By Jim Callis
July 31, 2001
The Giants just beat Tuesday’s 4 p.m. trading deadline with their fourth deal in a week, adding Jason Christiansen from the Cardinals for minor league righthander Kevin Joseph and either a player to be named or cash.
Christiansen, 31, is one of the biggest (6-foot-5, 241 pounds) and hardest-throwing (up to the mid-90s) lefthanded relievers in the majors. He’s also a veteran of deadline deals, having gone from Pittsburgh to St. Louis for Jack Wilson a year ago. Christiansen has bounced back from shoulder surgery last October to go 1-1, 4.66 with three saves in 30 games, striking out 19 in as many innings. He’ll team with Aaron Fultz to give San Francisco two dependable lefties out of the pen.
Joseph, 25, was primarily an infielder at Rice before the Giants signed him as sixth-round pick in 1997. He can light up the radar guns as much as any pitcher in the minors, topping out at 100 mph and consistently dialing up 97s and 98s. He also has a hard slider, and this year Joseph has begun to develop command. Between high Class A San Jose, Double-A Shreveport and Triple-A Fresno, he has gone 2-2, 3.44 with four saves in 38 games, posting a 44-18 strikeout-walk ratio in 55 innings.