Workhorse reliever Osich gets a break

Workhorse reliever Osich gets a break

CINCINNATI -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy didn't want Josh Osich to touch a baseball Tuesday, much less throw one.

Osich led the National League with 15 appearances entering Tuesday, having pitched in each of San Francisco's previous three games. Aware he must keep Osich's arm fresh, Bochy vowed to give the rookie left-hander at least one day off.

"I said, 'Don't pick up a ball today,'" Bochy said.

Osich, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010 and sustained a tear in his shoulder the following year. Those ailments made the Giants aware they must nurture his health, not abuse it.

However, like most relievers, Osich welcomes the frequent work.

"You get in a rhythm and it keeps you there when you get to keep throwing, and if you have anything to work out, obviously you just go out the next night and figure it out," Osich said.

Osich gets Granderson swinging

The Giants certainly want to preserve Osich's effectiveness. He has compiled a 2.08 ERA, averaged fewer than one hit and walk per inning (his WHIP: 0.846) and coaxed four double-play grounders while facing just 49 hitters. He has helped himself considerably by throwing a sinking fastball, a pitch he never threw until Opening Day this year.

Osich said though Giants closer Santiago Casilla advised him to use the sinker, he taught himself how to throw it.

"I just grabbed a ball and started throwing it, to be honest with you," Osich said. "I'm surprised I picked it up so quick."

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.