The SF Giants began the offseason with at least four rotation spots to fill as several key arms from the 2021 season became free agents. To their credit, they have filled three of those spots by re-signing Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood as well as reeling in Alex Cobb.
What if the SF Giants round out the starting rotation with an internal candidate?
When a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is ratified, there should be a frenzy in free agency as teams look to finalize rosters in preparation for the 2022 season. The Giants could go in a number of different directions as they have the financial flexibility to dip into free agency and the prospect capital to make a trade.
However, they could look to fill the role internally as they have several starting pitchers on the 40-man roster.
1. Tyler Beede
Injuries never come at an opportune time, but the timing of Tyler Beede's injury was unfortunate. The former first-round pick sustained an injury to his pitching elbow that required Tommy John surgery in March of 2020.
The projected recovery time is typically 12 - 18 months, but it seems like pitchers do not fully regain their prior form until two years after surgery. The good news is that Beede is approaching that two-year mark next month.
The right-handed hurler only made one appearance for the Giants in 2021, allowing three earned runs in one inning before being optioned back to Triple-A. The fact that he even made it back is a significant accomplishment.
With that being said, the 2022 season seems to be approaching make-or-break territory for the 28-year hurler. Beede is out of options, so if he does not make the Opening Day roster, he will be exposed to waivers. Some team will take a chance on his potential upside, so it is unlikely that he would pass through unclaimed.
To date, he has struggled to adjust to major league hitting. However, he has had a few promising stretches in a Giants uniform. In July of 2019, the righty registered a 3.34 ERA with 27 strikeouts against only four walks in 32.1 frames but he followed this up with a 7.25 ERA in five starts in the following month.
Beede believed that he was tipping his pitches during that rough patch. He corrected this and finished the 2019 campaign on a high note as he posted a 3.28 ERA with 24 strikeouts in his final five appearances. The Giants remained patient with Beede by allowing him to experience the ups-and-downs of being a major league pitcher and it looked like that patience was going to be rewarded.
He was a legitimate candidate to make the Opening Day rotation in 2020, but nature had a different plan. Beede struggled badly in his return from injury as he produced a 6.66 ERA with 50 strikeouts against 45 walks in 16 starts In Triple-A last season.
Those numbers need to be looked at with a grain of salt as Triple-A West is an extreme hitter's league and consistency in delivery and release point usually take longer to return following major elbow surgery. He will need to prove that he can pitch effectively in the strike zone in camp if he has a shot at making the club as a starting pitcher.