SAN FRANCISCO — Another Giants top prospect will get to show off his stuff in front of the home crowd.
Kyle Harrison will make his Oracle Park debut on Monday against the Cincinnati Reds, manager Gabe Kapler said on Saturday. It’ll be the Giants’ top pitching prospect’s second big league start coming off a tricky debut in hostile Philadelphia.
Oddly, the 22-year-old left-handed pitcher gave up a majority of the five hits he allowed to the Phillies’ left-handed hitters — including a home run from former MVP Bryce Harper. He gave up two runs and struck out five in 3 1/3 innings primarily with a strong four-seam fastball up in the zone.
With the off day Thursday, Harrison could have made his home debut on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball in the series finale against the Atlanta Braves. His dominance against Philadelphia’s right-handed hitters aside, the Giants saw it best to keep Harrison away from Atlanta’s lineup that holds a league-leading .884 OPS and 135 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers.
“I don’t think this is any secret,” Kapler said. “But the Braves are especially dangerous for left-handed pitching with all those right-handed batters in the lineup.”
The Reds are no walk in the park with budding superstars Elly De La Cruz and Matt McClain, but have no outlier numbers against lefties (.741 OPS). Still, it’s a crucial series between two Wild Card contenders. As of Saturday afternoon, both teams are a game back of the Chicago Cubs for the third spot. The Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks hold the first and second spots, respectively.
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