Thursday, November 10, 2016

Giants 2017 Depth Charts: Starting Pitching(MLB)

The starting pitching depth chart for the entire organization is such a massive undertaking, I decided to divide it up.  We'll divide it up into 3 parts here:  MLB, High Minors, Low Minors.  The Giants have a solid situation for their 2017 rotation with 4 SP's who are capable of pitching like an ace on any given day and 3 candidates for the 5'th spot in the rotation.

Madison Bumgarner, LHP, 27 yo.- 15-9, 2.74, 226.2 IP, 2.14 BB/9, 9.97 K/9.  Bumgarner is still probably the ace of the staff, although Johnny Cueto is at least a co-ace statistically.

Johnny Cueto, RHP, 31 yo- 18-5, 2.79, 219.2 IP, 1.84 BB/9, 8.11 K/9.  Great season for Cueto.  If he repeats it in 2017, he will almost certainly opt out of the rest of his contract.  If he does, the Giants should thank him for his 2 great seasons and let him go.

Jeff Samardzija, RHP, 32 yo- 12-11, 3.81, 203.1 IP, 2.39 BB/9, 7.39 K/9.  Wow!  Samardzija is 32 yo but seems like he's about 28, still learning to pitch and just coming into his own.  Had a great first 2 months of the season then a terrible middle two months.  To his credit, he almost completely rebuilt his repertoire on the fly and had a sub-3 ERA over the last 2 months of the season.  Can he carry that rebuild into and through 2017?

Matt Moore, LHP, 28 yo- 6-5, 4.08, 68.1 IP, 4.21 BB/9, 9.09 K/9.  These numbers, compiled after his trade to the Giants do not really do justice to what kind of a pitcher he was or can be in 2017.  He had a couple of disaster starts in September that blew up his ERA, but he also had several dominant starts including a gut check 8 innings agains the Dodgers on the final weekend.  Then, he had Game 4 of the NLDS won before the bullpen disintegrated in the 9'th inning.  I am expecting big things from Matt Moore in 2017!

Matt Cain, RHP, 32 yo- 4-8, 5.64, 89.1 IP, 3.22 BB/9, 7.25 K/9.  Bumgarner and Cueto are the aces, but Matt Cain is the dean of the Giants pitching staff.  That and $20 M says he gets the first shot at the 5'th starter gig entering 2017.  He will be on a fairly short leash though.

Ty Blach, LHP, 26 yo- 1-0, 1.06, 17 IP, 2.65 BB/9, 5.79 K/9.  Blach was mighty impressive, especially in that start against the Dodgers on the final weekend.  Some people might think a BABIP of .152 is not sustainable, though.  Still, first in line behind Matt Cain for the 5'th SP job.

Albert Suarez, RHP, 27 yo- 3-5, 4.29, 84 IP, 2.79 BB/9, 5.79 K/9.  Suarez was a life saver for the Giants through the rough patches, but never pitched quite well enough to trust in any type of must-win situation.  That is probably OK for a sixth-starter/swingman role, but the Giants will be looking to upgrade.

Christ Heston, RHP, 29 yo- Heston missed almost the entire season with injury.  He's still on the 40 man roster.  He could be in the mix if he is fully healthy and nothing else is clicking for the #5 SP.


  1. If merited, I do hope the Giants pull Cain out of contention for the 5th spot during spring training at the latest. If no vast improvement happens during the spring, why waste regular season games on someone who is finished? The way Boch handled Cain last season was painful to watch.

    1. I don't think you can judge anything by spring training games in Arizona. I'll say Cainer gets 4-6 reguarl season starts to prove he can't do it.

    2. I agree. If only because of Cain's salary, and likely out of respect for past contributions, it makes sense that he will be given some portion of the regular season to keep/lose the fifth starter spot. In fact, if the other four starters pitch to their respective abilities, I wouldn't be surprised if Cain was given until June 1. At that point, there is an opportunity to see what a replacement or two can provide before the trade deadline.

  2. The problem I have with Cain is that he's going to get undo consideration because the Giants front office suffers from the sunk cost fallacy. So while I agree they're going to give him every chance and possibly drag it into the regular season, I don't think they should because whether you've lost a game in April or September, it's still a loss.

    Rather, I think they should cut the cord by trade (even if they have to eat salary) or just outright him unless he shows, in Spring Training, that he is back.

    1. There's no reason to cut him. Even if he comes back with no arm, they might as well DL him and let him hang out in the clubhouse for the remainder of the year. He's a good clubhouse guy and with a long tenure. There are other means that cutting him.

      Also, before he pulled his hammy last year, his fastball was getting better again and the curve was working. He had a 1.71 era with a 17:4 k:BB ratio in the three starts prior to the one he left with the injury. There's reason to hope.

    2. I don't think it is a foregone conclusion that Cain is permanently broken. With their first 4 starters and a solid in-house backup plan in Ty Blach plus Tyler Beede moving up, they can afford to give Cain a chance for a comeback. Stranger things have happened.

  3. If Cain makes it through ST with control and a serviceable FB, he should get starts in April (and early May) as long as he physically answers the bell and doesn't get his ears pounded more than once. Or twice.
    Games in April count but if the other 4/5th's of the rotation is carrying its load, the 5th starter isn't going to lose the flag.

  4. I think it's just as big a question mark as to whether Ty Blach will show up again with MLB-level stuff next year, as it is whether Cain can regain that form from just-pre-injury. Folks forget how well he was throwing there for that time right before the injury.

    With that said, I think it's really big that we'll have both Blach and Beede stashed at AAA. Cain is both injury and "suck" prone, sad as it is to say. Both of those kids will be greatly served by getting warmed up early in the season down in the minors, and being ready at the moment the bell tolls. I have my serious doubts that Cain's body can hold up, but I'm willing to give him a month or so to show up.