With less than two weeks left in Spring Training, the Giants finally filled out the 75 players they could invite to Spring Training, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s another left-handed pitcher. But it’s also one with ties to Gabe Kapler and others.
The Giants signed lefty Phil Pfeifer, 28, to a minor league deal with a spring training invitation. He was released by the Braves on March 14th.
Pfeifer was most recently in the Braves organization, but he originally was drafted by the Dodgers in 2015 in the third round. He spent just about a year with the Dodgers, being traded mid-season to the Braves for Bud Norris. During that time, he played in the Dodgers organization under Kapler and Farhan Zaidi.
Kapler made a comment about Pfeifer after the signing. “One of the issues that Phil had when we were together with the Dodgers was, he had difficulty throwing strikes,” he said. “He really found that in 2019 with the Braves. Was still able to be kind of that funky-delivery guy with good stuff that misses bats, but he was able to couple that with strike-throwing.”
The pitcher also was a Vanderbilt pitcher, which gives him other connections. He was drafted a year after the Giants drafted another pitcher from there, Tyler Beede. His career there also overlaps with current Giants Mike Yastrzemski and Sam Selman, and he missed playing with Cade Casali by just a year.
Pfeifer has yet to make his MLB debut. The lefty has a career 3.58 ERA in the Minors, with a 3.44 ERA in 2019 across three levels, the majority as a starter in High-A before being shifted to relief and moving up later in the year.
This year, MLB has required a 5-day quarantine for players before joining Spring Training. Pfeifer did participate in Spring Training with the Braves earlier this spring, but was released on March 14th. It’s unknown as of yet if he needs to redo a bubble, particularly since the Braves are in the Grapefruit League. Either way, it’s unlikely that Pfeifer’s spring invite will get him into many games ahead of a crowded roster of pitchers.