Prospect Law still in contention for Giants' bullpen

Prospect Law still in contention for Giants' bullpen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Derek Law figured he would be among the first or second wave of players sent to Minor League camp.

Yet he hasn't pitched as if he had modest expectations.

Law, ranked by as the Giants' No. 10 prospect, remains on the active spring roster, possessing a legitimate shot at making the Giants' Opening Night roster. The right-handed reliever has demonstrated the repertoire that stunned club officials during last year's Arizona Fall League, where he made 11 appearances and didn't allow a run in 12 1/3 innings.

Law's competing with left-hander David Huff and right-handers J.C. Gutierrez, Yusmeiro Petit and Jean Machi for one of the remaining three spots in the bullpen. Petit appears to be a lock, and Huff lowered his ERA to 1.13 with a scoreless seventh inning Tuesday. Law had a 1.93 ERA until he yielded two runs in one-third of an inning Sunday against Kansas City to inflate his ERA to 5.40, but he recovered Tuesday by recording the save in the Giants' 5-4 victory over Milwaukee.

Even if Law begins the season in the Minors, he's likely to wear a San Francisco uniform at some point this year.

"He has the equipment to pitch in the big leagues," manager Bruce Bochy said of Law, who benefits from a deceptive delivery in which he turns his back to the hitter. His 94 mph fastball and variety of breaking balls also help, as proven by his six strikeouts in five innings.

At 23 and with three years of professional experience on his resume, Law remains genuinely humble. Asked if he envisioned he'd still be competing for a big league job this late in the spring, he replied, "Honestly, no. I just expected to come here and get the experience of being around all these guys. It's a great opportunity. I'm just enjoying the moment."

Law said he's trying to avoid placing undue pressure on himself to make the team, though he admitted he "tried to have an incredible inning" against Kansas City, which led to his poor outing.

A chat with closer Sergio Romo, who has weathered similar disappointments, buoyed Law's spirits.

"It's always a learning experience," he said. "You learn from it and bring it to the next outing."

Chris Haft is a reporter for Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.