Heath Hembree was prepared to come to San Francisco but on certain mornings things are out of his hands. “They never get it right” Hembree said last week smiling. “They” are the coffee shop baristas. “It” is Hembree’s middle name the one he goes by. More often than not Heath looks down at his cup of coffee and sees “Keith.” “I try to emphasize the ‘H’” he said. “But it never seems to work. Luckily for Hembree and the Giants those coffee runs were just about the only speed bumps during the right-hander’s September cameo. Hembree 24 made nine appearances after joining the club September 3 and didn’t give up a run. He allowed just four hits in 7 2/3 innings striking out 12. Hembree opened eyes and they were the right ones. Last Friday manager Bruce Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean were asked about the call-ups. Bochy listed a handful of players starting with Hembree. Sabean was more succinct. “I’d say Hembree has been the most intriguing to me” he said. “He’s come a long way in a year a long way.” That year started in big league camp but Hembree had trouble with consistency in Triple-A. He gave up seven earned runs in 11 May appearances and had a 7.84 ERA in June. The Giants called up plenty of Hembree’s teammates but repeatedly chose players who were capable of pitching multiple innings. Simply put Hembree wasn’t forcing the issue but he has now. Hembree has quickly shown that he can succeed at the big league level and when he goes to big league camp for a third time next February he’s just about a lock to stay the entire time. The Giants want to get back to their pitching-and-defense roots and Hembree looks capable of helping get the ball to Sergio Romo in close games. Bochy didn’t use him in many tight spots but Hembree had nights that could have tested his mettle. His fourth appearance came at Dodger Stadium and the fifth one was at Yankee Stadium. Both times Hembree struck out two in a scoreless inning.
Hembree making a name for himself, and it isn’t Keith
San Jose Mercury News | Oct 3