It has not been a smooth start to the Sean Manaea-Giants marriage.
The former longtime Oakland A’s starter had an underwhelming year with the San Diego Padres last year — posting a 4.96 ERA — before signing a two-year, $25 million deal this offseason.
Things are off to a woeful start for the 31-year-old left-hander. He’s posted a 6.89 ERA over his first 31.1 innings this season with his best start — one earned run over six innings — coming April 8. In his starts since then, he has allowed at least two runs (over 3.1 innings) and gone no deeper than the fifth inning.
Despite that, his fastball is still over 95 miles per hour. But he’s not being efficient with his pitches.
So what should he change? Javier López offered a suggestion with Murph and Mac:
What I’d like to see Sean Manaea do, when you have that kind of velocity, especially if you’ve ever had a chance to meet the guy, see the guy. He’s a big, imposing individual, and I’d like to see him pitch in as a left hander. Throw hard into these right handers. Get them uncomfortable on the inside corner.
I feel like a lot of times when he’s pitching, he’s pitching middle-middle away and up in the zone and all of that plays.
Don’t get me wrong. I mean, he proved it yesterday punching out eight, but I think it’s going to really help him be more efficient if he tries to locate fastballs glove side in on the right hander, away on the left hander, and really control the inside part of the plate.
So when he misses middle-middle away, it looks like it’s way away on these right-handed hitters. I think that will make him a lot more efficient. But the velocity is there, the stuff there. I think he’s got to take what he can off that outing yesterday, but I’d love to see him start pitching inside more.
Manaea fanned eight batters in his last appearance on Monday over 3.2 innings, but also walked three and threw 83 pitches in that span.
The second year of Manaea’s deal is a $12.5 million player option. It looks like an overpriced proposition at this stage.
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