Littell encounters Giants years after his accident; Kapler does not hold grudges

Littell encounters Giants years after his accident;  Kapler does not hold grudges

Littell encounters Giants years after his accident; Kapler does not hold grudges appeared in the original Bay Area Sports NBC

SAN FRANCISCO — Zack Littell’s final appearance for the Giants on the mound at Oracle Park was memorable — for all the wrong reasons.

After giving up two runs and putting up a tie on base against the Atlanta Braves on September 12, 2022, Little had some words for Gabe Kapler When the manager came out to remove it. Kapler pulled the right hand into the dugout tunnel for an intense conversation, and a day later he was Option to return to Triple-Adespite the Giants’ insistence on The timing was fortuitous. Littell never returned and was delisted in the off-season.

It’s no surprise to see Littell return with another team, or even to see him start a game, given that the other team is the team that uses openers more than anyone else. But Littell isn’t an opener or even a water softener these days.

Desperate to start pitching, the Tampa Bay Rays began stretching Littell last month. He pitched 17 innings in his last three starts, throwing more than 70 runs each time and leading at 82.

The Giants knew that Littell, a starting starter in the minors, could handle a very solid workload and have him throw three relief innings in his two seasons with the team, but it’s still something very new. Littell had never thrown more than 4 1/3 innings as of July 30, but is now a full starter.

It’s the high point for the Rays, and when Littell returned in a new role, Kapler said he wasn’t surprised by the success. He also has no hard feelings.

“I really liked Zack and thought he did a good job for us,” said Kapler. “The finish wasn’t perfect, but personally I didn’t come out of a position that I thought was a good, comfortable one and a guy who was fantastic all around the club and worked really hard. He wasn’t at his best at the end there.”

Littletell has put the accident behind him also. It was “just one of those kind of moment interactions,” he told the Tampa Bay Times.

Things have gone well for the 27-year-old, who was also with the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox this season before finally gaining traction with the Rays. He increased his use of the splitter to mix things up as a rookie, and Rays manager Kevin Cash praised Littell for “making adjustments while starting”.

On Tuesday, his old teammates will be trying to get him at a time when they desperately need a big game.

“He’s a big, strong, physical, enduring guy,” Kapler said. “I don’t think anyone would be surprised that a guy as talented as Zack[made]this transition given his starting history and split addition.”

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