Moore or Samardzija Will Scare Us
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I think Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto are about as reliable as a starting pitcher can be these days – knock on wood – but I’m not nearly as confident in Matt Moore and Jeff Samardzija.
I remember watching Matt Moore in the playoffs for the Tampa Bay Rays back in 2011 when he absolutely dominated the Texas Rangers. Moore started game one and tossed seven shutout innings of 2-hit baseball with 6 strikeouts.
At that point I thought he was going to become the next great Rays pitcher, but injuries have derailed his once promising career. He hasn’t had an ERA under 4 since 2014 when he threw just 10 innings.
In 68.1 innings with the San Francisco Giants last year he had a 4.08 ERA with 69 strikeouts. He’s still just 27 years old and has great stuff, but we need to see more consistency from him this spring to feel good about him during the season.
Samardzija has been Mr. Dependable the last five season starting at least 28 games each year and throwing over 200 innings four times. However, he’s only had an ERA under 3.81 once during that stretch, and twice he’s had an ERA of 4.34 or higher.
I hate to put bad mojo on these guys, but I get the feeling that one of them is going to have us worried this spring training – whether it be with an injury in Moore’s case, or lack of consistency with Samardzija.
I don’t feel nearly as confident about the depth of this pitching staff if one – or both – of those guys have struggles in 2017. I know spring training doesn’t always correlate, but it would be nice to see both of them have good springs.
However, I predict that we go into the regular season feeling a little worried about one of them.