San Francisco Giants: Envisioning the 2018 Starting Rotation

By Daniel Sperry
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 30: Pitcher Madison Bumgarner
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 30: Pitcher Madison Bumgarner /
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San Francisco Giants
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – AUGUST 08: Ty Blach #50 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Chicago Cubs in the top of the first inning at AT&T Park on August 8, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Ty Blach

I personally would love Ty Blach here in the rotation. As mentioned earlier, the lower he is placed in the rotation, the better the Giants rotational depth is. Blach has a 4.37 ERA, a super low BB/9 and HR/9. It is slightly concerning that his K/9 is just under five. But, it doesn’t really matter as long as he gives the Giants a chance to win a few games every time he steps out. He’s been doing that for the majority of the season. I’m not sure if his strikeout stuff will ever come, but yet again, you wouldn’t be asking for 10+ K/9 from your fifth starter. That’s virtually insane, and incredibly expensive to put together a rotation that deep.

I would hope Blach is here, because Beede hasn’t proved ready to make that jump. He struggled in AAA, and just hasn’t looked to be an elite pitching talent, as many touted him to be coming out of Vanderbilt. A very solid pitcher? Yes. But his ceiling seems to be dropping with each outing. If he comes back from injury and looks good in September, ultimately earning a call-up from the Giants, then cool. But there is one other minor league arm that I think might be ready to leapfrog Beede in terms of ceiling, and in big league readiness.

Andrew Suarez is my dark-horse favorite to get up to the big leagues and challenge for a fifth starter spot. He’s been awesome in Sacramento lately. In his last ten starts in AAA, he took his ERA from a 6.54 to a 3.36. He’s had some walk issues, as strikeout guys usually do. However his last two starts in AAA have had zero walks, and 14 strikeouts in 17.1 innings, and only 2 earned runs in each start. If Blach is going to be the fourth starter, and the Giants are going to look internally to fill the fifth starter role, then maybe somebody like Suarez is the best fit for that.

Next: Minor League Spotlight: Bryan Reynolds

In summation, here is how I’d love to see the Giants rotation shake out:

  1. Madison Bumgarner
  2. Johnny Cueto, or high tier Free-Agent
  3. Mid-Tier free agent (contingent on Johnny Cueto being in the two spot), or Jeff Samardzija
  4. Jeff Samardzija, or Ty Blach
  5. Ty Blach, or another internal solution such as Beede or Suarez.

We have plenty of time to see how things work out, but this might be the best thing for the Giants going forward, is a re-tool of the rotation. Something different from what they did last year. Sadly, Matt Moore may not work out. I’m sure there are some other teams who might be willing to take him on. But if the Giants are in “win-now” mode for 2018, I have a hard time seeing how Moore fits into that picture.