George Kontos turned in another solid campaign for the Giants while serving as one of manager Bruce Bochy's most-trusted middle relievers, finishing with a 2.53 ERA in 57 appearances. He didn't provide much for fantasy owners with zero saves, nine holds and a pedestrian 5.9 K/9. Kontos doesn't overpower hitters with his fastball, instead relying on a wipeout slider to keep the opposition honest. While his 4.66 xFIP was over two runs higher than his ERA, he may simply be a sabermetric anomaly as his xFIP has been at least a whole run higher than his ERA for the past two seasons. The Giants bullpen was their biggest weakness in 2016, so the club will likely use arbitration to keep Kontos around to stabilize the middle innings next season.
Kontos pitched a clean sixth inning and picked up the win in Saturday's spring training win over the Cubs. The Giants brought Kontos back on a one-year deal to serve as a middle reliever in 2017. He has posted ERAs of 2.33 and 2.53 in 2015 and 2016 respectively, but his strikeout rate has been under 6.0 K/9 in both seasons, which isn't desirable for a ratio-boosting middle reliever in even deep formats.
Kontos agreed to a one-year deal with the Giants on Friday, avoiding arbitration. The terms of the agreement were not announced. He figures to pitch in middle relief this season for the Giants and won't offer much fantasy value.
Kontos has given up just three earned runs and two walks over his last 11 relief appearances. The five-year vet now boasts a 2.86 ERA along with 20 strikeouts over 28.1 innings pitched this season. However, the return of Sergio Romo (forearm) has booted Kontos from his set-up role and Kontos is unlikely to see any spontaneous save opportunities in the near future.
Kontos has thrown six shutout innings dating back to May 29. Kontos struggled mightily when he returned from the disabled list May 20, giving up five runs in his first four appearances. Since that time, he has settled down, dropping his ERA to 3.31 over that span. With lackluster strikeout and walk rates, he doesn't have much value as a reliever in fantasy.
Kontos (elbow) was activated from the disabled list Tuesday, Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area reports. After three rehab appearances at the end of last week, the Giants felt confident enough to activate Kontos off the DL. They may choose to ease the 30-year-old back into action, but he should be back to full capacity fairly soon. To make room for him on the active roster, right-hander Clayton Blackburn was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.