Giants Pitcher’s Wacky Windup Becomes the Talk of Spring Training

Jesse Pantuosco
March 04, 2020 - 12:18 pm
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Want to see something TOTALLY normal? Well guess what, Chief? You clicked on the wrong article. What you’re about to see next is, to quote Gwen Stefani, bananas (B-A-N-A-N-A-S). You ready? I’m sure you’re not, but here it is. Roll the tape …

That was … elaborate. I’m not entirely sure what I just witnessed but apparently this is Giants farmhand Yapson Gomez’s actual, honest-to-goodness wind-up. Seriously, look at this pre-pitch tomfoolery. By my count there was: one leg kick, three toe taps, a purposeful lean-in (Hey Gomez, Craig Kimbrel called. He wants his crouch back), a raised glove (Clayton Kershaw’s legal team has already demanded Gomez pay royalties), MORE toe taps (I’ve lost track of how many at this point) and finally, after multiple viewings of The Irishman, countless presidential elections and a literal ice age, a pitch to home plate. I think I need a drink (sips from flask).

That’s an awful lot to unpack for one seemingly innocuous 15-second clip. I’d spend all day on the subject if I could, but I have other articles to churn out, so I’ll keep this relatively brief. If you ask me, Gomez’s windup looks like a balk waiting to happen, but apparently the quirky left-hander has been pitching this way for quite some time. In fact, the 26-year-old Venezuela native is coming off a reasonably productive year in the low minors, where he registered a promising 2.40 ERA with eight saves and a stingy .229 BAA across 47 relief outings for Advanced-A Lynchburg and Double-A Akron. Obviously those metrics paint a rather incomplete picture as Baseball Reference, in what can only be described as a glaring oversight, failed to include the number of toe taps and leg kicks he tallied last year.

Now throwing for his third organization in as many seasons, the Giants journeyman isn’t likely to debut in the big leagues any time soon, though at least he’s making the most of his Cactus League opportunity. He set down all three Rangers he faced including strikeouts of ex-Yankees slugger Greg Bird and All-Star Joey Gallo in his lone inning of work Tuesday at Scottsdale Stadium. This may not be the oddest delivery we’ve ever witnessed—Carter Capps’ signature crow-hop never ceases to wrinkle my brain—but it has to be right up there.

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