Melancon owns a 2.31 ERA and 2.4 K/BB through 23.1 innings this season. Melancon has quietly got his career back on track after struggling with both performance and health through his first two seasons in San Francisco. The 34-year-old isn't as untouchable (7.3 K/9 and 1.24 WHIP) as he used to be when he was one of the league's top closers from 2013 to 2016, but the results are certainly a step back in the right direction. Will Smith is firmly entrenched as the Giants' closer, but Melancon -- and his seemingly unmovable contract -- could be a candidate to close if the former is dealt at the trade deadline.
Melancon has yet to be used in a save situation this season. Manager Bruce Bochy said in mid-April that Melancon would get some saves, but he's yet to be given the chance. The veteran's ERA was unblemished through his first 10 outings, but he's allowed three runs in his last two appearances. It may take an injury to current closer Will Smith (or a midseason trade) for Melancon to stake a claim for the role, though Sam Dyson (who has one save) could still be ahead of him.
Melancon is expected to get some chances in save situations this season, Kerry Crowley of The San Jose Mercury News reports. While the Giants' primary closer remains Will Smith, manager Bruce Bochy noted that Melancon could get some chances in the ninth inning as the season unfolds. He's been stellar for the Giants in a setup role so far in 2019 and has yet to allow a run over 10 innings of work.
Melancon struck out a batter without allowing a baserunner over a scoreless inning in Tuesday's 7-2 win over San Diego. Melancon has gotten off to a strong start in 2019, posting a 0.00 ERA and 0.88 WHIP through his first six appearances. The 34-year-old only has two strikeouts over that span, but the slow start in punchouts can't be attributed to diminished stuff, as his cutter is averaging a healthy 92.1 mph. Melancon will look to continue re-establishing himself from the setup role after losing the majority of the last two seasons to injury.
Melancon allowed two homers in Thursday's spring training game, both coming on 92 mph fastballs to the opposite field, Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle reports. The two homers are equal to the entire total he allowed with the Giants in 39 innings last season. The good news is that his velocity matched his average fastball from last season.