2019: A Look Ahead and Conclusion
Madison Bumgarner is potentially heading into his final year as a San Francisco Giant, which makes me sad. He has been and will continue to be subject of trade rumors for the forseeable future.
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2019 may very well be the next step in Bumgarner’s evolution and it might be worth taking a gamble and extending him now to find out. If Bumgarner is traded, there’s no guarantee that the Giants will get a player in return that will be as good or better as Bumgarner over the next 5 to 6 seasons.
Madison Bumgarner is still only 29 years old and wont be 30 until August. He’s also had a lot of time to rest over the last two seasons due to injuries. I’m looking forward to watching Bumgarner take the next step. Perhaps it might be wise for the Giants to extend him now, so he’s around for the 2020 and 2021 campaigns instead of taking a gamble by trading him for prospects.
If Bumgarner can go into the 2019 season in good health and if he can boil down all that he’s learned about his cutter and his curveball he could be entering the next phase of his career.
Every great major league pitcher experiences a decrease in velocity with very few exceptions. It’s how pitchers learn to excel despite their diminishing abilities that separates good pitchers from great pitchers.
Judging by the numbers, Bumgarner has already begun to take the necessary steps as he continues his evolution as a pitcher. It seems Bumgarner has used the 2017 and 2018 injury shortened season to master his other pitches and deepen his repertoire. Perhaps in 2019 he’ll develop his change-up? Who knows? In the end, Madison Bumgarner is still the ace of the San Francisco Giants and should still be considered an ace around the Major Leagues.