After last night’s victory, the San Francisco Giants might have finally gotten off on the right foot. Now, the second half gets serious right away.
San Francisco Giants fans have much awaited the return of Madison Bumgarner to the rotation. After looking like they were going to jump back into contention a few times, the Giants went on losing streaks to follow up the flashes of good play. They’re still 21 games under .500, and the season is virtually lost. It almost doesn’t matter that Bumgarner comes back now. But he will anyways, and folks should be quite happy to see him on the hill today.
His last start was a rough outing, but by virtue of him being MadBum, he still held an anemic Kansas City Royals offense to just one run over six innings. Bumgarner will take on a team he has pretty much owned over his career, in the San Diego Padres.
The most intriguing thing to come from all of this is the corresponding move that was made so they had room on the roster to activate Bumgarner. After Johnny Cueto was pulled in the fourth inning last night because of the “hot-spots” on his hands, the Giants have elected to put him on the DL. We’ll see for how long he goes there. This negates all the talk of Matt Cain going to the bullpen. He will likely stick in the rotation from now on, until Cueto comes back. That is unless the Giants have different ideas.
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The youth movement wouldn’t be quite a youth movement without them calling up their top pitching prospect in Tyler Beede. Beede has struggled a lot in AAA, and has not been able to dominate hitters, much like the Giants were hoping and anticipating he would. He has a 5.12 ERA and a WHIP of 1.51.
So that could still be a long shot for the Giants to even look at. However, a move of Cain back to the rotation, or a call-up of Beede remains inevitable, especially if the Giants are looking to trade any one of their starters.
Right now the most marketable is Samardzija who has been fantastic even if his ERA says otherwise. Today, we can officially begin the “rumor season.” We have 16 days until the trade deadline hits, and it is being reported by multiple outlets, starting with J.P. Morosi first, that the Astros are doing their background work on Samardzija.
If the Astros are really desperate to move for a frontline starter, they have plenty of pieces within their farm system that the Giants could use. I have said all along that the Astros would be great trade partners with the Giants, mainly because of how deep their farm system is.
There are two reactions to have to this though. One is to pump the breaks. This is simply a rumor, and simply a team doing background work. That’s not surprising given how good Samardzija has been this season, and how much teams will want a starter come postseason run-in.
The second reaction is to understand that the Astros likely aren’t the only team doing this. I would be willing to bet that the Yankees, Cubs (yes, even them), and the Brewers are doing background work on Samardzija, alongside the Astros. It’s the first rumor we have over the next two weeks, and it won’t be the last.