Correa Paying Off For Giants

Righty showing plus stuff after injury and trade





SAN FRANCISCO—The Giants faced a roster crunch in the spring of 2010 and knew lefthander Jack Taschner wouldn't make their club. So they turned the problem into an opportunity.

They dealt Taschner to the Pirates for catcher Ronny Paulino, whom they immediately flipped to the Marlins for a tender-armed minor leaguer named Hector Correa.

Fans promptly forgot about the deal. Taschner is now a police officer in Wisconsin. But the Giants' long bet is paying off on Correa, who is emerging as one of the better power arms in their system. With his shoulder problems behind him, the 23-year-old flashed mid-90s velocity and used his plus-plus changeup to dominate in 20 appearances for high Class A San Jose. Then he competed well while proving his durability in the second half for Double-A Richmond, throwing a combined 81 innings over 53 games.

"He's got a great arm that can be utilized in a lot of different ways," Richmond manager Dave Machemer said. "This kid might be a sleeper, but people are finding out about him."

More like rediscovering him. Correa peaked at No. 13 on the Marlins' top prospect list in 2008 but tried to pitch through shoulder issues and eventually missed all of 2009 rehabbing from surgery. The Giants never forgot their glowing reports on him and liked his clean, athletic delivery along with his wiry yet strong 6-foot-3 frame.

Because Correa's changeup plays so well against lefthanders, he could be stretched out to start. He had no problem working four-inning relief appearances at Richmond.

GIANTICS

• Strong-armed outfielder Mike McBryde, whose career stalled because of various injuries, began experimenting with a conversion to the mound in instructional league. The Giants and McBryde won't decide which way to go until the spring.

• San Jose manager Andy Skeels came up short in his bid to win the franchise's third consecutive Cal League title, but the native of Paraparaumu, New Zealand, was thrilled when his All Blacks captured the Rugby World Cup.