This has been a rough couple of years for Mark Melancon on the field. He has battled injuries and seemingly diminished stuff and ability.
He said he was back to normal after an injury-free offseason. Despite how he feels, the results have been anything but normal.
So far, he has given up 4 earned runs including 3 home runs in 2.2 innings of work. Spring Training stats are not always indicative of a player’s ability. He could, in theory, just be working on his pitches or command. It would be nice if he could mix in a few clean innings as well.
Andrew Suarez had a fine rookie campaign. He posted a 4.49 ERA with a 4.30 FIP. However, the San Francisco Giants retained Derek Holland. added Drew Pomeranz, and Jeff Samardzija is returning from injury. Since Suarez has options remaining, making the opening day roster was going to be a challenge.
Suarez has not thrown the ball well thus far. In 5 innings of work, Suarez has given up 4 earned runs. He appears to be more on the bubble, rather than in the mix for a rotation job.
Suarez struggled last spring as well. So, it could be a combination of factors such as the thin Arizona air, the fast infields, or the limited scouting report on the hitters that is affecting his performance. Suarez seems likely to start the season in Sacramento.
Lastly, Mac Williamson has struggled for much of the spring. He is a fan favorite, and really impressed in a 5-game stretch at the start of last season.
Though, without an option remaining, Williamson cannot be sent down without being exposed to waivers.
The lack of options may be exactly what forces Williamson on to the opening day roster. Right now, Williamson is hitting .227 with only 1 home run and 6 strike outs in 22 at-bats.
His performance so far is not making this an easy decision for the San Francisco Giants. The Giants will likely start the season with him in left field rather than risk losing him through waivers.
Williamson has a limited major league track record. It would be great if he performed like he did last spring, but that has not been the case so far.
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There is still time for these camp battles to change. The Giants have got to like what they are seeing from many of their key pitchers. That will likely be the backbone of their team. If they can hit just enough, they may just be able to snatch a few extra wins.