Will Smith will be returning to the fold in 2019 after finishing the 2018 season as the Giants closer. He converted 14 of 18 save opportunities after returning from Tommy John surgery and posted a 2.55 ERA with a 12.06 K/9. On the other hand Smith posted a 3.34 DRA which would indicate he was not that great, but his 74.6 DRA- was still excellent. Smith pitched well in the closers role last year, but it has been reported that Bruce Bochy is going to hold off on naming a closer until further evaluation.
The major storyline regarding Will Smith this season will be: how long is he going to be on the team? Who knows? Smith has been the focus of a lot of rumors this off-season and if he makes it through spring training on the roster, the rumors will follow him throughout the season. It seems inevitable at this point that Smith will be dealt, so it seems the Giants are destined to see the end of a Willenium in 2019.
Tony Watson was also excellent last season as he posted a 2.59 ERA with a 3.31 DRA and a DRA- of 74. It was not as dominant of a season as he had from 2013-2015, but it was a return to form after a rough start to his 2017 season inflated his overall numbers.
Like Smith, Watson will also be dogged by trade rumors until he is eventually shipped off. So don’t get too attached.
Sam Dyson is still on the team and he is okay.
Mark Melancon will be returning much to the chagrin of a majority of Giants fans. The oft-injured Melancon does have another opportunity to change the narrative of his time in San Francisco if he can have a strong bounce back season. His long, expensive, and seemingly unmovable contract has evoked much ire amongst Giants fans, but the Giants haven’t been able to do a bad contract swap with anyone to this point, so Melancon will be in Orange and Black for the time being.
On a positive note, Melancon is said to be in good health and throwing the ball well. He also seems to be the front-runner to take on the role of opening day closer if those reports are backed up by a solid spring effort. The best hope with Melancon at this point is he pitches well and retains some of his value, so he can waive his no trade clause and be sent off to a competing team in need of bullpen help down the stretch. If that is the case his performance will also determine how much of his contract the Giants will have to eat in order to get a decent return for him. It is a messy situation now, but it can be cleaned up with a solid 2019 campaign.
I like this guy. Reyes Moronta was the surprise bullpen arm of the season for the Giants. He posted a solid line, solid metrics and was just fun to watch. Something about a portly flame thrower really gets me going. Moronta emerged as a somewhat reliable late inning option for the Giants and could potentially emerge as a dark horse candidate for the closers role in 2019. He has the stuff, but control has been an issue for him at times. Either way, if he can back up his 2018 output with a 2019 it would be a real shot in the arm for the bullpen. Also, my dad really likes the fact that you can’t spell his name without the phrase, “moron”. Classic dad.