The Drew Pomeranz experiment made perfect sense for the San Francisco Giants at the time of the signing. It just hasn’t worked out.
Drew Pomeranz was one of the more intriguing reclamation projects on the free-agent market this past winter, and the San Francisco Giants rolled the dice with a one-year, $1.5 million deal.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out and now it’s time to move on.
Pomeranz, 30, was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2010 draft by the Cleveland Indians. One year later, he was sent to the Colorado Rockies as the headliner in a four-prospect package to acquire Ubaldo Jimenez.
The Rockies then traded him to the Oakland Athletics, who traded him to the San Diego Padres, who traded him to the Boston Red Sox. Along the way, he emerged as one of the more promising young left-handers in the game.
He peaked during his brief stint in San Diego, where he posted a 2.47 ERA and 1.06 WHIP with 115 strikeouts in 102 innings before he was shipped to Boston for highly-regarded pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza.
While he stumbled a bit following the trade, he bounced back nicely in a full season with the Red Sox in 2017, going 17-6 with a 3.32 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 173.2 innings while posting 3.9 WAR.
Things went south last season, though. He dealt with injuries and struggled to a 6.08 ERA while walking 44 batters in 74 innings. Not the ideal contract-year performance.
The San Francisco Giants hope was that the flexor strain and biceps tendinitis that plagued him in 2018 was the reason for his middling performance and that a return to health would make him a steal and perhaps even a valuable trade chip on a one-year, prove-it deal.
Three months into the season, it’s clear that’s not going to be the case.
Among the 129 pitchers who have worked at least 50 innings this year, here’s where he ranks in some notable statistical categories, via FanGraphs:
- ERA: 7.09 (125th)
- FIP: 6.00 (120th)
- WAR: -0.5 (t-125th)
That 6.00 FIP provides little reason for optimism going forward. He has turned in some passable starts along the way, but when he’s been bad, it’s been an absolute disaster.
His start on Wednesday against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers should be the final straw.
Pomeranz allowed nine hits, including three home runs, and seven earned runs in total in 4.1 innings of work. He piled up 99 pitches before exiting with the game out of reach.
At this point, the rebuilding Giants are better off moving Dereck Rodriguez back into the rotation or giving someone like Ty Blach or Andrew Suarez that rotation spot for the rest of the season to see if they can make a case for a long-term role.
The Pomeranz experiment made perfect sense at the time of the signing. It just hasn’t worked out.
It’s time for the San Francisco Giants to cut their losses and turn to one of the young arms that has a chance to impact the team beyond 2019.