Patrick Bailey

Giants reliever Brebbia names Bailey trait that impresses him most

NBC Universal, Inc.

Programming note: Alex Pavlovic's full "Giants Talk" interview with reliever John Brebbia will debut at 6 p.m. PT Friday on NBC Sports Bay Area, and again that night following "Giants Postgame Live."

SAN FRANCISCO -- When John Brebbia broke into the big leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2017, his primary catcher was Yadier Molina. Four years later, when he returned from Tommy John surgery to join the Giants' bullpen, Brebbia mostly found himself throwing to Buster Posey.

The two are considered the best catchers of their generation, and at some point this decade, both will get enshrined in Cooperstown. Brebbia knows he couldn't have asked for much more as a pitcher trying to establish himself, and on the latest episode of the "Giants Talk" podcast, he joked that he considers himself "the luckiest pitcher that's ever played baseball."

That background also makes him a pretty strong choice to give outsiders a true sense of what Patrick Bailey has brought to the Giants, and Brebbia is right there with the rest of the team. Bailey impressed him from the start. 

"What struck me the most when I first threw to Patty Bailey here was that nothing struck me at all," he said. "He just got back there, a completely seamless transition from catcher to catcher, which I think is also a testament to the coaching staff and how good of a job they do. You could have fooled me with how much experience he had back there. If you said that we got this kid in a trade and he's been catching for 40 years, I'd be like, 'Yeah, that checks out. That seems like it.' Until you look at him and you're like, 'He's younger than that.'

"I mean, just no bumps in the road. If there was a mistake that was made, it was because I screwed something up, missing a spot or a location."

It's the fact that he so easily hit the ground running that has most impressed Bailey's teammates over the last six weeks. The offensive production has been a huge boost to the lineup, and Bailey's arm has controlled opposing lineups. But for a team that shuffles starters in and out and has gone with multiple bullpen games during Bailey's entire tenure in the big leagues, the poise has been crucial. 

Bailey simply looks and acts like he's been doing this a long time, and it's been that way since the moment he showed up on May 19. Those are traits that won't show up on the stat sheet, but Bailey doesn't need any help there.

Through 37 big league games, Bailey is hitting .302 with a .847 OPS. He reached base in 18 straight games at one point, and despite spending the first six weeks of the season in the minors, he ranks fourth among NL catchers in Wins Above Replacement.

It's still a relatively small sample as a big leaguer, but Brebbia, who also threw to two-time Gold Glove Award winner Matt Wieters in St. Louis, has seen enough to know the Giants are in good hands for a long, long time. 

"What I'm so excited about with having him back there is that there's not really much of a change. He fits right in, he knows the other team," Brebbia said. "He's a heck of a hitter, too. Pitching aside, the guy can swing the bat. He's an exciting all-around player. It feels like he's got 10 or 20 years of experience back there."

Download and follow the Giants Talk Podcast

Contact Us