The SF Giants should be worried about the workload for two young starters

Two young pitchers have had to work hard this season.
New York Yankees v San Francisco Giants
New York Yankees v San Francisco Giants / Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

The SF Giants have leaned heavily on three pitchers in their starting rotation this year. Two of them are Kyle Harrison and Jordan Hicks. The team should be worried about the heavy workload they have foisted upon their young arms.

The SF Giants should be worried about the workload for two young starters

The Giants have been forced to lean on these two pitchers for a few reasons. Logan Webb, Hicks, and Harrison are the only three starting pitchers who have been healthy the entire season thus far. Blake Snell has been injured and has pitched poorly when he's been healthy. The Giants have cycled through several pitchers as their fifth starter and are currently employing an opener strategy. This has put a lot of stress on their bullpen which has been leaned on heavily to eat up innings.

Therefore, when Webb, Harrison, or Hicks is on the mound, the Giants are really hoping that they can go deep into games. This is not as big of a problem for Logan Webb whose arm is used to throwing a lot of innings. Last season he threw 216 innings which led the majors and in 2022 he threw 192 innings.

However, when it comes to Harrison and Hicks, their arms are not used to that much mileage in a single season. The most innings that Harrison has thrown in a year of professional baseball is 113 back in 2022 which was across multiple levels of the minors. Harrison has averaged roughly 5 and a half innings per start thus far. At that pace, he would be on track for roughly 175 innings on the season. Back in the day, no one would think twice about that workload, but teams are much more likely to be protective of their younger arms.

In the case of Hicks, we know that this is his first season in the big leagues as a starter. He has been used almost exclusively as a reliever prior to this season. The highest inning count he has in professional baseball came back in 2017 when he threw 105 innings across multiple levels of the minor leagues. At his current pace, Hicks is on track for roughly 165 innings this season. That is a pretty big jump from his previous high of 65 and 2/3 innings pitched at the major league level.

With both of these young arms, it is fair to question whether they can maintain their effectiveness throughout the year. Will their arms get tired as the year progresses and result in poor performance or even injury? The Giants are surely monitoring the both of them, but this is something that fans should keep an eye on as the year progresses.