Blach Dazzles With Glove
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—The Giants organization celebrated when shortstop Brandon Crawford earned the National League Gold Glove award in 2015. But he’s not the only one who will be receiving a gilded trophy in April.
Lefthander Ty Blach has one coming his way, too.
"I’ve seen the trophy, and it’s a real glove, but maybe a little smaller,” said Blach, 25, who was singled out among all minor league pitchers by Rawlings and Minor League Baseball as the award recipient. "I played with (second baseman) Ryan Cavan when he won it. I have no idea when it’ll arrive, but it’s great to say the least.”
Fielding is only one way that Blach demonstrates control on the mound. He issued just 31 walks while leading the Pacific Coast League with 165 innings last season. Because he doesn’t overthrow, he finishes in a balanced position on the balls of his feet—ready to react to anything hit his way.
Blach did not commit an error on 53 total chances and was involved in turning two double plays at Triple-A Sacramento.
His defensive highlight, though, came when big league second baseman Joe Panik was playing a rehab game and made an unbelievable bare-hand reaction play to a deflected groundball. Blach’s contribution was more subtle but nearly as difficult. He raced to cover first base to receive the throw.
"What he did to recover was incredible,” Blach said. "I guess I’m just used to the ball in play, and I’ve seen the ball ricochet every way it can. So I wanted to be sure to get over there in case they needed me to finish the play.”
Blach’s overall numbers—he went 11-12, 4.46 in 27 starts—don’t jump off the page. But the Giants put the former Creighton standout and 2012 fifth-round pick on the 40-man roster last November, and he’s on the radar for when the club needs a dependable strike-thrower.
• Lefthanded reliever Clay Rapada, who announced his retirement, made such a positive impact during his final season pitching at Sacramento that the Giants hired him to become their pitching coach at low Class A Augusta.
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• Add Thomas Neal to the list of former Giants prospects to return in a coaching capacity. The 28-year-old will serve as a hitting assistant in extended spring and the organization’s two short-season affiliates.