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San Francisco Giants: Backend of starting rotation a crap-shoot

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Chris Stratton #34 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at AT&T Park on September 29, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Chris Stratton #34 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at AT&T Park on September 29, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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 The San Francisco Giants have turned the backend of their rotation into a crapshoot, and it’s going to be interesting to see who takes the final two spots.

The San Francisco Giants front three of the starting rotation is locked and loaded. You have Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. When rolling, they’re one of the best front three in a rotation in baseball. The more intriguing story though will not be about them. It will be about the back end.

Four, maybe even five pitchers are vying for the final two spots in the Giants rotation. In the last few years it’s been nice. The bottom end of the rotation was filled out with guys like Jake Peavey and Tim Hudson. People knew what they’d get from those guys when they were on. But now? Now it’s a crap-shoot.

Here are the guys you have in competition for the final two spots, along with how many big league starts they’ve made:

A combined 36 career big league starts between five guys. It’s going to be a crap-shoot. Obviously guys like Stratton, Blach and Beede are going to jump to the forefront of people’s minds. It’s no surprise as they have the most starts, and Beede has the prospect ranking to tout. Over the years though I’ve slowly soured on the idea of Beede being a regular starter. His strikeout numbers aren’t there, and at the lower levels that’s extremely concerning.

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Stratton was really good in his last starts last year, hitting double digit strikeout totals twice. If he can work on the walk numbers, the Giants might have found fools gold with him. There is a good chance that he ends up with a spot. Ty Blach could also be a favorite to get there as well. The Giants are likely going to handicap the starter’s competition at three.

Suarez and and Gregorio are likely going to be outside shots to make the rotation, despite the fact that they’ve had better success than Beede in recent seasons. Gregorio is likely on the very outside looking in though, as he’s coming back from a season ending PED suspension.

Andrew Suarez is the one whose the true wild card in this all. Suarez has been a super fast mover the last two seasons. He and Chris Shaw have advanced quickly and experienced seriously good results at all levels. If Suarez capitalizes on his chances this spring he could seriously earn him self a big league spot, or at least a mid season call-up if he can excel in AAA.

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All we know about the bottom end of the rotation is that it will likely be very inexperienced, and has a wide range of potential results. It could either be a dumpster fire, or it’s going to be a great chance for a young pitching breakout.

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