WASHINGTON – Mark Melancon is back on the Giants’ active roster and eager to flush the bad vibes of a disappointing season marred by a nagging elbow injury.
But for all his health struggles, and the beatdown on team morale that comes with a last-place season, Melancon hasn’t lost his wry sense of humor.
He smiled when asked about his jersey nickname choice for “Players Weekend,” at the end of August. Melancon will wear “STRETCH” on the back of his uniform – a reference to the Fox Sports story in late June that reported Melancon chafed some of his bullpen mates by tweaking their pregame stretching program.
“You guys like that?” he said.
Brandon Crawford will wear B-Craw. Buster Posey will wear Buster. (He should’ve gone with Gerald, though.) Jeff Samardzija is Shark, Matt Cain is Horse and Ty Blach is The Preacher. Hunter Pence is Wawindaji (the Swahili word for Hunter, as Jarrett Parker informed him) while Gorkys Hernandez is going with the Spanish equivalent (Cazador). Austin Slater gets tons of credit from “Saved By the Bell” fans for choosing AC.
Some others are a bit, shall we say, duller. Parker is Park, Hunter Strickland is Strick, Kelby Tomlinson is Tommy and Nick Hundley is Hundo. Kyle Crick is Cricky. Matt Moore is Matty Moe. Denard Span is Spaniard.
Then there are these: Brandon Belt is Belt and Joe Panik is Panik.
Pretty sure we can name Melancon the winner by proclamation. How did he arrive at his choice?
“Well, it was kind of easy,” he said. “It was laid out on the table for me.”
And after the weekend Aug. 25-27, Melancon can put it back on the table.
Willie McCovey had that nickname first, and he’s the rightful owner.
Melancon said he didn’t have a problem pitching in non-leveraged situations as he seeks to get back in the flow of things. He acknowledged that Sam Dyson has done a terrific job (8 for 9 in save chances) while moving into the closer…