Giants Top 50: #27 - Jack Taschner

2006 could have been so much more for the San Francisco Giants than it was, as a team and for individual players. Jack Taschner's second year with the club was a departure from 2005 where he was a fixture in the bullpen. After a rough 2006 season bouncing around between Fresno and San Francisco, it's a tale of two seasons for Taschner with the Giants: one good, one bad, with questions for 2007.

Date of Birth: 04/21/1978 Position: P Height: 6'3" Weight: 210 Bats: L Throws: L
Acquired: Drafted in the 2nd Round (#75 Overall) of the 1999 Draft
2006 Stats
Team-Level W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG G/F
Fresno - AAA 6 7 3.65 45 0 14 49.1 49 21 20 5 17 68 .263 1.13
San Francisco - MLB 0 1 8.38 24 0 0 19.1 31 23 18 4 7 15 .344 0.54

A good left-handed reliever is worth holding onto. It must be why Jack Taschner is still with the San Francisco Giants after spending seven uneven years in the minors. His promise is too good to let go, but his inconsistency is puzzling and it's inhibiting the talented pitcher to join the bullpen full time.

Taschner's 2005 season set him up to build on his success with a full year in San Francisco. He started the season with the big club and took a nosedive before being sent down to Fresno in late April after allowing eight runs in 2.1 innings.

When Taschner arrived in San Francisco in June 2005 he quietly started a relief pitching revolution. That was the summer of unexpected minor leaguers coming up to solidify the Giants bullpen: Taschner, Jeremy Accardo, and Scott Munter all chipped in and made impressions that season.

Taschner made a great addition to the bullpen after he was called up from Fresno with 2 wins and a 1.59 ERA in 24 games. Before he came to the Giants he was closing games for the Grizzlies, 10 saves with a 1.64 ERA.

2006 was the direct opposite of his 2005 season. In as many games with San Francisco his earned run average was over 8.00 and overall was not effective. Where he was the man in the bullpen in 2005, for much of 2006 he was an afterthought or only called upon when an extra arm was needed.

In Fresno he went back to closing games and collected 14 saves in a situation where he shared the role with a few other Fresno pitchers. Taschner returned to the repertoire that made him successful. He was throwing his high-90s fastball, hard slider, and changeup again and he dumped the curveball he was working with. Ironic that a pitch he tried to develop to improve on his initial good season proved to be detrimental.

Taschner returned to San Francisco in August and remained with the club for the rest of the season but didn't have an impact in relief.

He has pitched as both a starter and a reliever in the past. He anchored his pitching staff at the University of Wisconsin-Osh Kosh in 1999 going 7-0 with a 1.53 ERA and 79 strikeouts, and started six games with Salem-Keizer later that year. He won three of those games and turned in another good season, 2.51 earned run average and 36 strikeouts in 28.2 innings.

It wasn't until 2005 when Taschner was pitching exclusively in relief. After he made the switch it became the right fit and his statistics stabilized. He spent seven seasons in the minors as both starter and reliever, repeating each level after Salem-Keizer. His fine 2005 season in Fresno and debut with the Giants came after his role was clearly defined.

Taschner's battles with injuries have delayed his progress as well. He missed the 2002 season after Tommy John surgery. Before that he suffered a torn labrum in 1999 and ulnar nerve damage in 2001.

The Giants could use an effective lefty in the bullpen especially with late-inning uncertainty in 2006. Taschner is running out of time to be considered a prospect. It would be advantageous to both for him to get it together.



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Chris has been a Giants fan since her days in utero. She loves baseball and writes about whatever she can get her hands on…even the Athletics. She's a Bay Area gal through and through. This is her 24th season of fandom. Love/hate mail can be sent to seasond_salt@yahoo.com, where the love mail gets top priority and the hate mail gets used for kindling.

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