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Baggarly discusses Giants’ options to improve starting pitching staff for stretch run

© Darren Yamashita | 2019 Jun 8

During the golden era of San Francisco Giants baseball at the start of this decade, the recipe for success was stellar pitching and timely hitting. The Giants have had some stellar pitching performances this year, especially from their bullpen, but their starters as a whole have been lackluster, which makes their dream to make the postseason even less likely to come to fruition.

Madison Bumgarner has been fantastic in the second half and Jeff Samardzija has been hot as of late, but outside of those two workhorses, the Giants have yet to find reliable starting pitching this year.. The team has endured the consistently poor performances from the likes of Derek Holland, Shaun Anderson, Andrew Suarez, Dereck Rodriguez, and Tyler Beede.

Now, as the team gears up for the stretch run and playoff push, they have to find a solution and they have to do it fast.

Giants beat writer Andrew Baggarly stopped by the Tolbert, Krueger, & Brooks show on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the Giants starting pitching issues, and some possible solutions.

“It’s really stark when you look at the rotation, ’cause the Giants are dead last in the major leagues in wins above average from their rotation,” Baggarly said. “Dead last, and that’s with the Orioles gave up three homers to the Yankees in the five minutes we’ve been talking here. So, that’s staggering and tells you just how little value the Giants are getting out of their rotation this year. And that’s with Samardzija pitching better, that’s with Bumgarner still around, that’s with an occasional promising start from Tyler Beede before he really started going in the wrong direction here. That kinda tells you just how much work they have to do on this rotation.”

So, what can be done?

“Well their options are to kind of shorten it up a little bit, I mean after they get through Arizona this weekend they’ve got a number of days off and can go all the way till September 2nd without using a fifth starter,” Baggarly continued. “And who knows? Maybe Johnny Cueto is actually ready by that time. So that’s a hopeful thought. Could they use more openers? Could they try to use tandem guys?

“I don’t know. I do think that Dereck Rodriguez…he knew he was going to have to ride the option train this year, he knew he was going to go up and down, not happy about it. He’s a competitor, he shouldn’t be happy about it, and I think that given what he did last year, and the way he competes, I would much rather have Dereck Rodriguez out there than a Tyler Beede, a Shaun Anderson…go down the list…a Suarez. I think he’s the guy who will give you the best chance to win and give everyone in that room the notion that he’s gonna give you the best chance to win, and he’s gonna be pitching tomorrow. So we’ll see, I think it’s up to him to kinda start to turn it around and maybe we’ll see Logan Webb on Saturday, possibly for his major league debut, but apart from that it’s pretty much the names that we’ve been talking about.”

Rodriguez, who was the most consistent and productive starting pitcher for the Giants last season, has gone 4-6 with a 5.32 ERA in 64.1 innings across 19 performances in the majors this season.

Listen to the full interview with Andrew Baggarly below. To hear him discuss the Giants starting pitching woes, start from 1:36.


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