Casilla thriving as Giants' replacement closer

Casilla thriving as Giants' replacement closer

ANAHEIM -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy had to knock on wood as he said it, but he has been pleasantly surprised with the season his closer, Santiago Casilla, is having so far.

In place of the injured Brian Wilson, who has been on the disabled list since April 16 after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery, Casilla has been one of the league's best closers. His 19 saves are one behind the Braves' Craig Kimbrel for tops in the National League, and his 1.32 ERA (four runs in 27 1/3 innings) is the fourth-lowest among NL relievers.

"I'll be honest, I was comfortable with him there having some knowledge from the previous year," Bochy said. "But I'll say this, it's been a little smoother of a ride than I thought it may be with him."

Casilla (1-2) has converted 14 straight save opportunities for the Giants, and though it might be a surprise to Bochy that the righty has been as great as he has been, the manager said he feels the transition from a quality setup man to a quality closer is often a smooth one.

Just as long as he has the stuff to do it.