Blach has made his last three appearances out of the Giants' bullpen, tossing 5.2 innings over that span and giving up two runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out five. Blach picked up a spot start Aug. 11 against the Pirates after Chris Stratton was dropped from the rotation, but the lefty was unable to impress in the outing, giving up four runs over four innings to take the loss. The Giants have since opted to go with Casey Kelly as their fifth starter, with Stratton also set to rejoin the rotation Tuesday against the Mets to replace the injured Dereck Rodriguez (hamstring). Manager Bruce Bochy indicated that Rodriguez will likely be able to return from the disabled list over the weekend, so any window for Blach to rejoin the rotation looks like it has probably closed at this point.
Blach (6-7) lasted just four innings after giving up four runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five in a loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday. The long reliever was promoted to the rotation following Chris Stratton's struggles as the Giants' fifth starter, but he failed to provide improved results in the role. One positive that can be taken away from Blach's start was the five strikeouts, which is a category in which the southpaw has struggled in this season (5.2 K/9). It is unclear whether the 27-year-old will get another turn in the rotation, especially after Casey Kelly posted five shutout innings in relief Saturday.
Blach will take the mound for a start versus Pittsburgh on Saturday, Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group reports. This will mark Blach's 13th start of the year for the Giants, though he's served exclusively out of the bullpen since late May. During those 12 starts, he logged a 4.90 ERA and 1.60 WHIP with a 30:23 K:BB in 60.2 innings. Blach will briefly enter the rotation due to the demotion of Chris Stratton and with Jeff Samardzija (shoulder) and Johnny Cueto (elbow) on the DL. Though Cueto is lost for the year, Samardzija is expected to begin a rehab assignment soon and is optimistic that he'll be back in action later this month.
Blach is an option to start Saturday against the Pirates, Kerry Crowley of The San Jose Mercury News reports. Blach hasn't started a game for the Giants since May. He has a 4.90 ERA in 60.2 innings as a starter this season but a 3.18 ERA in 34 innings of relief.
Blach could re-enter the rotation and start Thursday's game against the Astros, Kerry Crowley of The San Jose Mercury News reports. When Johnny Cueto (elbow) was placed on the disabled list last week and ultimately required season-ending Tommy John surgery, Chris Stratton was summoned from Triple-A Sacramento to fill the void in the rotation. After Stratton was tagged for six runs on 10 hits and four walks over three innings in his start Aug. 3 against the Diamondbacks, the Giants quickly pulled the plug and optioned him back to Triple-A. So long as he isn't needed out of the bullpen in the club's next two games, Blach makes for the top candidate to replace Stratton. The soft-tossing lefty opened the season in the rotation, but has moved to the bullpen after going 3-5 with a 4.90 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in his 12 starts.
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