Giants: State of the bullpen midway through the offseason
There are a handful of other in-house options that will get a long look this spring.
Signed as a minor league free agent before 2019, 27-year-old right-hander Jandel Gustave follows the trend of low-risk additions who have been cast off by former teams. He posted a 2.96 ERA and 3.71 FIP in 24.1 innings last season.
He did struggle to fool batters (5.2 K/9), but was elite at keeping the ball in the park (0.4 HR/9). He may need to develop a reliable third pitch if he wants to reach another level, after exclusively using a fastball-slider combination last season.
Further down the list, Andrew Suarez, Shaun Anderson, and Dereck Rodriguez all came up as starting pitchers. However, they operated in a swingman role of sorts in 2019, with each making at least 12 relief appearances. Their 2020 outlook is muddled, but their versatility may be beneficial as the club continues to make pitching additions throughout the offseason.
The trio of righties Tyler Rogers and Burch Smith and lefty Wandy Peralta made late-season cameos with the big league squad, and each performed fairly well. Rogers, a submariner, was probably the best of the bunch. Over his 17.2 innings, he allowed just three runs and three walks, posting a 1.02 ERA and 2.08 FIP while striking out 16 batters. My guess is that we see him on the Opening Day roster, or soon thereafter.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that the most talented reliever on the Giants is currently recovering from shoulder surgery and will be out for most, if not all, of the 2020 season. Reyes Moronta would have been perhaps the strongest contender to take up the mantle at closer, with an 11.1 K/9 and 6.5 H/9, along with a 2.86 ERA over 56.2 innings. The team will surely open up a spot for him when he returns to full health.
Clearly, the Giants have little in the way of truly established relievers going into 2020. Additions will need to be made — at the very least so they can have some interesting trade chips come July. Luckily, the free agent market still has some quality arms out there, and most should be fairly affordable.