Picking The Perfect Gift For 12 SF Giants Players In 2021
SF Giants Gifts: Anthony DeSclafani Bounceback
From 2015-2019, Anthony DeSclafani made 103 starts to a 4.01 ERA (4.17 FIP), completed 589.2 innings, struck out 531, and walked just 164. While he missed much of the 2017 season with elbow tendinitis, he was a relatively healthy starter as well. The Giants obviously hope he can regain that form for them next season.
Of course, DeSclafani is coming off a disastrous 2020 campaign. After throwing 11 shutout innings to start the season, it was all downhill from there. DeSclafani finished the season with a 7.22 ERA over 33.2 innings with a career-worst strikeout rate and walk rate. By the end of the year, the Reds had relegated him to the bullpen.
As bad as DeSclafani was last season, there were no obvious causes for the sudden disaster. He actually posted a career-high fastball velocity, and most of his pitches posted similar spin rates and movement patterns as in years past.
DeSclafani has relied heavily on a four-seam fastball, sinker, and slider (throwing them at least 79% of the time every year of his career) but also has a changeup and curveball. While his fastball and sinker sit in the mid-90s, his slider is has been his only consistently above-average pitch. Even amidst his struggles this season, batters hit just .190 and whiffed on 35.6% of swings against it.
Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart suggested that after DeSclafani’s third start of the season, he was tipping pitches, but he would make nine more appearances on the season with no better success. Furthermore, when asked about it, DeSclafani was skeptical that he was tipping pitches.
After a couple of starts in 2020, DeSclafani looked set to receive multi-year offers with $25 million in guarantees. Instead, he signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Giants this offseason. Needless to say, if he rebounds to his pre-2020 form, Farhan Zaidi will have struck gold once again in free agency.