Friday, November 21, 2014
2015 Giants Depth Chart: Starting Pitching Part I
Despite winning their 3'rd championship in 5 years, the Giants come out of 2014 with their starting pitching looking more unsettled and precarious than it has in more than 5 seasons. The roster as it currently stands has 1 ace pitcher and 4 major question marks with not a lot of help immediately available in the upper minors.
1. Madison Bumgarner- 18-10, 2.98, 217.1 IP, 9.07 K/9, 1.78 BB/9. Undisputed ace of the staff and one of the elite pitchers in baseball, especially in the postseason. The best part he is still getting better adding in the high heater and the slow curve late as serious weapons late in the season and postseason.
2. Matt Cain- 2-7, 4.18, 90.1 IP, 6.97 K/9, 3.19 BB/9. We'll pencil Cainer in as the #2 until proven otherwise, but lots of questions in the wake of his early season ending elbow surgery. Can he fully recover? What will his velocity be like? Can he succeed with the same stuff and approach he is used to? We could be at a career crossroads for The Hoss.
3. Tim Hudson- 9-13, 3.57, 189.1 IP, 5.70 K/9, 1.62 BB/9. Will the offseason be enough to rejuvenate Huddy? He was tremendous in the first half last year, kind of collapsed down the stretch and was clearly out of gas by the end of the World Series.
4. Yusmeiro Petit- 5-5, 3.69, 117 IP, 10.23 K/9, 1.69 BB/9. Petit took over Lincecum's spot in the rotation down the stretch and was tremendous. He carried that into the postseason. He may be the second best SP on the team at this point, but has a history of inconsistency. Rags tweaked the curveball and made it harder and sharper. Is that the key to a new consistency?
5. Tim Lincecum- 12-9, 4.74, 155.2 IP, 7.75 K/9, 3.64 BB/9. Maybe it was coincidence but Timmy fell apart when Hector Sanchez went out with the concussion. He seemed to get a bit stronger as the postseason wore on, but Bochy still clearly did not trust him. $18 M says he will be back in the rotation to start the season, but for how long? He has steadily lost velocity each season and was under 90 MPH for his average FB for the first time last year. Tough to see him turn that around and tough to see him as a finesse pitcher.
Jake Peavy and Ryan Vogelsong are both FA's. The tea leaves are telling me that Peavy is gone, but that Vogey will probably be back on a similar deal as last year. Vogey might be the guy who goes to the long relief/spot starter role.
Chris Heston(RHP)- 12-9, 3.38, 173 IP, 6.50 K/9, 2.65 BB/9. Heston is probably the 6'th starter as it currently sits, but it is almost certain someone will be brought in for that role before the offseason is over. If not Vogey, then 2-3 minor league signs with ST invites.
Mike Kickham(LHP)- 8-8, 4.43, 148.1 IP, 7.95 K/9, 3.88 BB/9. Kickham got worse as the season progressed. At this point, his career seems to be going backwards. Frustrating to watch because he appears to have good stuff. Can he turn it around?
Jake Dunning(RHP)- 0-3, 4.57, 65 IP, 7.06 K/9, 3.60 BB/9. Dunning was exclusively a reliever until the final 3 weeks of the season when he got 4 starts. The beat writers had been reporting that the Giants thought he might have a starters repertoire. He went 3.60 ERA with 15 IP, 2 BB, 12 K's in those 4 starts. Kind of a sleeper for 2015.
Austin Fleet(RHP)- 4-2, 3.95, 43.1 IP, 6.85 K/9, 2.70 BB/9. AA- 8-1, 2.78, 97 IP, 7.14 K/9, 3.34 BB/9. Fleet has been slowly and quietly working his way up the minor league ladder. He held his own in the PCL which is a notoriously tough place to pitch. Another sleeper candidate.
Kelvin Marte(LHP)- 1-2, 5.45, 36.1 IP, 5.20 K/9, 1.98 BB/9. AA- 8-3, 3.83, 5.69 K/9, 2.38 BB/9. As you can see, Marte is an extreme contact pitcher. I saw him pitch a couple of years ago with San Jose. He had a FB that sat 90-92 MPH with a nice breaking ball and a solid changeup. Longshot to be an eventual back of the rotation MLB starter.
Because of volume, we will cover lower levels in future installments.