Injuries chipping away at already-thin SF Giants starting pitching depth

2024 San Francisco Giants Spring Training
2024 San Francisco Giants Spring Training / Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

The SF Giants are beginning the season with an unproven and inexperienced pitching staff. However, the already-thin pitching depth is being tested after it was announced that Tristan Beck had been diagnosed with an aneurysm in his upper arm, per Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic.

Injuries chipping away at already-thin SF Giants starting pitching depth

Baggarly also reports that Bob Melvin had ruled out Beck for the Opening Day rotation. No official timetable has been established yet, but the young pitcher is expected to miss the start of the season.

It is a tough blow to the Giants as they just do not have the pitching depth to weather too many injuries. Robbie Ray (Tommy John surgeru) and Alex Cobb (hip) will also begin the season on the injured list with the former already being transferred to the 60-day injured list. The Giants hope that they can avoid that with Cobb.

On the other hand, they did receive some encouraging news. Keaton Winn is expected to throw a bullpen this weekend. He was shut down earlier in camp after experiencing some elbow discomfort, but he remains on schedule to break camp with the club barring any setbacks.

The Giants began the season hoping that Winn and Beck could fill the back end of the rotation until both Ray and Cobb returned. However, they will have to adjust their plan with the latest news on Beck. Importantly, we hope that he has a speedy recovery as this sounds like a scary injury.

In terms of alternatives, the Giants just do not have a lot of proven options on the 40-man roster. Perhaps, Sean Hjelle could be an option, but he has struggled to the tune of a 6.17 ERA in parts of two seasons with the club. Plus, he has struggled to a 5.51 ERA in three seasons with Triple-A.

Kai-Wei Teng is on the 40-man roster as well. However, his spring training has been slowed due to an oblique ailment. There is still enough time for him to return to the mound and build up arm strength for the season, but that window is closing with each passing day. That said, he is better suited for a bullpen role.

Mason Black could be an option. He is not on the 40-man roster, but he tallied a 3.71 ERA in 29 starts in 2023. This includes a 3.86 ERA in 13 starts in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Perhaps, it might be a bit too soon for the 24-year-old prospect, but 29 quality starts in the upper minors is a relatively large sample.

The Giants started the season with thin pitching depth and that is already being tested. With Beck out, they will have to adjust their plan. Unfortunately, there are not many proven options, but it could present an opportunity for a younger pitcher like Black.