Giants Five surprising takeaways from 2020 ZiPS projections
Dereck Rodriguez returns to form
The first two seasons for pitcher Dereck Rodriguez were a roller coaster ride to say the least.
He burst onto the scene after a call-up in late May 2018 and finished an amazing rookie campaign by going 6-1 with a 2.81 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 19 starts, chewing up six innings of work on average.
However, he failed to match those numbers last season when he went 6-11 with a 5.64 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 16 starts and 12 relief appearances. He averaged fewer than five innings per start.
So what about 2020?
According to Szymborski’s projections, Rodriguez is in line for an 8-9 record with a 4.55 ERA while giving up 18 home runs.
Those numbers may not look impressive at surface level, but they are solid compared to other Giants starters.
His eight wins are tied for the second most on the team with Jeff Samardzija, who has an 8-10 projected record. They both fall just one short of team lead, which is held by free-agent signing Kevin Gausman who is projected to finish with a 9-9 record.
D-Rod’s projected ERA is just behind Samardzija (4.45) and his home runs allowed are better than other young arms vying for a rotation spot such as Andrew Suarez, Tyler Beede, and Connor Menez.
Remember that Szymborski feels the Giants are around .500 club next season and they will frequently face strong division rivals in the NL West.
Any improvement out of D-Rod over last season will be a welcome sight for the pitcher who quickly became a fan favorite.