3. What will the starting rotation look like?
The question of whether or not Madison Bumgarner will still be with the team after the July 31 trade deadline will hang over the San Francisco Giants until he’s either dealt or Aug. 1 arrives.
He’s not the pitcher he was in his prime, but he’s still the clear ace of the staff, and without him, the team’s best starter would be *checks notes and gulps* Jeff Samardzija.
We have already touched on Anderson and Beede as emerging young arms in the starting rotation, but Samardzija and fellow veteran Drew Pomeranz will also be interesting to watch in the second half.
The Shark has been respectable in the first half, posting a record of 6-7 with a 4.01 ERA. While he is certainly not an ace, he will without question be the team’s most reliable starter in the likely event that Bumgarner is traded.
He still has another year on his contract, so a solid second half would help us all breathe a bit easier about the state of the rotation going into next year.
On the other hand, Pomeranz has been terrible for much of the year. A few solid outings briefly suggested that he may have turned a corner, but his last start was more of what we are used to with four earned runs allowed in four innings of work.
Another storyline to watch will be whether Dereck Rodriguez can earn back a spot in the rotation. He has had a massively disappointing second year after a breakout 2018 and he’s currently trying to regain some form in the minor leagues.
He looked like a potential cornerstone piece last season when he was at his best, and the second half will be important in gauging how he fits into the team’s plans going forward.