While the San Francisco Giants have struggled offensively, the pitching staff has been among the best in baseball. Ahead we’ve ranked each member of the pitching staff based on 2019 performance.
In recent years, the pitching staff has been in the driver’s seat for the San Francisco Giants.
This year is no different, though there’s only so much the pitchers can do when the offense is providing next to nothing.
Heading into Tuesday’s game, the Giants had the best bullpen ERA in baseball (2.86) and the 13th-best starters’ ERA (4.06), which leaves them seventh overall in team ERA (3.59).
A total of 13 different pitchers have made at least one appearance for the Giants. Ahead we’ve ranked each of them based on how they’ve performed so far this season:
13. RP Travis Bergen
(10 G, 2-0, 0 HLD, 5.40 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 4 BB, 8 K, 8.1 IP, .258 BAA)
The Rule 5 pickup has been used mostly in low-leverage situations, though he did pick up the win in the 18-inning marathon game with the Colorado Rockies on April 12, striking out five over two perfect innings.
12. RP Tony Watson
(10 G, 0-0, 7 HLD, 4.32 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 1 BB, 4 K, 8.1 IP, .361 BAA)
The team-leading seven holds are nice, but Watson has been alarmingly hittable. He’s given up 13 hits in his 8.1 innings of work for a .361 opponents’ batting average. His strikeout rate has also cratered from 9.8 to 4.3 K/9. His trade value is moving in the wrong direction.
11. SP Derek Holland
(6 GS, 1 QS, 1-4, 5.34 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 16 BB, 40 K, 32.0 IP, .230 BAA)
It’s been a mixed bag for Holland. He threw a gem against the Padres at the beginning of April and he’s striking out batters at a career-high 11.3 K/9 rate. However, he has just one quality start on the year and his 5.34 ERA is worst among the starting staff.
10. SP Drew Pomeranz
(5 GS, 0 QS, 1-2, 3.65 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 10 BB, 28 K, 24.2 IP, .258 BAA)
Pomeranz has pitched beyond the fifth inning just once, throwing six shutout frames against the Dodgers his last time out. As long as they keep using him correctly and don’t overexpose him, he can be an effective back-of-the-rotation guy all year.
9. RP Nick Vincent
(11 G, 0-1, 0 HLD, 2.55 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 5 BB, 15 K, 17.2 IP, .258 BAA)
Despite posting a 3.99 ERA with 15 holds in 62 appearances with the Mariners last season, Vincent had to settle for a minor league deal. He earned a spot on the Opening Day roster and has pitched well in a low-leverage middle relief role.
8. SP Dereck Rodriguez
(6 GS, 1 QS, 3-3, 4.35 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 9 BB, 25 K, 31.0 IP, .250 BAA)
Before getting lit up last time out, Rodriguez had a 3.54 ERA over his first five starts. After giving up just nine home runs in 118.1 innings last year, he has already allowed five long balls in 31 innings this season.
7. RP Sam Dyson
(13 G, 1-0, 3 HLD, 3.38 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 3 BB, 14 K, 16.0 IP, .227 BAA)
The emergence of Reyes Moronta has pushed Dyson into more of a middle relief spot this season, and he’s doing a great job keeping runners off base with a 1.7 BB/9 walk rate and .227 opponents’ batting average. He’s a July trade candidate if he keeps it up.
6. SP Madison Bumgarner
(6 GS, 3 QS, 1-4, 4.30 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 5 BB, 35 K, 37.2 IP, .259 BAA)
Bumgarner is the only member of the rotation with more than one quality start. That said, he has not been close to ace form in the early going. An unsightly 9.00 ERA in the first inning and five home runs allowed are a big reason why. Still, he’s shown signs of being the ace of old.
5. RP Mark Melancon
(11 G, 0-0, 2 HLD, 1.54 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 3 BB, 8 K, 11.2 IP, .238 BAA)
After two disappointing, wildly overpaid seasons, Melancon finally appears to be turning a corner. He rattled off 10 straight scoreless appearances to open the season before allowing a two-run home run to Luke Voit last Friday.
4. RP Trevor Gott
(11 G, 1-0, 0 HLD, 1.80 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 3 BB, 15 K, 15.0 IP, .140 BAA)
Acquired from the Nationals for cash considerations during the offseason, Gott has allowed just seven hits and three walks in 15 innings for a sparkling 0.67 WHIP. He has been used primarily in the middle innings to this point but could find himself in some high-leverage spots going forward.
3. SP Jeff Samardzija
(6 GS, 1 QS, 2-1, 2.53 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 10 BB, 25 K, 32.0 IP, .209 BAA)
Samardzija struggled mightily last season when facing hitters for a third time, allowing a .333/.421/.727 line the third time through the lineup. It seems the team has gotten wise to that and is employing a much shorter leash this year. So far, so good with that approach.
2. RP Will Smith
(11 G, 0-0, 7/7 SV, 3.38 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 4 BB, 12 K, 10.2 IP, .216 BAA)
His ERA is up (2.55 to 3.38) and his strikeout rate is down (12.1 to 10.1 K/9), but Smith has still converted all seven of his save chances while holding opposing hitters to a stingy .216 batting average. He’s the anchor for the best bullpen in baseball.
1. RP Reyes Moronta
(12 G, 0-2, 6 HLD, 2.08 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 6 BB, 21 K, 13.0 IP, .149 BAA)
A pleasant surprise last season when he posted a 2.49 ERA with 10.9 K/9 and 12 holds in 69 games, Moronta has really come into his own this season while serving as the primary setup man. Assuming Smith is moved at the deadline, he looks like the closer of the future.
So there you have, a rundown of how each of the 13 pitchers on the Giants staff stack up after one month of action.