Are you noticing a trend of 30-plus year-old, expensive veterans? Well…
Interesting fact: Mark Melancon made over $500,000/inning last year. While most of that can be attributed to either injuries and/or the Giants offense inability to secure a lead for their closer, it’s safe to say that the team wanted more production out of him than what they got last year.
The big free agent signing going into 2017, Melancon struggled to keep runners off the bases in his first year at AT&T Park. However, if healthy, there are reasons for hope from the expensive veteran.
For starters, his 4.50 ERA does not match his much more reasonable 3.22 FIP from last year, and he had his worst LOB percentage since he was a member of the Boston Red Sox, indicating he was the victim of quite a bit of bad luck. Additionally, his 4.83 SO/W ratio actually outpaces his career averages — meaning he was mostly hurt by balls in play.
He gave up more home runs on fly balls than ever before, which is likely an anomaly in cavernous AT&T Park, but getting more ground balls than he did last year will do wonders for him in 2018.
I honestly am not too worried about Melancon. Most of his stat changes from last year do not indicate a drop in stuff, accuracy, or speed from 2015 or 2016, so I think he, Sam Dyson, and a healthy Will Smith will do wonders for the back end of the Giants bullpen next year.
Hopefully some better outfield defense will help all Giants pitchers in 2018 as well.
Expect bounce back seasons from these three guys in 2018. And if that’s the case, the San Francisco Giants can easily get back into contention.