Should Yusmeiro Petit or Tim Lincecum Start for the Giants in 2015?


Yusmeiro Petit has been a jack of all trades with the San Francisco Giants this season. He has been asked to fill in for Matt Cain when he’s been injured, and recently has replaced Tim Lincecum in the rotation after Big Time Timmy Jim’s struggles reached a tipping point.

Petit has shown that he has the tools to become a solid addition to the rotation for next season. While his 5.18 ERA as a starter this season leaves something to be desired, the numbers in his case can be a little misleading.

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Petit has compiled just 57 1/3 innings as a starter this season, and has been knocked around a couple of times in his ten starts. In his first start on May 5th in Pittsburgh, Petit surrendered eight in just 4 1/3. Throw in some average outings over the course of the season, and we arrive in September.

In Colorado on September 2nd, Petit gave up six earned in four innings. That’s in Colorado though. The following start at home against Arizona, Petit pitched a complete game four-hitter, throwing just 84 pitches.

Petit has been a very solid arm coming out of the bullpen as well, tossing 49 innings to the tune of a 1.84 ERA. Lincecum, by comparison, has an ERA of 4.67 as a starter in 26 tries, and 9.45 in four relief appearances. The reason that Petit’s starting ERA is still higher that Lincecum’s is that he has sixteen less starts. We have a much better idea of what Tim Lincecum will provide moving forward. Petit could become a solid number three starter heading into next year.

I know that it seems as though I should be arguing the opposite point based on these numbers, but I’m not going to. I don’t believe in that point. Of the two, Yusmeiro Petit gives the Giants the better chance to win each time he starts a game. Lincecum on the other hand should be relegated to mop-up duty.

An 18 million dollar mop-up guy? Well, yeah. What are the Giants going to do instead? Trade him? Cut him? He’s going to be a Giant in 2015.

What’s more important?: winning games, or giving the guy with the higher salary his umpteenth chance? The team should always come first. This could just be one of those freak occurrences (freak occurrences), but since August 25th, the day Lincecum was removed from the rotation, the Giants have gone 15-6. It was just about that time they turned the car around and decided to participate in October (Well, late September for sure) baseball.

Coming back to Petit, he gives the Giants the better chance to win every time he takes the mound. The numbers may suggest otherwise, yet sometimes, even in a game like baseball, the numbers aren’t everything.