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Meet the SF Giants newest reliever, San Jose native Mitch White

Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Mitch White takes the field for a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Monday, April 1, 2024, in Houston. (AP Photo/Kevin M. Cox)

SAN FRANCISCO – When he was named for assignment by the Blue Jays last week, Mitch White packed up, headed west and tried to manifest destiny.

“It couldn’t have turned out better,” the 29-year-old right-hander said Tuesday afternoon from his new locker in the Giants clubhouse.

Back home in San Diego, White received a call from assistant general manager Jeremy Shelley, who told him the Giants had completed a trade with Toronto. San Francisco sent cash, and the San Jose-born pitcher would get a chance to suit up for the team he grew up rooting for.

White takes the place of rookie Landen Roupp, who was optioned to Triple-A, and brings experience and the ability to throw multiple innings to the Giants’ bullpen.

“Being from San Jose, that was the team,” White said, naming Matt Cain as his favorite player. “The years from ’10 to ’14 were especially great. … Apparently all those guys were sick.”

Before his daily commute took him to Oracle Park, White remembers sneaking away from class at Bellarmine Prep and taking the CalTrain into town to catch the Giants’ three championship parades on Market Street. He made his offseason home in the city before moving to San Diego for training purposes.

White attended Bellarmine from 2009 to 2013, and he was still around for the 2014 title, then transferred to nearby Santa Clara University before the Dodgers selected him 65th overall in the 2016 amateur draft. His conquests in high school school immediately earned him a talking point with hitting coach Pat Burrell, another Bellarmine baseball alumnus.

“He brought it up in the right way,” White said. “It’s pretty cool, I’ve looked up to him since (high school).”

Giants fans may remember White from his time on the other side of the Dodgers rivalry, where he was a thorn in their side in five appearances (one start) before being dealt to Toronto at the 2022 trade deadline. He limited the Giants to two runs on four hits and struck out five in nine innings, leaving Los Angeles with a 3.58 ERA in the first 38 appearances of his career, including nine starts.

It’s been a different story since joining the Blue Jays, where he posted a 7.26 ERA in 24 games (eight starts). He was sidelined due to shoulder inflammation and was designated for assignment twice, going unclaimed the first time. But its underlying numbers look much better. His FIP of 4.09 in Toronto was just a tick higher than the 3.87 he achieved in Los Angeles.

In four appearances this season, he had a 5.40 ERA and threw a whopping 4⅓ innings of relief on 65 pitches.

“After he pitches today, we’ll see where we go with it,” manager Bob Melvin said. “He hasn’t contributed a little bit here yet, but normally he can bring us some length. He was already stretched out before we got here – three or four innings or something – so that’s probably the role he’s in now.

Roupp, 25, will remain committed to Triple-A Sacramento, Melvin said, but wouldn’t rule out the young right-hander returning to the Major League bullpen later this season. In 10⅓ innings over eight appearances, Roupp posted a 4.35 ERA and used his two-seamer and curveball to record seven strikeouts.