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SF Giants: Three Potential Left-Handed Pitching Targets

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 27: Rich Hill #44 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Cincinnati Reds on September 27, 2020 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 27: Rich Hill #44 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Cincinnati Reds on September 27, 2020 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Rich Hill
Rich Hill #44 of the Minnesota Twins could be an SF Giants target this offseason. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)

The SF Giants are still in the market to rebuild their rotation even after Kevin Gausman accepted his $18.9 million qualifying offer.

The SF Giants front office likes to have balance in their rotation between left-handed and right-handed arms.

As currently constructed, they have Tyler Anderson as the only southpaw projected to be in next year’s rotation if they tender him a contract.

On top of this, San Francisco has interest in bringing back Drew Smyly after a strong season in 2020. Outside of these two names, who are some free agent arms who throw with their left arm and could conceivably be a target for the Giants?

Three Left-Handed Pitching Targets for the SF Giants

1. Rich Hill

Few pitchers in baseball history have had careers quite like Rich Hill. Before his age-35 season, the veteran southpaw struggled to stay healthy while bouncing around the major league circuit.

In that time, he only had 471 career innings with a 4.72 ERA under his belt. Then he really burst onto the scene with an impressive 1.55 ERA across 29 frames with the Boston Red Sox in 2015. It was a small sample, but it caught a lot of attention.

Since then, he has been awesome. and quietly one of the better arms in baseball. Across 476 innings, he has posted a 3.01 ERA (3.55 FIP) with a 28.3 strikeout rate over the last five seasons with the Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Minnesota Twins.

In 2020, he continued to put up solid numbers. In 38.2 innings, he produced a 3.03 ERA (3.99 FIP) with a 19.9 percent strikeout rate against a 10.9 percent walk rate.

It could be small sample shenanigans, but the fact that there was such a sharp drop in his strikeout rate compared to what we have seen in recent seasons could alarm some teams. These concerns are compounded by the fact that his walk rate saw a noticeable spike as well.

While the 41-year-old continues to put up strong numbers, durability remains a question as he has battled blister issues for the past several years.

So, if the Giants did sign the veteran hurler, they would need depth behind Hill in case an injury arises. That said, Hill gives you quality innings when he can make it to the mound.

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