Blackburn was optioned to Triple-A on Tuesday, Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area reports. Blackburn was called up last Thursday, but didn't appear a single time out of the San Francisco bullpen. He'll head back to the minors to get more experience against upper-level hitters before getting another (hopefully more extensive) cup of coffee in the big leagues.
Blackburn was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Blackburn hasn't been all that impressive in seven appearances (six starts) with the Triple-A club, but he'll be set to make his first trip to the majors anyway. He'll likely slot into low leverage situations in the Giants bullpen.
Blackburn struggled mightily in his start Thursday, allowing six runs (five earned) on 11 hits over 3.0 innings of work. Blackburn has had an inconsistent beginning to the season. He allowed just one run over 8.1 innings April 22, but sandwiched that start with two rough outings in which he couldn't make it to the fifth inning. Blackburn had a great 2015 at Triple-A, going 10-4 with a 2.85 ERA. Expect him to get back to that level going forward and fight for a promotion.
Blackburn is beginning the season in the rotation at Triple-A. He's on the short list to receive a promotion if the Giants lose a pair of starters this season -- Chris Heston is currently ahead of him on the organizational depth chart. Blackburn has little left to prove at Triple-A after racking up a 2.85 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 23 appearances (20 starts) in the Pacific Coast League last season.
Blackburn was added to the Giants' 40-man roster Friday, Andrew Baggarly of the Bay Area News Group reports. The 6-foot-3 right-hander turned in a 2.85 ERA over 123 innings in the PCL last season, allowing just six home runs and 32 walks. His FIP was 70 points higher than his ERA, and his stuff simply is not good enough to generate a lot of strikeouts, but Blackburn could find himself in the running for a rotation spot if there is an injury in spring training.