HOUSTON -- Waldis Joaquin is the Giants' youngest player, and he entered this season having pitched fewer games than any of the team's relievers. But the Giants don't intend to bring him along slowly.
Manager Bruce Bochy said that he'd "throw Joaquin in the mix" of relievers he'd use in critical seventh- or even eighth-inning situations, along with Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Romo and Dan Runzler.
"Once he settles down, I think he's a guy who'll help out," Bochy said.
Joaquin was simultaneously effective and erratic Tuesday night as the first man out of the bullpen after Barry Zito blanked the Houston Astros for six innings. Joaquin retired the first two batters he faced and yielded an infield single before hitting Tommy Manzella with a pitch. That brought the potential tying run to the plate and ended Joaquin's outing.
But Bochy has liked what he has seen of Joaquin, citing the right-hander's "power arm" and "power sinker."
As Bochy indicated, Joaquin regularly throws his fastball around 95 mph or harder. But Joaquin, 23, is still learning to harness his ability.
"I'm working on locating my fastball and my sinker," said Joaquin, who also employs a slider, changeup and split-finger fastball.