The Giants’ situation at closer has been in shambles all season, with issues still remaining 152 games in.
Giants general manager Bobby Evans provided some clarity when joining Gary & Larry on Thursday, saying Sergio Romo (who earned the last save for San Francisco on Tuesday) is the strongest candidate to close games for the remainder of the season.
“I think Romo’s a great option for us,” Evans said. “He doesn’t have the velocity that he had you know a couple years ago, but he has a fresh arm. In fact he missed a lot of time in the first half of the season. He wants the ball, he wants the job, he wants to be out there. He’s done it for us before and he’s done a great job obviously taking us through the 2012 World Series.”
“I think we look at Romo as the guy to take it right now.”
The question of who to blame for the end of game issues is complicated. Some feel that Santiago Casilla is at fault, blowing nine saves as the team’s (now formally) primary closer for much of the season. Perhaps it’s manager Bruce Bochy, who elected to stick with Casilla until last week, and then go with a committee approach instead of selecting a replacement, a strategy that even he admitted was potentially flawed. Or maybe the fault rests on the shoulders of the front office, that was unable to acquire an arm at the trade deadline when it was already clear that the Giants had an issue on their hands.
Evans seems to believe that the latter is the case, telling MLB Network’s Jon Heyman that failing to give Bochy another option rests on his shoulders.
“It isn’t lost on us. I wear it every day,” Evans said. “Every time we lose, I think, ‘What a knucklehead am I?'”
Evans elaborated with Gary and Larry, saying he can’t help but question his inability to find a solution.
“As we go through this stretch, you think back on every phone call, on every conversation, every offer, and it plays over and over in my mind,” Evans said. “Could I have done something different? Could I have pushed one more name across the table? You know those are just natural thoughts as we go through the challenges we face.”
Evans said that the Giants had multiple offers at play and that one offer in particular has given him pause, as the deal that went through for another club was similar to an offer made by the Giants.
San Francisco reportedly made a run at Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Mark Melancon, but failed to land any of the elite closers, instead acquiring Will Smith, a 27-year-old setup man. The Giants were allegedly close to wooing Melancon from Pittsburgh, but were ultimately outbid by the Washington Nationals.
The Giants have blown a Major League leading 29 saves this season, and currently boast the fourth worst save percentage in the Major Leagues.