The Fresno Grizzlies’ 2012 Opening Day roster featured nine players (including MLB Rehabber Ryan Vogelsong) that are currently on the San Francisco Giants’ active roster pushing for a National League West Division title.
Two pitchers, Jean Machi and Yusmeiro Petit, are certainly two of the most deserving Grizzlies hurlers that graduated to the Major League level in September.
The Venezuelan natives were not on the Giants’ 40-man roster all season, so their promotions are not the easiest. San Francisco had to make room by either designating a player for assignment or transferring another player to the 60-Day disabled list. A 40-man roster spot is valuable to all Major League clubs, and they only provide the roster security to the most deserving.
Machi and Petit were some of the closer friends on the Grizzlies roster. Obviously, the shared native country helped create the bond, but their personalities aligned for a season-long friendship. To see them both reach the Majors at the same time was a rewarding experience for all.
Petit got off to somewhat a slow start, posting a 5.35 ERA and only one win in his first seven starts to the season. Of his 33 runs allowed in the first seven starts, 21 were earned.
The Grizzlies, though, went 5-2 in Petit’s seven starts. Run support was not an issue in the first quarter of his season.
Petit began to author a different story for his season, however, beginning with his start against the Omaha Storm Chasers on May 15th at Chukchansi Park. He scattered seven hits and allowed two runs in six innings against Omaha, setting the table for a run of eight-straight quality starts.
Over his last 21 starts, Petit had 128 strikeouts and 25 walks while posting a 2.95 ERA. His 153 punchouts for the entire season (fourth-most in the PCL) are third-most in a single season for a Grizzlies pitcher in franchise history.
Petit, 27, did not get his call-up from the Giants until September 8th, five days after the Grizzlies’ season ended. Petit has had plenty of Major League experience in his career, appearing in 71 games (36 starts) over four seasons with Florida (2006) and Arizona (2007-09).
Machi was a steady rock in the Grizzlies bullpen for the entire season. He was tied with Heath Hembree for the team-lead in saves with 15. Machi was 15-for-16 when entering in the ninth inning during a save opportunity.
Machi also set the Grizzlies’ season-high for most consecutive scoreless appearances with nine straight shutout outings from June 9-28.
Machi had already drawn the attention of the parent club’s decision makers early this year when he was a non-roster invitee to big league Spring Training – the first time in his career he attended a Major League camp. It is a nice vote of confidence heading into a new season when you spend the first few weeks of Spring Training at the Major League training complex.
The 30-year-old Machi made his Major League debut on September 3rd against Arizona, throwing 95 mph gas and completing a perfect ninth inning of an eventual extra-inning (and emotional) win for the Giants.
San Francisco has 18 active pitchers for their stretch run to the playoffs. Machi and Petit will provide specific roles out of the Giants bullpen, with their appearances limited compared to the amount of time they pitched while with the Grizzlies. Machi and Petit, though, probably don’t mind the smaller roles as the opportunity to help the Giants make the playoffs is too good to pass up.