The San Francisco Giants have an interesting closing situation at the moment. Hunter Strickland‘s injury has put Sam Dyson back in the role. Could it last?
Originally, I had typed up, edited, formatted an entire article on why San Francisco Giants fans shouldn’t be worried about the closer situation. I gave my ringing endorsement (for what it’s worth) for Strickland. And then I went to circulate it on social media. As I’m about ready to hit send, Alex Pavlovic’s tweet informing us that Strickland would be out for 6-8 weeks popped up.
I furiously hit the delete button on my laptop, cursing to myself about why this had to come out in the middle of an article I was writing about that subject. I scrubbed the article from the website, and decided not to do anything with it, until now. This is that recycled article.
Sam Dyson is back in the closer role. It’s a role he actually excelled in last season after his trade from the Rangers. Dyson has been nails this season, save anything prior to April 13th. Through April 13th he had a 7.11 ERA over just 6.1 innings. Since then, he’s posted a 1.35 ERA over 26.2 innings.
With a few options to close, Sam Dyson, in my opinion, is the best. Why? For one, he’s in a really good rhythm. That stat line post April 13th is proof. But the one guy who might be closer competition for him is Mark Melancon, who has barely thrown six innings since returning.
I get it. The Giants paid a really large amount for Mark Melancon to be a closer. In the end, it would be nice if he would be that, considering that hefty price tag. But he has to earn some trust.
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For one, he failed to disclose an injury to the Giants training staff, attempted to pitch through it, and sat out for more than two months. Not cool. Second, I don’t know if he’s been healthy beyond 10 IP stretches since he signed with the Giants. You can’t just throw someone into the closer role because you paid them money, when you don’t know if they’ll make it past 10 IP without picking up another injury.
The Giants needs consistency out of the closer role. They don’t need the best. They just need a consistent performer. Melancon just hasn’t proven that here, yet. Could he? Sure. But until he’s proven that he’s trustworthy, then it’s a flat out no for me on him being the closer. So what happens when Strickland comes back?
The Giants have set a precedent on what that would look like depending on the situation around the closer. If Dyson has firm control over the closer’s role and has been nails, then Strickland get’s put back in as a seventh inning guy. That’s it. Mac Williamson‘s earning of the full-time left field spot is the precedent.
If someone takes over the role in a clear fashion while someone is gone, then the next person is either going to have to wait their turn, or earn it back.
So the closer role? I wouldn’t be concerned folks. This bullpen is full of great pitchers, and it will be just fine while Strickland is out. Dyson, you’re up. Time to roll.