3. Could Kevin Gausman start Opening Day for the SF Giants?
Signed for one year, $9 million last offseason, veteran right-hander Kevin Gausman gives the Giants another opening day possibility.
Having pitched in the big leagues since 2013, coming up with the Baltimore Orioles, Gausman has been decent but not special.
His career 4.30 ERA is rather average, although his 4.12 FIP suggests he has slightly under-performed during his pro tenure. His career 99 ERA+ confirms what the other two figures illustrate — he is essentially a league-average pitcher.
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2019 was not especially great for the righty. Splitting time between the Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves, Gausman had a rocky season.
Pitching in 102.1 innings, he made appearances in 31 games, starting 17 of those. His combined ERA was an unsightly 5.72 and his combined WHIP was an alarmingly high 1.41.
However, his 2019 FIP was 3.98, which is promising considering the Giants will be anticipating a Gausman bounce-back in 2020.
The fact that he needs a redemption season likely takes him out of the running for an Opening Day start since he’ll need to build up trust within the organization that he can handle more prominent pitching roles.
Of course, this could change barring unforeseen circumstances or injuries.