SF Giants cannot afford to let veteran reliever try to close games

The Giants must not let Tyler Rogers pitch the 9th inning anymore.
San Francisco Giants v Pittsburgh Pirates
San Francisco Giants v Pittsburgh Pirates / Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

The SF Giants lost Sunday's contest against the New York Mets after Tyler Rogers blew the save in the 9th inning. The Giants had a chance to close the door and sweep the lowly Mets but Rogers proved yet again he should not close games.

SF Giants cannot afford to let veteran reliever try to close games

The good thing is that the Giants have a reliable closer in Camilo Doval who is usually reliable in the 9th inning. The bad thing is that the Giants use Doval so much, often in non-save situations, that there will often be save situations where the team must rely on one of their other bullpen arms to close the game out.

Oftentimes, that pitcher is Tyler Rogers. This makes sense given the fact that Rogers has been one of the most consistent and effective relievers the Giants have had the last several years. He is very effective as an 8th inning set up man. But something about him and the 9th inning just do not mesh.

This is not an overreaction to Sunday's game. In his career, Rogers has converted 19 save opportunities and on Sunday he blew the 20th save opportunity of his career. That is a conversion rate of 19/39 for save opportunities. That is less than 50% which is just not acceptable.

Plus, if you look at his career ERA in the 8th inning it is 2.30 and his career ERA in the 9th inning is north of 4.00. That is a pretty staggering difference.

Manager Bob Melvin must adjust as he learns more about the team. Perhaps next time Doval needs a rest, the team should let Ryan Walker pitch the 9th inning instead of Rogers. Walker had a great 8th inning for the Giants on Sunday and he retired both Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso, two of the toughest hitters in the Mets lineup. He also has more traditional closer stuff, with a high-90's fastball and nasty slider.

Rogers is still a valuable piece of the team's bullpen. But he has proven time and again that he cannot reliably handle the 9th inning. If the Giants want to be a playoff team in 2024, they are going to have to win close games in which Doval cannot close it out. Sunday's game was just more evidence that Rogers cannot be the closer unless in an absolute emergency.