San Francisco Giants: Five under-the-radar starting pitching targets
LHP Alex Wood
Farhan Zaidi will have fond memories of Alex Wood from their time together in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, including an impressive 2017 season.
That season, he went 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 151 strikeouts in 152.1 innings, earning him a spot on the NL All-Star team and finishing ninth in NL Cy Young voting.
As a member of the Cincinnati Reds in 2019, the results were not as pretty.
A spring back injury and subsequent setbacks kept him on the sidelines for the entire first half of the season, and he didn’t make his 2019 debut until July 28. He ended up making just seven starts, posting a 5.80 ERA in 35.2 innings.
It’s never easy to jump into the middle of a season after missing significant time, and there was undoubtedly a good deal of rust that he needed to shake off. To that point, his last outing was his best, as he allowed three runs in six innings of work while striking out eight against the Miami Marlins.
If Wood can get healthy this offseason, Zaidi could try to coax him back out West where the air is a little cooler during the summer, and where he once pitched so well just a short plane flight to the South away.
He won’t turn 29 until January, so he’s younger than most of the other available starting pitchers, and it’s reasonable to assume he still has plenty left in the tank. He has also shown in the past that he can be effective coming out of the bullpen, so if he struggles in the rotation, he could still provide some value in a swingman role.
Of all the starters on this list, Wood is the one who makes the most sense given his ties to Zaidi and the rotation’s potential need for a lefty if Madison Bumgarner walks.