Friday, March 23, 2018
Spring Training Game Wrap 2/23/2018: Royals 9 Giants 6
There were several bad developments in this game, but it's likely none of them matter except a devastating injury to Madison Bumgarner, a displaced fracture of his left 5'th metacarpal, which will require surgery and will likely sideline him for at least 2 months and possibly until the All-Star Break. Key Lines:
Steven Duggar CF- 2 for 4, 2B, SB(3). BA= .265. Duggar is still pushing his case to the the starting CF out of the gate.
Madison Bumgarner LHP- 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.43. The Giants entire offseason plan rested squarely on the notion that Bumgarner would be back as healthy and strong as ever, making a significant pitching acquisition unnecessary. Well, that blew up in their collective face today with a line drive comebacker off the bat of Whit Merrifield that struck his left hand and fractured the 5'th metacarpal. With the announcement that Jeff Samardzija will start the season on the DL just yesterday, the Giants suddenly have just 4 starting pitchers in camp and really nobody in minor league camp who seems ready to step in. It was also deemed essential for the Giants to get off to a strong start to the season. It looked like Bumgarner could start a game in each of the first 3 series due to off days. Well, THAT ain't gonna happen! Hate to say it Giants fans, but but this is devastating news and may well be the end of the 2018 season before it starts. It is just extremely difficult to imagine them fielding a competitive starting rotation in the first half without Bumgarner. And we haven't even touched on the disaster of a bullpen performance we saw today.
Tony Watson LHP- 1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 0 K. ERA= 9.95. Spring training stats don't mean anything, but they also do. Watson finished last year strong, but his first half was not good at all. So far we have not seen anything to inspire confidence that he will be any better early this season.
Mark Melancon RHP- 0.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 5.79. Lots of questions about whether Melancon's arm is 100%. IMO, it probably is not. He couldn't even get out of this inning as Julian Fernandez had to come in and get the final out. I guess we don't have to worry about a scenario where Bummy hits a 2-run dinger off Kershaw on Opening Day and hands a 2-1 lead to Melancon in the 9'th anymore, but I didn't have a lot of faith in his ability to protect such a lead even before today's awful performance.
Julian Fernandez RHP- 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 13.50. Don't look at the ERA. This kid has electric stuff and has really turned it around after getting bombed in his first couple of spring appearances. Now more than ever, the Giants have to find a way to hang onto him longterm as this season may be already done anyway.