Versatile Gaudin makes statement in start

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Battling with a slew of competitors for an Opening Day bullpen roster spot, Giants non-roster invitee Chad Gaudin tossed three scoreless frames Thursday against the Indians, starting in place of scheduled pitcher Tim Lincecum.

The right-hander gave up just two hits and struck out a pair in his outing. Six of the nine outs he recorded came on ground balls.

"Just trying to keep the ball down," Gaudin said. "That's what I want to do, get quick outs and get the guys back in so they can put some crooked numbers on the board."

In four appearances this spring, Gaudin has allowed two earned runs in 8 1/3 innings. Last season with Miami as a long reliever, the 29-year-old finished with a 4.54 ERA over 69 1 /3 innings of work. He could fill the same role for San Francisco if he makes the club out of camp.

"I think it's very important; it's something that gets overlooked," he said. "And it's not easy to do. It's important for me to go in and save the bullpen, eat those innings up. That's how you win the next two games."

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday if all things considered are even, he'd prefer taking a reliever who could provide the team with multiple innings or a spot start if needed.

"That's what we're all looking at ideally," Bochy said. "We haven't had that before and we've gotten away with it, but that's our preference."

Some of the other pitchers competing for the bullpen spot include Shane Loux, Jean Machi and Dan Otero. Trying to stand out from that crowd, Gaudin appeared to have made a statement in his performance Thursday, impressing Bochy with his outing.

"He looked comfortable out there with the start. He did really well; it was a good effort by him today," the manager said. "He's been there before, though. This isn't the first time for him. He was getting his work today, regardless, so it worked out well and he gave us what we were hoping to see."

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.