Whisenhunt fans 6 in Triple A debut

Published 1:03 pm Monday, April 8, 2024

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Last year between Double-A and Triple-A, Carson Whisenhunt put up a 2.45 ERA and held batters to a .177 average across 16 starts and 58.2 innings before getting shut down in July with a left elbow sprain.

Whisenhunt returned to the mound March 31 when his Triple-A Sacramento River Cats hosted Salt Lake in their third game of the season, and doggone if he didn’t pick up right where he left off in July.

The 6-3 lefthander struck out six in three one-hit innings in an eventual 1-0 victory.

“I’ve been working on a bunch of different things through Spring Training and the offseason,” Whisenhunt said. “I feel like all of my pitches were really good today. There were a few misses that I can work on and get better at, but for just that first time back out there, an actual game felt really good.”

Whisenhunt struck out the game’s first batter. After giving up a groundball single to the second batter, he struck out the side in the second and got all six Ks on swings. He didn’t yield a walk in three shutout frames.

“I’m not trying to do too much on the mound,” he said. “I’m trying not to overthink it or do anything out of the ordinary. Coming into this year, I’m trying to keep that same mindset, just trying to stay myself.”

During last year’s thrill ride, the 23-year-old from Davie County rose from San Francisco’s No. 8 prospect to No. 3. The MLB Pipeline’s No. 80 overall prospect induced 12 swings and misses against Salt Lake, got seven whiffs with his changeup and got five whiffs from his sinker, which topped out at 95 mph.

It wouldn’t surprise anyone if he’s wearing a Giants’ jersey before season’s end.

“I’d be really cool to get the opportunity to go up there and be with those guys,” he said. “I’m trying not to look that far ahead. Just trying to get back onto the field and take care of things. And if I get the opportunity to go out there, I’ll take advantage of it.”

Unfortunately, Whisenhunt came back to earth in his second start of the season. He gave up eight hits and five earned runs in 3.2 innings as Sacramento lost 9-1 at Reno on April 5. He was lifted after facing 20 batters.

But you know there’s going to be bumps in the road as Whisenhunt chases the MLB dream.