San Francisco Giants’ Chris Heston to Start Wednesday in Arizona


If you watched the San Francisco Giants’ post game show last night, you likely heard that Chris Heston has been named the starter for tonight’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Once you heard that, your next thought was likely “who’s that?” Here are some tidbits on Wednesday’s starter for the orange and black to get you going before game time.

Heston is a 26-year old righty from Palm Bay, Florida, coming to the organization as their 12th round selection of the 2009 draft. He was previously selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 47th round of the 2007 draft, and then by the Washington Nationals in the 29th round of the 2008 draft, but did not sign until he was drafted by San Francisco.

Heston made his major league debut last season in September, coming out of the bullpen to face the Los Angeles Dodgers on two separate occasions (1 1/3 innings, one walk, two strikeouts) and then started a game on September 28th against the San Diego Padres. In that game he lasted four innings, giving up three runs on six hits, two walks and three strikeouts.

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Since he only has 5 1/3 innings in the bigs, let’s take a look at his minor league numbers. With Fresno, it has been a tale of two seasons for Heston. In 2013 he finished with a 7-6 record and a 5.80 ERA in 108 2/3 innings. His walk rate increased by one and a half per every nine innings, and he finished with a WHIP of 1.610. The following season was one of Heston’s best as a professional as he posted a 12-9 record with a 3.38 ERA in 173 innings. His WHIP decreased to 1.173 last year, seeing his command return, while also seeing him trim his hits allowed by nearly three per game in the process.

Last year did see his strikeout rate fall from previous totals around 8.0, to 6.5 per nine. This could signify that he’s been pitching to more contact recently, which may also be a bad plan of action in Chase Field. That’s just speculation however.

According to the San Francisco Giants 2015 Media Guide, Heston was nicknamed “Hesto Presto” by his teammates. Let’s hope that doesn’t stick. The Media Guide also lists this as a contract year for the righty. Given the current circumstances, finding out what you have from a minor leaguer in a contract year is a shrewd move by GM Brian Sabean. The team will need to add some pitching after the season is through, with Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong and Tim Hudson‘s contracts being up at the end of the season.

If you’d like to follow Chris Heston on Twitter, his handle is @Hesto23. Good luck tonight!

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