The San Francisco Giants are taking another chance on a pitcher returning from injury, this time in the bullpen. They have signed former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher John Brebbia to a one-year deal worth $800,000, after he had Tommy John surgery in June 2020.
The 30-year old reliever made his Major League debut in 2017, and has had three good seasons under his belt. He has a career 3.14 ERA with 198 strikeouts against 54 walks in 175 total innings pitched. In his most recent season, he had a 3.59 ERA in a career high 72.2 innings pitched in 66 appearances.
Brebbia throws with a fastball-slider combo, with the fastball topping out at 94 mph. But he has just been consistent over his career in not getting hit hard. In 2019, he allowed just a 87.9 mph exit velocity (70th percentile in the league) and a .279 xwOBA allowed (87th percentile), and had been one of the most consistent middle relievers in baseball.
His weakness in 2019 was against left-handed hitters Although he had a similar batting average allowed (.225 against LHH, .212 against RHH), he gave up home runs at a faster rate against left-handers. That will be something to keep an eye on, especially if 2020 keeps the 3-batter minimum rule.
Since Brebbia only had Tommy John surgery in June, he’ll miss the first part of the season, assuming it isn’t delayed due to COVID-19. Recent reports say he’s doing well on his recovery and may be returning around June, hopefully giving the Giants a good bullpen option in the second half of the season. The Giants would also continue to have two more years of team control after the 2021 season