Colorado Rockies: Checking on their NL West foes’ pitching rotations
San Francisco Giants
2018 Starters: 4.06 ERA (15th), 4.21 FIP, 5.50 innings/game
Key additions: Drew Pomeranz
Key subtractions: None
Current depth chart: Madison Bumgarner, Dereck Rodríguez, Derek Holland, Chris Stratton, Andrew Suárez, Jeff Samardzija, Drew Pomeranz
The same pitching staff from 2018 will return, with the addition of old friend Drew Pomeranz who hopes to bounce back to his All-Star form. But the quality of Madison Bumagrner – who will turn 30 in August – remains the nagging question, even if he stays off the dirt bike. Opponents slugged .571 against his fastball in 2018, and when he increased his curveball usage his numbers suffered across the board. There will be a lot of pressure on Mad Bum going into a contract year.
Unfortunately, Johnny Cueto might as well be a “key subtraction” – he is not expected to pitch until late in the season, after last year’s Tommy John surgery followed three years of pitching with “pain that felt like someone stuck a knife in my elbow and stabbed it over and over again.” Yikes. Get well soon, Johnny.
But the Giants have a sneaky amount of depth at the pitcher position – you just have to look beyond the uninspiring Derek Holland, Chris Stratton, Jeff Samardzija and Andrew Suarez.
It sounds like Dereck Rodriguez “will be one of the five” after a breakout 2018 (2.81 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 19 starts ) and an encouraging spring. Top pitching prospect Shaun Anderson could make his first big-league start if he pitches well in the minors. And while Tyler Beede’s cup of coffee in 2018 was pretty bitter, his simplified approach and increased velocity has people impressed at Giants camp.
The poor Giants staff won’t get much run support from a woeful offense, and that will mean some very low-scoring outings at Oracle Park this year. But Rodríguez could garner national attention, and Pomeranz could easily rebound after a miserable 2018.