San Francisco Giants: Projecting the 2018 Starting Rotation
The 2017 San Francisco Giants season was everything but successful. From the drama of the Madison Bumgarner injury, to just plain out sucking. However, the Giants have appeared to have retooled their position players. As for the rotation, it’s very similar to last season’s squad and could bounce back. The San Francisco Giants 2018 projected starting rotation is going to be better than last season’s, and very consistent.
1) Madison Bumgarner LHP: Is there any doubt that this guy will be the ace? MadBum is one of the most dominant lefties in the game today alongside division foe Clayton Kershaw. However Bumgarner will have to stay away from golf carts, and the links in general if he doesn’t want a repeat of the 2017 season. In his limited amount of starts, MadBum went 4-9 with an ERA of 3.32. He only threw 101 innings a season ago. For the Giants to be successful he needs to pitch all season.
2) Johnny Cueto RHP: In a lot of rotations around the league Cueto is an ace. However, with Bumgarner healthy and ready to go he’s the number two guy. In his second season in San Francisco, he took a step backward. But don’t fret Giants fans, being a Pirates fan I’ve seen this guy all too many times, he will bounce back. In the struggle that was 2017, Cueto went 8-8 with an ERA of 4.52. On top of that other than his injury-plagued 2013 season, he threw the least amount of innings in a season in his career. With the new look of the Giants lineup, Cueto will win 10 or more games again this season.
3) Jeff Samardzija RHP: While I don’t personally think Samardzija should be the number three guy his contract doesn’t allow him not to be. This is a prime example of overpaying. Samardzija had a decent 2016 season, however, 2017 wasn’t very pretty. Posting a record of 9-15 and an ERA of 4.42. Certainly not pretty. If the Giants could manage to shed Samardzija’s contract they’d be in a better place.
4) Tyler Beede RHP: Beede the Giants number two prospect should slot in the four spot in this rotation. He spent the season in Triple-A last year and didn’t have a great year but performed. In his 24 games started he had a 6-7 record with a 4.79 ERA. He will need to step up big time in the Giants starting rotation if they want to win this season.
5) Chris Stratton RHP: Stratton started just 10 games for San Francisco just a season ago. This year his role will be bigger than before as he will be the four or five starter depending on his and Beede’s performance. While in the major Stratton was solid logging 58.2 innings pitched and sporting a record of 4-4 and an ERA of 3.68. With the bigger role, this season can Stratton prove his worth or will the Giants have to make a trade or signing for a number five starter? This question will be answered in just a few short weeks with the start of Spring Training.
The top three of the San Francisco Giants rotation is the same as it has been for a couple seasons now. The addition of the young arm Beede and fresh face Stratton could lead to a big season. The Giants have potential to compete for an NL West title. They’ll have some tough competition as the NL West will be the best division in baseball.