SCOTTSDALE – With booths located on all levels of Oracle Park, San Francisco Giants fans snapped pictures of their favorite players, sought autographs and filled the lower level seats in the rain on a Saturday in early February at the team’s FanFest.
The annual event featured interviews with returning players and also offered a first glimpse of offseason signings Mitch Haniger, Sean Manaea and Taylor Rogers, the twin brother of Giants reliever Tyler Rogers.
During the fest, the Giants mic’d up the Rogers twins and later posted a behind-the-scenes video of fans trying to tell the two apart. “Are you the original one?” fans asked while taking a photo with the brothers. Others proceeded to guess which one they thought was Tyler, who has been a part of the organization since 2013.
Taylor’s signing in December adds a layer of confusion with the Giants boasting a set of twins in their bullpen this season. The twins participate in the same pitching groups during morning spring training practices, partner up during throwing warmups and their lockers sit next to each other. Giants outfielder Joc Pederson has come up with a “simple” way to approach the identical brothers: call them both “Rog.”
Taylor and Tyler will be the fourth set of twins in MLB history to play on the same team, according to MLB Network, and the first since Jose and Ozzie Canseco were members of the Oakland A’s in 1990, coincidentally the same year the Rogers twins were born. Now, 33 years later, the Rogers are the first twin pitchers in any organization.
Last April, Taylor and Tyler became the first set of twins to pitch for opposing teams when the Padres visited the Giants. This time around, they won’t have to “secretly” cheer for each other, Taylor says.
Teammates of the twins are taking extra time this spring to learn more about their differences, while building chemistry toward returning to the postseason after missing out last season following 107 wins in 2021.
Giants pitcher Sean Hjelle says it’s a process.
“I’m trying to be really good about differentiating and being able to tell the difference, and not just saying, ‘Hey Rog’ … that’s kind of my fail-safe,” Hjelle said.
Catcher Blake Sabol says he notices a small difference between his new teammates that could help.
“I wanna say that Taylor has a more serious look to his face … I’m getting better at it, but there’s still some times I have to (do a) double take,” Sabol said.
Outside of physical features, fans watching morning spring training practices at Scottsdale Stadium point out a few on-field differences between Taylor and Tyler’s equipment. Taylor has a black glove, and Tyler has a brown glove. “Other than that, it’s pretty tough (to tell the difference),” Giants fan Bob Biddle said.
Another helpful hint: Taylor throws lefty, while Tyler is right-handed. Tyler’s delivery is often described as a “submarine” pitching style, which he started to develop during his freshman year at Garden City Community College.
“Well if I could’ve chosen lefty, I would’ve, that’s for sure,” Tyler said. “I think it’s a mirror-image twin thing.”
Taylor, who earned an All-Star nod in 2021, signed a three-year, $33 million deal with the Giants, his third team since being traded to the San Diego Padres last April. Tyler has been with the organization since the Giants selected him in the 2013 MLB draft. He debuted in the majors in 2019 and enters his fifth season.
So far this spring, Taylor has appeared in three games, striking out five batters while giving up one earned run in three innings. Tyler injured his finger last week, limiting him to two games. He has struck out one batter in two innings pitched.
The twins are signed through 2026, and there should be ample opportunity to witness history and confuse the twins.
“You can tell that (the fans) love the Giants and I was able to see some of that watching my brother … so I just knew they were going to be great fans, so I’ll sign here,” Taylor said.