Drew Storen gets first win, wears silver Elvis wig

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Drew Storen beat fellow 2009 first-round pick Stephen Strasburg to Washington by a few weeks and picked up his first big-league victory last night, for which he got not one but two shaving cream pies to the face from teammates.
Plus, as is customary for the guy Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan selects as the “player of the game” Storen donned a silver Elvis wig afterward. “The wig doesn’t look that good on me, but it’s great thing I’m wearing it,” Storen said. “I saw it before I came up here. I was really hoping I would be able to wear it.”
On a slightly less absurd note, Storen also talked about being asked to come into the game mid-inning and wriggle out of someone else’s jam: “I love it. I started doing that in college. I did it in the minor leagues. I love coming in with guys on base because of the pressure. I’m a big fan.” He’ll need to get over that enthusiasm for mid-inning jams once he becomes a closer, but for now it’s good to hear.
Storen was the 10th overall pick in last June’s draft following a great career at Stanford and blitzed through the minors with a 1.68 ERA and 64/11 K/BB ratio in 53.2 innings. After watching his first two big-league appearances, it’s easy to see how he was able to rack up those great numbers.
Storen has been exclusively a fastball-slider pitcher so far, with his fastball averaging 93.4 miles per hour and his slider clocking in at 83.7 mph. He’s thrown about three-fourths fastballs with one-fourth sliders and that combination is certainly enough to make him an elite reliever, but most scouting reports have also praised Storen for having a wide assortment of quality off-speed stuff.
In other words, expect to see him wearing the Elvis wig quite a bit.

Giants remove pitching coach Dave Righetti

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After 18 years, 12 winning seasons, seven postseason runs and three World Championships, Dave Righetti is no longer a pitching coach for the Giants. He was removed from his post on Saturday, when the team announced a few reassignments as they shake up their coaching staff. Heading into the 2018 season, Righetti will serve as special assistant to general manager Bobby Evans, former bullpen coach Mark Gardner will step into a similar special assistant role to “assist in pitching evaluations,” and former assistant hitting coach Steve Decker will take a special assistant role in baseball operations.

According to MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Righetti was the longest-tenured pitching coach in the big leagues. He helped shape the careers of notable Giants’ aces like Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain — all Cy Young contenders (and, in Lincecum’s case, a two-time winner) at various points in their careers. He was there to assist Ryan Vogelsong during his stunning mid-career comeback in San Francisco. He helped newcomers like Chris Stratton and Ty Blach flourish even as the team stumbled to the bottom of the division. He was there to take the credit when a sterling rotation clinched the Giants’ 56-year, drought-snapping championship title in 2010 — and, when things went so horribly south in 2017, he took the blame as well.

Hardly anything went right for the Giants’ pitching staff in 2017. Madison Bumgarner was shelved after sustaining a serious shoulder injury in a dirt bike accident, Johnny Cueto couldn’t shake a cluster of blisters on his right hand and Mark Melancon found it difficult to justify a $62 million paycheck after pitching through an arm injury to four blown losses/saves and a 4.50 ERA. It would be a lot for any pitching coach to stay on top of, and given the team’s rapid descent from 2016 postseason contenders to last-place finishers in 2017, it’s not surprising that Evans felt the need to switch things up.

Successors have yet to be named for Righetti, Gardner or Decker, though Murray hears that the Giants could have interest in former major league pitching coach Jim Hickey. NBC Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic adds that Evans is searching for someone to “put a new voice” on the pitching staff and will likely target someone who, like Righetti, brings considerable experience to the role.