Not much went right for the SF Giants in 2022, with injuries and poor performance hurting the offense and an at-times suspect bullpen blowing games at the end. When the dust settled, the team finished 81-81 - a 26-win drop from the previous year's franchise record.
One constant bright spot in the rough campaign was a solid starting staff. Those that stayed healthy pitched well and kept the team in games - especially Carlos Rodon.
The left-hander, signed before the season to a two-year, $44-million contract (which he opted out of just days ago), was dominant almost every time he took the mound for the Orange and Black. Rodon started 31 times and turned in a 2.88 ERA with 237 strikeouts in 178 innings pitched and a 1.03 WHIP. He earned his second All-Star nod and set a Giants franchise record in double-digit strikeout games in one season.
Despite his outstanding season, Rodon was snubbed in the National League Cy Young category as Major League Baseball announced the top-three finalists for each annual post-season award.
The awards will be announced beginning next Monday, with the Jackie Robinson Rookies of the Year coming that day followed by Managers of the Year on Tuesday, Cy Youngs on Wednesday and Most Valuable Players on Thursday.
Rodon will finish fourth at best behind expected winner Sandy Alcantara of the Miami Marlins and lefties Max Fried of the Atlanta Braves and Julio Urias of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
If you really look at their seasons, though, Rodon has a strong argument to be in the top-three. He finished just sixth in the league in Earned Run Average, but a Fielding-Independent Pitching mark of 2.25 (meaning the Giants' poor defense hurt him to the tune of over one-half extra run per game) was easily the best in the league. He also finished second in strikeouts with 237, just six behind Milwaukee's Corbin Burnes, the reigning Cy Young winner who threw 24 more innings; Rodon's strikeout rate of nearly 12 batters per nine innings was the best in the league of any qualifying pitcher.
Rodon also nearly led the NL in Fangraphs' Wins Above Replacement. His 6.2 was just a sliver behind the 6.3 of Philadelphia's Aaron Nola and better than Alcantara's 5.7, Fried's 5.0 and nearly double the 3.2 put up by Urias.