The Giants paid Mark Melancon to be the finisher they did not have in 2016–and that’s what ultimately doomed them in the National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs that year.
But 2017 did not pan out for Melancon, and the four-year, $62 million deal was starting to look like a wash.
It started on Opening Day against the Diamondbacks. As the Giants were looking to establish their closing woes as nothing more than a 2016 memory, he blew his first save chance of 2017.
Then, the Giants learned he was suffering from a forearm injury.
When he did pitch last year, Melancon posted a 4.50 ERA in 30 innings pitched. He was only 11-for-16 in save chances and had a 1.43 WHIP.
Hardly stats for a top closer in the National League, which he was in 2016.
But 2018 isn’t off to the best start either for the 33-year-old.
After he tried to pitch his second game in a row last week, the final test for a reliever before the season starts, Melancon reported he didn’t feel quite right.
Now, there’s speculation that he will start the season on the disabled list. The exact nature of the injury is not known. As it was, Melancon was having a poor spring, aside from showing some good stuff, posting a 5.79 ERA in 4 2/3 innings pitched. But not all is lost.
There’s a possibility he could still be ready to go Thursday at Dodger Stadium.
"“We’re hoping he’s all good to go Thursday. We don’t know at this point, right now, if that will be the case.”"
Still, even the threat of injury is a disappointment for Giants fans who want assurance the game will end in victory when San Francisco has a ninth-inning lead.