With Disco on the 60-day DL and not due back until late June, the Giants now turn to 29-year-old, former Kansas City Royal, Jakob Benjamin Lee Junis, born and raised in Illinois, where he played baseball and basketball very well. In high school, he committed to play college baseball at North Carolina State University as an infielder and a pitcher. His wiki states, “though he was rated as a fourth round pick he fell to the 29th round because of his scholarship to North Carolina State.” Instead of attending college, Jake signed with the Royals for a $675,000 signing bonus.
He joined the Royals organization in 2011, made his professional debut with their Burlington affiliate in 2012 and his major league debut in 2017. After five years of up-and-downing him between the minors and major league club, the Royals outrighted him in November of last year and Junis elected free agency. Farhan Zaidi picked him up for the Giants on a one year, $1.75m deal.
Six months later, his former KC Royals fanbase calls Jake Junis their best pitcher, except: “There’s just one problem with this. Jake Junis does not pitch for the Royals, who had the chance to keep him in the offseason for relative peanuts. Instead, they chose to release him. The San Francisco Giants are now reaping the benefits of Junis’ revitalization.” Here’s Jake’s baseball-ref page.
The Giants started the season using Junis as long-relief, a middle innings eater, in a bullpen game. It was the Saturday game of the series against the Nats in the District. Gabe Kapler opened the game with Sammy Long for two innings and he was sharp, holding the Nationals scoreless on two hits. Kap then turned it over to Jakob Junis, who went five scoreless wth four K’s, giving up only three hits. It was his first win as a Giant.
Junis then followed Sammy Long in a bullpen game again, this time against the Athletics, at our yard. Unfortunately, in the first, Long gave up what would prove to be the game’s only run, but Jakob Junis was very strong over four scoreless innings in relief, in the 0 -1 loss.
The Giants stats page says Jakob Junis’ nickname is “June Bug.” In his first start, at home against the Cardinals, June Bug did not disappoint:
The Giants won and Jake got a no-decision, but a week later in St. Louis, Jake fell to the Cardinals and took his first loss of the season. He gave up six hits and just two earned runs, but the Giants were unable to support him and John Brebbia and the bullpen fell apart in the 0 – 4 loss. It wasn’t all Jake’s fault.
So Jake is (1-1) as a starter with a 1.74 ERA, and has seen significant action as a middle reliever in which he has performed very well. Here’s his fangraphs page for more stats. He will start today at the yard against the Padres for his first taste of NL West rivalry action. The Padres start Sean Manaea.
Let’s go Giants!
Roll the Friars!
Beat the Pads!
Start the sweep.