Once promising SF Giants flamethrower is now a major rotation liability

The SF Giants need to figure out what to do with Keaton Winn.
St. Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants
St. Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants / Casey Sykes/GettyImages

The SF Giants are scrambling right now due to several starting pitchers being injured. They have had to lean heavily on the young hard throwing Keaton Winn, but his most recent starts show that he has become a major liability in the rotation.

Once promising SF Giants flamethrower is now a major rotation liability

The Giants are really struggling right now with their starting rotation. With Blake Snell and Kyle Harrison currently on the shelf with injuries, they really only have three actual starting pitchers in their rotation: Logan Webb, Jordan Hicks, and Winn.

Webb is the ace of the staff and has been his usual self, Hicks has been incredibly impressive in his first full season as a starter, but Winn, despite showing promise last year and earlier this season, has turned into a major liability for the starting rotation.

Last season, Winn impressed with a fastball in the mid-to-high 90's and a nasty splitter while posting a 4.68 ERA in 42 and 1/3 innings. It seemed like the Giants could have a gem on their hands, basically a much cheaper version of Kevin Gausman, a former Giant who also featured high velocity and a devastating splitter.

Early in 2024, Winn showed signs that last season was not a flash in the pan. At the end of April, he had an ERA of 3.18 and pitched 5 innings or more in all 6 of his starts. May was not as kind to him as he gave up 5 earned runs or more in each of his 3 starts. He also landed on the injured list in mid-May with forearm tightness in his throwing arm and did not return until June.

June has not been any kinder to Winn. He gave up 7 earned runs in a start against the Rangers, had a solid start against the Angels where he gave up 3 earned runs in 6 innings, but then in yesterday's game against the Cardinals he gave up 5 earned runs and did not make it out of the 3rd inning. His ERA has ballooned to an alarming 7.16 on the year.

Perhaps Winn is still dealing with tightness in that forearm. Or perhaps big-league hitters are just starting to figure him out. No matter what, Winn is simply not cutting it in the rotation right now.

The unfortunate thing is that the Giants do not have that many other options right now. Mason Black was not much better when he was called up earlier in the year, and Landen Roupp and Carson Whisenhunt have not shown enough to warrant a spot in the rotation.

For the time being, it seems like the Giants are just going to have to ride it out with Winn until they can start getting pitchers back from injury. One can only hope he can sort things out and start delivering some reliable innings for the Giants because they desperately need it with the current state of their rotation.