The San Francisco Giants pitching staff, the heart of the 2010 and 2012 World Series championships, surprised some fans with a sub-par start. Forty games into the season, eight starts per individual, it seems an appropriate time to evaluate the rotation, fantasize about managing, and re-order the San Francisco Giants pitchers.
The 23 year-old southpaw owns two World Series rings and is producing his best year to date. His 2.18 ERA seems low for a full season, but his career 3.11 ERA suggests he will keep it under the 3.00 mark with focused consistent play. This young player has a long career in the Giants rotation ahead of him.
The horse of the staff started the season with a strong performance, but was out-dueled by Clayton Kershaw. In his next performance, in a 14-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, Cain lasted only 3.2 innings and allowed nine earned runs. Two weeks later he allowed all seven earned runs to the Milwaukee Brewers. Cain’s pitching of late has improved vastly, as he’s 2-0 last three games with a 2.95 ERA and 17 K, even though his 5.43 ERA is a little painful to read, he remains one of the Giants most reliable weapons.
The Freak had a difficult time pitching last year, and has struggled at times this year. While the Giants are 6-2 in Lincecum’s starts, they lost during his quality outing against the San Diego Padres and rallied to win in three of his four starts in which he allowed four or more earned runs (vs. Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs, and Arizona Diamondbacks). All year Lincecum’s been striking out batters, and on good outings, he brings back memories of his two Cy Young seasons.
Zito’s had a beautiful year, excluding terrible outing against the Milwaukee Brewers and in his last start against a potent Toronto Blue Jays lineup. Giants hope Zito can give solid seven inning outings throughout this year.
Vogelstrong hasn’t pitched well yet this year. The 35 year old right-hander holds down the end of the rotation, and I for one hope he can find his command. His 8.06 ERA and 1.84 WHIP make Lincecum’s, Zito’s and Cain’s ERAs look acceptable. Vogelsong could find himself sent to the minors to rediscover his form.