Ryan Murphy Settles On A Slider Grip That Works

During a three-start stretch in late June, righthander Ryan Murphy allowed a combined 10 earned runs in 12.1 innings for Low-A San Jose. His ERA ballooned from 2.48 to 3.80.

The 21-year-old Murphy had been experimenting with different grips for his slider around that time. He then decided to return to his old grip.

“Everything kind of just felt better with my fastball and slider,” Murphy said in a phone interview Aug. 2. “Having the confidence to throw a pitch where I want to, when I want to, was really huge for me.”

Something surely clicked. Murphy reached double digits in strikeouts in all five of his July starts. In a combined 31 innings, he racked up 56 of them and allowed 17 hits and six walks.

That performance earned the Giants’ fifth-round pick from 2020 a promotion to High-A Eugene.

Listed at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, Murphy relies mainly on his fastball and slider but does mix in a curveball and changeup. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid 90s, but is plenty effective.

San Jose pitching coach Paul Oseguera said Murphy’s fastball “just seems to jump out of (his) hand and just get on the hitter. Where other guys, they might have the high velocity, but you can just see the hitters able to track it.”

Murphy spent three seasons with Division II Le Moyne in Syracuse. Former Le Moyne teammate Josiah Gray is pitching for the Nationals. Gray was a key part of the deal that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner from Washington to the Dodgers.

Gray’s rise has given Murphy “a little more confidence knowing that if he can do this, then I think I can do this.” Not that a lack of a Division I pedigree forced Murphy to question his chances to succeed in pro ball.

“I wouldn’t say I was really ever scared of this,” Murphy said. “I was always confident. I always thought I could compete.”

Said Oseguera: “He’s definitely a guy who’s just like, ‘Give me the ball. I’m ready to go,’ and that’s all there is to it.”



— The Giants promoted outfielder Heliot Ramos from Double-A Richmond to Triple-A Sacramento on July 21. In his first 13 games with the River Cats, Ramos went 11-for-41 (.268) with 14 strikeouts. The Giants’ 2017 first-round pick turns 22 on Sept. 7.

— San Jose shortstop Marco Luciano led Low-A West in homers with 18 at the time he was promoted to High-A Eugene. Luciano hit .278/.373/.556 in Low-A. He turns 20 on Sept. 10.


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