The SF Giants have been in cruise control as of late, with a 44-34 record that pushes them to second in the National League West, and while things are going well now, they no doubt need to make some changes if they are to be considered genuine contenders in the NL.
When should the SF Giants call on their top prospect?
One of the biggest necessary changes is to their starting rotation, with Sean Manea, Ross Stripling, Alex Wood and Alex Cobb all either missing time or struggling in a big way, and as of right now, there's two big ways the Giants could go about fixing that.
Firstly is via the trade market, with names like Shane Bieber, Lucas Giolito and Marcus Stroman potential candidates, but today we are going to take a look at the other option, and that's the MLB's No. 14 ranked prospect and San Francisco's No. 1, Kyle Harrison.
Many fans have called for the young 21-year old to be called up immediately, but the question on everyone's mind is, is the Giants young star ready for the big leagues?
His 2023 performances could call that into question, as he has a 1-3 record with a 4.53 ERA through 49.2 innings, but on his best days, Harrison has been electric, as he recently struckout 8 hitters through five innings and gave up just 2 runs against the Sugar Land Space Cowboys, so why do his stats look so inflated?
Firstly, a lack of innings could contribute to this, as Harrison has gone 5 innings or more in just one of his 15 starts this year, in two of those giving up 5 and 7 earned runs, and at 21-years of age, it's clear the Giants are looking to build up his arm before getting him to take the next step. In those 15 starts, Harrison has surrendered 2 or less earned runs in 12 of them, and given his explosive fastball and improving secondary pitches, it's clear that his stuff is ready to compete at the big league level.
Given the success of Keaton Winn, Sean Hjelle and Camilo Doval, the Giants are clearly confident with young names stepping into the league, but given the hype behind Harrison, they need to treat his promotion carefully, as he has plenty of expectations on his shoulders.
Ultimately, it appears the Giants are building him up to be a key piece of this rotation, and while it's unlikely that he comes up and gives them 7+ innings every night. Given what they've seen with Winn and Ryan Walker as openers lately, he should be able to slide right into the same role.
If we know anything about this current roster, it's that the production of their young names has been key to their success thus far, as Harrison projects to be their No. 2 behind Webb for years to come, so expect to see him this season, but with just 1 start of 5 innings or more this year, it's likely that they will give him at least several more starts before a promotion.
The bullpen and their openers have held strong thus far, but as the year rolls on, the Giants need to solidify a starting rotation, and with Webb, Cobb, Wood, Stripling and Harrison, it allows him to acclimatize himself to the big league level while tampering expectations, so keep an eye out for him to be promoted over the next 4-6 weeks at some point.