© John Hefti | 2019 Jul 22
The Giants have been one of the best teams in baseball as of late and have played their way into being one of the more compelling story lines leading up to this year’s July 31st trade deadline. Having one of the best bullpens in baseball – along with Madison Bumgarner, who has been the most dominant pitcher in the postseason of his generation – only intensifies the trade talks surrounding the Giants organization.
On July 16th, Jim Bowden, former MLB GM and now analyst, stopped by the Murph & Mac show to talk Giants. He put his opinion abruptly.
“Blow it up, lets go.” Bowden said. “I have never seen a worse team be three games out on this date [July 16th] in my entire life.”
Although he has since taken a bit of a step back in regards to his stance on the Giants, people heard what he was saying. On Tuesday morning, Giants broadcaster, Duane Kuiper, came on KNBR to talk with Murph & Mac and took notice to the former GM’s words.
“I know, he ticked me off.” Kuiper said. “Is this Jim’s first round in the big leagues? [Murph] said it at the beginning, you play the schedule. What I interpreted when you guys talked to me is he basically said ‘this team sucks, and it’s not going to get any better and they need to trade as many players as they can.’ Alright fine, well what are you thinking now, a week later?”
The trade deadline is eight days away. It is widely anticipated that how the Giants play throughout next eight days will determine how Farhan Zaidi will approach the deadline. Consequently, there is one aspect that hasn’t been talked about; Johnny Cueto. Cueto underwent Tommy John surgery in August of 2018, ending his season. However, it has been reported that the pitcher is inching closer to a return, and may start throwing to live hitters in early August. Kuiper weighed in on the recovering pitcher’s situation.
“I didn’t really believe that the Giants were counting on anything from Cueto. Just to take it easy, but I think that has all changed. I think that’s all changed the last time the Giants were in Arizona and they watched him pitch. I think they went ‘Wow, wow, wow.’ And now, maybe counting is the wrong word, but I think they are kind of counting that he is going to make some starts; whether it’s in late August or September. Then you got to find out what you got, he hasn’t pitched in a year. But I would trust Johnny Cueto that he hasn’t forgotten how to pitch in one year.”
Prior to having Tommy John surgery, Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto formed one of the more dynamic 1-2 punches in the entire MLB. In 2016, Cueto went 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA. It is evident the pitcher would immensely help out a relatively young Giants rotation as they look to make a push for the postseason. However, this all falls somewhat under speculation as the Giants have yet to announce an official timetable for Cueto to begin a rehab assignment.
Listen to the full Duane Kuiper interview below. To hear Kuip on Bowden, start from 12:45.