There’s not a lot of good news out last season’s trade for Carlos Beltran.
Beltran did not lead the Giants back to the postseason, as hoped.
The Giants did not re-sign Beltran in the offseason.
Beltran is tearing it up with the Cardinals.
And so is the player the Giants dealt to get Beltran, pitcher Zach Wheeler.
Wheeler, pitching for the Double-A Binghamton Mets, improved his mark to 6-2 this season with a win Thursday over Harrisburg. He is second in the Southern League with a 1.66 ERA with a 0.96 WHIP and 67 strikeouts against 25 walks in 52.2 innings this season.
People are starting to wonder if Wheeler has anything less to prove at Double-A.
But if Giants fans can draw a silver lining out of that trade last season it’s that they still have a pitcher in the organization who is outpitching Wheeler in the Southern League.
Richmond’s Chris Heston also improved to 6-2 after pitching seven solid innings Thursday. In fact, Heston pitched six scoreless innings before giving up three in the seventh. Those three runs bumped his season ERA from 0.62 to 0.98.
Heston’s WHIP (0.92) is better than Wheeler’s and he has almost as many strikeouts (66), although he has thrown more innings (73.2).
Heston does come with the same accolades as Wheeler. Heston, 24, was drafted in the 12th round in 2009 out of East Carolina. After two uneven pro seasons, he made a big step forward in 2011, going 12-4 with 3.16 ERA for Class A San Jose.
Wheeler is younger (22) and was a first-round pick (sixth overall) in 2009 out of East Paulding HS in Dallas, Ga. He was 7-5 with a 3.99 ERA for San Jose in 2011 before being traded.
Looking for more good news from the rest of the organization is a bit tougher, but we’ll do our best
RHP Yusmeiro Petit: Petit continued his hot streak, throwing six scoreless innings in a 5-2 win Tuesday over Salt Lake. In his last four starts, he has an 0.35 ERA with 31 strikeouts an four walks.
RHP George Kontos: There has been a call for the Giants to call up Kontos to help shore up their wounded bullpen. Kontos, acquired late in spring training from the Yankees for catcher Chris Stewart, is 2-0 with 1.71 ERA in 23 appearances for the Grizzlies. he has 26 strikeouts and 7 walks in 31.2 IP. He has an 0.60 ERA in his last 15 innings and has not allowed a run in his last 6.2 IP (and only two hits). But it’s also worth noting that other Fresno pitchers were doing well before getting called up like Travis Blackley (0.39 ERA in Fresno), Shane Loux (0.43) and Steve Edlefsen (1.42).
RHP Heath Hembree: The “closer of the future” for the Giants has hit a major rut in Fresno. He has not recorded a save since May 5 and has surrendered runs in five of his past six outings and seven of his past nine. He has not appeared in a game since getting tagged for three runs on June 2 as he’s been home with strep throat and lost eight pounds.
OF Roger Kieschnick: Kieschnick’s solid 2012 season was derailed a bit when he suffered a hairline fracture in his left shoulder slamming into a wall on May 29. He’s out 4-6 weeks.
OF Justin Christian: Christian recorded his 1,000th career minor-league hit last Saturday, going 2 for 2 against Salt Lake. Christian, hitting .421 over his past 10 games, sat out Thursday’s game with sore ribs and a bad back.
LHP Chris Gloor: Gloor has not allowed a run in his past 18 innings, lowering his ERA to 2.81. The reliever has given up 13 hits, four walks and fanned 13 over that stretch that goes back to May 1.
Class A San Jose
1B Ricky Oropresa: Oropresa went 3 for 3 with two home runs and RBI as the Giants snapped a 10-game losing streak on Wednesday. He batted .333 (11 for 33) over the past week and is hitting .267 for the season.
OF Jarrett Parker: Parker’s average continues to climb after an abysmal start. He’s now hitting .258 with 6 HRs and 22 RBI. He’s currently riding five-game hitting streak that includes a 4-for-4 night Tuesday at Lancaster. He is hitting .462 (12 for 26) over the past week with just five strikeouts and four walks.
LHP Jack Snodgrass: Snodgrass picked up his team-high sixth win in pitching the Giants to that skid-snapping win on Wednesday. He is 6-2 with 2.89 ERA. His win Wednesday was his first since May 16. He gave up four runs on 10 hits in seven innings, striking out seven.