How Gabe Kapler is mismanaging the SF Giants pitching staff: Misjudging talent
Over the past couple of days, Kapler and the team have changed their tune a bit, but some of their early-season rankings amongst the relief pitchers were perplexing at the time. While no one denied Trevor Gott was the best and most trustworthy option, Kapler seemed to behave like Tyler Rogers and Rico Garcia were his next best tier of setup options.
Rogers was incredibly effective at the end of 2019 but by the end of camp, Shaun Anderson and Wandy Peralta seemed to be flashing more premium stuff. That’s not to say Rogers, or even Garcia, shouldn’t have been considered high-leverage options, but at the start of the year, they were always the go-to options in those situations.
Kapler has prepared fans to expect the unexpected with the bullpen. Yet, thus far, he’s stuck to pretty standardized roles.
Both Rogers and Garcia have obviously struggled. However, it might have helped both to work in lower stress situations. Plenty of opportunities have been available, but Anderson and Peralta have both been used to fill those innings instead.
Before Garcia was optioned to the team’s alternate site in Sacramento, he had faced 30 batters on the season. 20 of those 30 plate appearances came in medium or high leverage situations. For Rogers, the numbers are even more extreme. 35 of the 46 batters Rogers has faced have come in high-leverage situations.
On the flip side, Anderson has faced nearly half of his batters (16 of 34) in low-leverage situations. Peralta has pitched in a larger number of low-leverage situations than Caleb Baragar.
Given the lack of track-record in the bullpen, a more egalitarian approach might help the players adjust to a more permanent higher stress role and help the team evaluate which players are most viable moving forward.