Three Left-Handed Pitching Targets for the SF Giants
2. Mike Minor
Similar to Hill, Mike Minor found his footing as a pitcher later in his career. After not appearing on a big-league mound in 2015 and 2016, the left-handed hurler reemerged with the Kansas City Royals in 2017.
In that season, he registered a 2.55 ERA (2.62 FIP) in 77.2 innings while pitching exclusively out of the bullpen. He rolled this strong campaign into a three-year, $28 million pact with the Texas Rangers.
The Rangers immediately placed him back in the rotation. During that contract, Minor posted a respectable 4.07 ERA (4.37 FIP) with a 22.6 percent strikeout rate across 422 innings. He finished out the contract with the Oakland Athletics as he was acquired from the Rangers before the 2020 trade deadline.
Despite these solid numbers, the 32-year-old struggled in 2020. Across 56.2 innings, Minor posted a 5.56 ERA (4.64 FIP) with a 26 percent strikeout rate.
Teams may be willing to overlook his rough surface-level stats given that he was still able to rack up strikeouts at such a high rate. Furthermore, the 1.12-point difference between his ERA and FIP may suggest some bad luck as well.
The lefty’s repertoire includes a fastball that sits in the low-90’s with a slider, curveball, and changeup. The curveball and changeup grade out as above-average pitchers, so an increase in usage for both pitches could result in better numbers in 2021.
The Giants need innings in a 2021 rotation that has few reliable arms outside of Kevin Gausman. Minor has proven that he can still soak up some innings, so he does make a lot of sense for the Giants.
On top of his, Minor may be in the market for a one-year, pillow contract after a rough season in 2020. The Giants have been stingy with free-agent spending in recent seasons, but they have had no problem handing out pillow contracts to pitchers looking to reestablish value.