The SF Giants bullpen posted a 4.08 ERA in 2022, ranking as the 11th-worst mark in baseball. They have bolstered the bullpen by adding Taylor Rogers and Luke Jackson this winter, but what does the rest of the bullpen look like?
Projecting the 2023 SF Giants Opening Day bullpen
For starters, Jackson underwent Tommy John surgery last April, so he will possibly not be ready for Opening Day. The recovery timeline usually ranges from 12 - 18 months with relievers typically being ready closer to the 12-month mark.
San Francisco will likely begin the season carrying 13 position players, five starting pitchers, and eight relievers. The Giants have six starting pitchers under contract for next season, so we could see one of those starters transition to the bullpen.
Or, the Giants will use the injury list as a means for workload management, so it is possible that any of their six starters do not see a ton of time out of the bullpen.
With that being said, the Giants are returning many of the same relievers from last season. The only notable omissions are Jarlín García and Zack Littell. Both pitchers were non-tendered in November.
The good news is that the Giants have a legitimate closer in Camilo Doval. If last season is any indication, the bad news is being able to get the ball to him with the lead. Doval flourished in 2022, registering a 2.53 ERA with 27 saves in 30 chances. Those are some pretty awesome numbers.
However, the rest of the bullpen was not as effective. When Opening Day rolls around and assuming no injuries, the Giants will likely a deploy a bullpen that consists of:
1. Camilo Doval
2. John Brebbia
3. Tyler Rogers
4. Taylor Rogers
5. Scott Alexander
6. Thomas Szapucki
7. Jakob Junis
8. Cole Waites
On the surface, this is not the most inspiring group of relievers. However, bullpen arms tend to be volatile and many of the pitchers above have had some sort of success in the majors.
The Giants are banking on Taylor Rogers to rebound from his 4.76 ERA in 2022. They are also hoping that, at some point, Jackson proves that his solid 2021 campaign in which he tallied a 1.98 ERA in 71 appearances was not an outlier.
Furthermore, they are banking on Alexander being healthy, Junis effectively transitioning to the bullpen, and that one of their young relievers like Waites carving out a role in the bullpen. They are banking on a lot with the bullpen but that is how the front office approaches relievers.
The Giants might be done with the heavy lifting this offseason but they are constantly looking at ways to add more pitching, so they will likely continue to tweak the bullpen through minor league deals and low-value guaranteed contracts. They have often made these types of moves closer to spring training as pitchers look for a landing spot to showcase what they can do.
For the Giants, they are hoping that some of their moves pay off this offseason and that last season was a fluke in some sense.