.

Bulk innings are bulk innings and Junis is happy to contribute.

"It's been a solid start to the season," Junis added. "I haven't been as sharp these last two, but still going out and throwing quality games. You're not going to have your best stuff all the time but as long as you can keep the team in the game that's all that matters."

Junis admitted to the media that he didn't have much of a feel for his changeup prior to his start on Saturday, but is pleased with what he was able to do with a limited arsenal.

"Yeah, I'm pretty happy," Junis said. "Especially with facing the same team twice, they got to see me five, six days ago. It would have been nice to have that other offering but you gotta roll with what you got and that's what I did and I did what I could."

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With Anthony DeSclafani working his way back from an ankle injury, Junis' time in the rotation likely will come to an end soon. Regardless, his spot on the roster is safe and he'll continue to be given opportunities to help eat up bulk innings for the Giants.

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