Programming note: Giants-Dodgers coverage starts tonight at 7pm on NBC Bay Area.
LOS ANGELES — Derek Law nearly pitched his way onto the Opening Day roster in 2014. Two years — and a long rehab process later — Law will finally get a chance to make his MLB debut.
The hard-throwing right-hander will replace Sergio Romo on Friday, CSNBayArea.com has learned, when Romo will be placed on the disabled list because of a flexor strain in his right elbow. It was an elbow injury that forced Law, 25, to wait this long to finally put on a big league uniform.
Law burst onto the scene in 2013, striking out 102 batters in 66 1/3 innings across three minor league levels and then dominating the Arizona Fall League. The Giants were particularly enthralled by what he did as the closer at High-A San Jose. Law had 11 saves in 22 appearances for San Jose and struck out 45 batters in his 25 2/3 innings. He walked one.
Law was so impressive the next spring that the Giants considered promoting him straight to the big leagues, and he was in camp through the Bay Bridge Series. At a time when the big league bullpen wasn't as stocked with velocity as it is today, Law went to Double-A Richmond and posted a 2.57 ERA as the Flying Squirrels’ closer before Tommy John surgery halted his meteoric rise.
Law came back to appear in 28 games at Double-A last season and he was back in big league camp this spring. Law, who has a deceptive delivery, firm fastball and hammer curve, had given up one hit and struck out two in three scoreless appearances for the Sacramento River Cats before the promotion.
Law is a Pittsburgh native, and if and when he gets into a game, he will accomplish a goal that his father came unbearably close to. Joe Law was also a pitcher and was called up by the A’s in 1988, only to spend four days on the big league roster without getting into a game. Joe warmed up during one of those games, but he never made it back up after getting sent back down to the minors.
Baseball has an odd way of coming full circle, though. That A’s team Derek's father played on? It went on to lose to the Dodgers in the World Series. The Giants kick off a three-game series at Dodger Stadium tonight.