San Francisco Giants: Handing Out Mid-Season Award

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Comeback Player of the Year: Hunter Strickland

Jun 25, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Hunter Strickland (60) shakes hands with catcher Buster Posey (28) after the win against the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park. The San Francisco Giants defeated the San Diego Padres 13-8. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

After his implosion in the 2014 postseason, in which he allowed six home runs in eight games, it would have been understandable for Strickland’s confidence to have been shaken this year. That has been far from the case.

He started the year at Triple-A Sacramento, and was outstanding, posting a 1.66 ERA and 0.785 WHIP in 15 games and 21.2 innings. He struck out 25 batters while walking just three.

After his call-up to the Majors, Strickland picked right up where he left off in Sacramento. Although he hasn’t been perfect (he wasn’t going to keep a 0.00 regular season ERA forever), he has been extremely formidable, once again showing himself to be a vital piece of the Giants’ bullpen.

In 17.2 innings, Strickland has a 2.55 ERA, 1.019 WHIP, and has racked up 20 strikeouts, compared to just four walks. He has erased thoughts that he was overmatched in the big leagues after the 2014 postseason.

As he continues to establish himself as a bigger and bigger bullpen presence, it could be just a matter of time until we see him in the ninth inning, closing out games.

Next: Giants Sign IFA Lucius Fox