San Francisco Giants: Chris Stratton Proving to be Future Rotation Piece Again
When the season began, Chris Stratton proved that his finish to last season was not a fluke. However, he hit an extended rough patch, and the San Francisco Giants sent him back to the minors.
In his three starts since returning from the minors, Chris Stratton is proving to be a rotation mainstay for the San Francisco Giants yet again. Ryan Vogelsong is owed a bit of gratitude for Stratton’s improvement:
Whatever Vogelsong did is paying dividends. Perhaps, he is The Horse Whisperer for pitchers. Keep up the good work, Ryan.
Since undergoing his education with the Horse Whisperer, Stratton has been effective. He has pitched to a 1.77 ERA in his last three starts. The number that stands out, however, is the zero walks issued during that time.
In addition to this, Stratton has induced nine, 11, and 11 groundball outs during those three starts. Not only is he not handing out free passes, but he is limiting the hard contact as well.
He was not pitching like this earlier in the season. He was giving up too many fly balls. And, the problem with fly balls is that they sometimes go over the fence.
Ultimately, Chris Stratton is pitching like a mid-rotation arm again. Even though the San Francisco Giants are out of contention at this point, September can still be an important month for them and Stratton.
The Giants are at the point where they are evaluating their entire roster. Chris Stratton’s up-and-down career arc makes any type of evaluation difficult.
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However, if Stratton can finish the season off strong, this could impact the Giants offseason plans. Beyond Madison Bumgarner, Dereck Rodriguez, and Andrew Suarez, there are no locks for the rotation.
If Stratton has a strong September, he could be added back to that mix. He is really at a crossroads point in his career. And, Giants fans should be cheering for him for several reasons.
Chris Stratton is still relatively young. At 27-years-old, he would not be the first pitcher to develop later than expected. He has a good enough repertoire to be a good rotation arm.
Also, Stratton is still under his rookie contract. This means he is a bargain from a baseball standpoint, especially if he continues to pitch like he has.
The San Francisco Giants cannot continue building its roster through free agency. The contracts of Rodriguez, Suarez, and Stratton will go a long way in terms of keeping costs down.
After all, we have heard so much about the Giants needing to stay under the luxury tax this season. Stratton being a good pitcher will go a long way in helping their luxury tax problem.
The Giants will be very interested to see how Stratton performs down the stretch. He can either be an inexpensive piece of the future puzzle, or he could be a trade chip as well. Some team will see Stratton as someone they could potentially fix.
However, the hope is Stratton can give the Giants enough confidence to label him as a rotation piece for the future.
The recent results have been encouraging. And, if he can continue to show promise, the Giants might even have a solid core of young pitchers on their hands. Who would have envisioned that?