The season has not gone as planned for the San Francisco Giants. With a 21-29 record, the Giants find themselves at the bottom of the National League West.
Despite the poor record, the San Francisco Giants have a number of young, intriguing arms. In a season like this, it would behoove them to see what each arm has to offer.
The San Francisco Giants began this season with Derek Holland and Drew Pomeranz in their rotation. In addition to this, they had Madison Bumgarner, Jeff Samardzija, and Rodriguez rounding out the staff.
Rodriguez was sent down to Sacramento after he struggled with his command while posting a 5.05 ERA in his first eight starts. His stay in the minors was not expected to be a long one.
For the most part, Bumgarner and Samardzija have been the team’s most consistent starters. With that being said, Samardzija has struggled to the tune of a 4.43 ERA in May while again serving up home runs at an alarming rate.
Essentially, Bumgarner is the only one of the veterans who has a firm hold on a rotation spot, and it is very possible he will be wearing a different uniform two months from now.
The early returns on Holland (40.2 IP, 7.30 ERA) and Pomeranz (35.0 IP, 5.60 ERA) has been poor at best, and neither pitcher figures to be a part of the team’s long-term plans.
As such, it would benefit the Giants to see what they have in Beede, Suarez, Anderson, and Rodriguez.
Each one has experienced success with Triple-A Sacramento. It is fair to wonder if there is any value in having them continue to pitch at that level.
This is especially true when you consider the extreme hitter-friendly nature of the Pacific Coast League this season, which has made pitcher evaluation difficult.
The Giants have already taken the first steps by inserting Anderson and Suarez into rotation spots, while Beede and Rodriguez remain in Sacramento. With options remaining, they have the type of roster flexibility that many of the players on the 25-man roster do not.
But what is the value of exercising that flexibility?
It sends the wrong message to these players. It tells them that if they do not have immediate success in the majors, they will find themselves back in Sacramento.
If Beede and Rodriguez are to continue developing, the Giants will need to show more confidence in them. The same holds true for Suarez and Anderson. That means sticking with them through the highs and the lows and allowing them to work through their struggles.
The Giants’ handling of Beede, in particular, has been questionable.
He has appeared in three games, but the circumstances around each game have not necessarily set him up for success. In two of his three appearances, Beede has come in as a reliever. And, he really was not given a chance to get fully stretched out. This is not ideal if the Giants plan to develop him as a starter.
So while the Giants are beginning to hand the keys over to their young arms, they will need to give them a much longer leash in order for the transition to be an effective one. Patience is needed.
The San Francisco Giants are at a point where they need to start thinking about the future. The win-loss record for 2019 needs to take a back seat to player development with an eye on the future.