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San Francisco Giants: The decline of Dereck Rodriguez is a cautionary tale

Nick San Miguel
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 3: Shaun Anderson #64 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park July 3, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 3: Shaun Anderson #64 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park July 3, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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The San Francisco Giants have seen a disappointing step backward from 2018 rookie standout Dereck Rodriguez this season. Will Tyler Beede and Shaun Anderson suffer a similar fate?

Young starters Shaun Anderson and Tyler Beede have seen their fair share of innings so far this season for the San Francisco Giants.

While both have shown flashes of potential, one cannot help but temper expectations after the decline of Dereck Rodriguez in his second year at the big league level.

The 27-year-old burst onto the scene last year with a 2.81 ERA over 118 innings of work, rising from scrapheap pickup to potential long-term piece seemingly overnight.

Unfortunately, his second season in the majors has not gone to plan.

He was demoted to the minors for the second time when Austin Slater was called up to the majors, and there’s no guarantee he’ll return to the MLB rotation any time soon.

Kerry Crowley of the Mercury News wrote a good article examining D-Rod’s fall. He attributed it to three things: more walks, fewer strikeouts, and guys barreling him up more consistently.

It is not as if Rodriguez’s career is unsalvageable. The Giants hope that he can find his stuff by starting regularly in the minors. However, his rise and fall could be useful in tempering expectations for Beede and Anderson.

How do their stats compare to what Rodriguez did last year?

Let’s take a look:

  • Rodriguez: 2.81 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 2.7 BB/9, 6.8 K/9
  • Anderson: 4.23 ERA, 4.39 FIP, 2.8 BB/9, 5.2 K/9
  • Beede: 5.64 ERA, 5.56 FIP, 5.6 BB/9, 8.7 K/9

As we mentioned, too many walks and not enough strikeouts have been a recipe for disaster for D-Rod this season.

Anderson has had a similarly tough time putting guys away with just 5.2 K/9. While his walk rate is solid, he is going to have to strike out more batters if he wants to prove he can hang at the big league level.

In Beede’s case, he has a respectable strikeout rate, but he’s walking far too many batters with 5.6 BB/9. It’s no coincidence he walked zero batters and enjoyed the best start of his career last time out. It could simply be a case of learning to trust his stuff and not trying to be too fine.

Big picture, all three of these pitchers have relatively sample sizes at the MLB level.

Their walk and strikeout rates are cause for concern, though.

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Those two categories will be worth keeping an eye on for the rest of the year as Tyler Beede and Shaun Anderson try to prove they deserve a long-term place in the San Francisco Giants rotation.

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