Here we’ll take a look at San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Hunter Strickland and how he needs to become a more dominate pitcher in 2017.
As I’ve mentioned several times this offseason, the San Francisco Giants bullpen needs to be more dominate in 2017, and no one else fits that profile more than Hunter Strickland.
Ever since becoming a full-time relief pitcher in 2013, Strickland’s stock has risen to the point that he was relied on quite often in the 2014 playoffs – although that didn’t go well for Strickland.
In 21 innings out of the bullpen for San Jose in 2013, Strickland posted a 0.86 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 21 innings. Then between High-A and Double-A in 2014 he had an ERA of 2.56 in 38.2 innings with 55 strikeouts.
Those numbers in 2014 got him called up to the big leagues where he threw seven scoreless innings in the regular season and struck out nine batters.
However, he struggled mightily in the postseason that year giving up 7 runs in 8.1 innings with 8 strikeouts.
He started 2015 in Triple-A where he dominated once again striking out 25 batters in 21.2 innings with a 1.66 ERA. He was called back up to the big leagues where he struck out 50 batters in 51.1 innings with a 2.45 ERA.
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Then last year he had a solid 3.10 ERA and struck out 57 batters in 61 innings, but I expect more from Strickland. And while he was second on the team with 18 holds, he also blew eight save opportunities, which was second on the team to Santiago Casilla’s nine blown saves.
With the overpowering stuff that Strickland posses, he needs to be striking out at least a batter an inning like he did in the minor leagues with an ERA under three.
And as for the San Francisco Giants, they need Strickland and others out of the bullpen to be striking out a batter an inning.
He was much better in the playoffs last year pitching 2.2 scoreless innings with 3 strikeouts, so hopefully that’s a trend that will continue in 2017.
But Bruce Bochy needs to be able to call his name out of the bullpen and feel confident that he can get a big strikeout with runners on base. I’m hopping we get that Hunter Strickland in 2017.