“I haven’t felt such dampness since…”
Prebbia slowed down, thinking about the last time he was here, as his professional baseball career had been revived the first time. That doesn’t happen in San Francisco, the site of his second coming as a major league player.
As the second anniversary of Tommy John’s surgery that ended his tenure in St. Louis approaches, Prepia has become an integral part of the giants’ base. Coming into Friday night, he possessed a 1.29 ERA and had put his opponents goalless in 11 of his 13 appearances, coming into increasingly high leverage positions.
“He was very trustworthy,” said manager Gabi Kapler. “Towards the end of last season we had Dom Lyon and Zach Little – both of whom use cold in very big situations – in the sixth or seventh game if we needed a right-handed option, those guys could get in there. Brebbia was probably a step lower than those guys.
“Now, I think you think of John Pribbia the same way you think of Zack and Dom. They are really dependable.”
It takes some faith to sign a pitcher in the midst of recovering from Tommy John’s surgery, like the Giants did two winters ago when they added Prepia to their position. Arguably, it takes more to sign a former pick in the 30th round of the Independent Leagues after the organization that drafted him cut ties after two seasons.
This is how Pribbia became the Cardinal of St. Louis, and why he enjoys these annual trips to St. Louis.
Pribia laughed at the question.
He said, “I don’t know.” “Tommy John’s jug has definitely seemed the worst option for quite some time.”
As Kapler alluded to, last year’s Prebibia was hardly the reliable pitcher to start 2022. He finished the season with 5.89 ERAs and was left out of the Giants roster.
Pribea attributed his suffering to a lack of good hits. But in fact, it should only be considered the first stage of the revival of Prepibia on the hill. His journey may remind you of any number of weapons the Giants brought in under Kapler and Farhan Zaidi, the latest example being Jacob Jones, who is set to make his second start on Saturday.
In St. Louis, the Brebbia was a jug of four. Fastball, slider, sinker, changeup. He even tried to merge the separator.
He said the biggest difference upon arriving in San Francisco was the unique message from every coach he interacted with: Focus on what you do well, forget what you don’t.
“Sort of like Okams blade,” Pribbia said, referring to a philosophy that prioritizes simplicity.
For Brebbia, this meant prioritizing his unique fastball, especially the sharp slider. Last year he threw the slider more frequently than ever, and this year usurped fastball as the most used pitch.
Pribia sought opinions from across the organization, and…