SF Giants starting rotation quietly excelling in key area in 2024

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants
Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants / Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

The SF Giants are getting both quality and length out of its starting rotation in 2024. In fact, they are fourth in baseball in quality starts in the early going with 12 according to Codify Baseball.

SF Giants starting rotation quietly excelling in key area in 2024

The Philadelphia Phillies (15), Kansas City Royals (12), and Seatle Mariners (12) are all ahead of the Giants in terms fo quality starts. A quality start is when a starter completes at least six innings and allows three of fewer runs.

There are arguably better ways to evaluate a rotation because quality starts are not as quantitative as other metrics. For example, the Giants rotation has tallied a 4.31 ERA this year, which is 22nd in baseball. Though, they are closer to the middle of the pack with a 4.03 FIP.

However, a quality start can still be one of many ways to evaluate a rotation. In 2023, the Minnesota Twins and San Diego Padres led baseball with 76 quality starts and 75 quality starts, respectively. Not surprisingly, the Padres led baseball with a 3.69 rotation ERA followed by the Twins with a 3.82 rotation ERA.

Good rotations tend to have good starters who make a lot of good starts. What a concept!

The Giants expected the rotation to be a strength this year, and according to one category, they are. Logan Webb (5) leads the rotation in quality starts followed by Kyle Harrison (3), Jordan Hicks (2), and Keaton Winn (2).

In 2023, Webb tied Gerrit Cole with 24 quality starts. The Giants ace also led baseball with 216 innings pitched.

Despite this, the Giants ranked 18th with 51 quality starts last season. It is easy to point to Bob Melvin and his old-school coaching staff as the main reason for the change.

The Giants aggressively used the opener strategy in 2023. This was not necessarily by design. They had hoped to get quality innings from Sean Manaea, Anthony DeSclafani, Ross Stripling, and Alex Wood. DeSclafani, Stripling, and Wood had stretches where they were just unplayable, so the Giants had to adjust. On the other hand, Manaea began the year on a rough note but had a nice finish to the season.

The season is still very young, but it is clear that the starting rotation will function in a more traditional sense. And, if they continue to record quality starts, they should be one of the better units by the end of the year.