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Trade Pickup Sam Wolff Could Factor In Giants' Bullpen

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Righthander Sam Wolff has pitched effectively in his five-year pro career—when he has been healthy.

The 26-year-old Wolff, whom the Giants acquired from the Rangers in the Matt Moore trade in December, has endured more than his share of injuries. A torn Achilles tendon cost him the 2015 season. A right forearm strain forced him to miss the final three months of the 2016 season. And then last season, he thrived at Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock before he tore his right flexor tendon in August.

Wolff had surgery on Aug. 28, but in an early-January interview, he sounded upbeat.

"My arm feels great,” Wolff said. "I’ve had no pain or anything like that. It’s been pretty smooth sailing.”

Wolff planned to begin throwing in late January and expected to resume pitching competitively in June or July.

The Rangers made Wolff a 2013 sixth-round pick out of New Mexico. He spent his first pro season as a reliever, then became a starter. He returned to the bullpen in 2017.

With a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and can reach the upper 90s, Wolff racked up a combined 59 strikeouts in 43 innings in 2017. He recorded a 2.93 ERA in 40 appearances, while allowing five home runs and issuing 4.0 walks per nine innings.

"I definitely have the mindset of a closer,” Wolff said. "I like going out there for an inning or two (and) emptying the tank.”

Said general manager Bobby Evans: "Had he not gotten hurt, he could have very well been in the big leagues with Texas late (last season). That upside . . . when he comes back is a real asset for us.”

Assuming Wolff’s rehab and return to the mound go well, Evans said he would be a candidate for a September callup.

Wolff, for better and worse, can draw on his experience in recovering from injuries.

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"It is a process and it’s something that takes time,” Wolff said. ". . . Your goal is at the end. You need . . . to trust the process of getting there.”

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