The SF Giants came into the 2022 season confident that their pitching staff would be a strength. It has served the team well thus far, but can they rely on it to win games for the entire season? It is a balancing act. The pitching staff is definitely good enough to win, but the offense has not left much margin for error this season and that can burn a rotation out.
Can the SF Giants keep relying on pitching to win this season?
Good pitching and defense is a strategy that is familiar to SF Giants fans. It helped deliver them three World Series championships and was a key part of their success to the tune of 107 wins last season.
However, we have already seen signs early on that the Giants' pitching strength is vulnerable, especially as the season goes on.
Alex Cobb's early exit from the first game of Tuesday's double-header due to a groin injury was a reminder of that vulnerability. Cobb was placed on the injured list with an abductor strain, but he is expected to return when he is eligible. This is further compounded given that Anthony DeSclafani hit the injured list as well with ankle inflammation.
It is worth remembering that practically every member of the Giants starting rotation has had some injury troubles in the past. Logan Webb has had Tommy John surgery as a prospect and still has relatively little mileage on his arm.
Carlos Rodon has dealt with injuries throughout much of his career and battled arm fatigue down the stretch in 2021. This led to a concerning dip in velocity, but the good news is that his velocity has returned to form in 2022.
Lastly, Alex Wood has battled nagging back and shoulder injuries. This limited him to just nine appearances in 2020, but he was able to rebound and make 26 starts with the Giants last year.
This is not unique to the Giants, but it is worth keeping in mind as they win games early this season primarily due to their pitching. At some point, they are going to need their lineup to bail them out if starters are hurt or struggling.
The good news is that the Giants have added a lot of depth to balance out the injury risk. They have added Jakob Junis, Carlos Martínez, and Matthew Boyd. All three pitchers have considerable major league experience, but the latter two are still recovering from injury.
SF Giants fans should not fret too much though. The offense's inconsistent start to the season is to be expected after Buster Posey's retirement and injuries to Evan Longoria and LaMonte Wade.
They may not be able to put up the same sort of offensive numbers they did last season, but once they can get back to a place of relative health then I think we will see them start to win games with their offense rather than just their pitching. They can rely on pitching to win games, but a little more offense would not hurt, either.