The starting rotation has been the reason for the Giants success and it’s no different in 2017. Last off-season the Giants signed Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija to bolster the starting rotation. They also added Matt Moore in a mid-season trade with the Rays. No longer with the team is Jake Peavy (free agent). Coming into spring training the Giants have 1 spot open in the rotation. Let’s take a look at who’s battling for the job.
Locked In: Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Matt Moore, Jeff Samardzija
Battling for a spot: Matt Cain, Ty Blach, and Albert Suarez
Battle for 5th Spot
Matt Cain is the longest tenured Giant heading into spring training. The Giants would like to see Cain run away with 5th spot, but Cain has struggled over the years with injuries. He has also struggled to keep his ERA below 4.
Albert Suarez was called up last season to bolster the bullpen and served as the teams long reliever. He also started 12 games for the team and finished the season 3-5 with a 4.29 ERA in 84 innings. There’s a chance for him to make the club as a long relief/middle relief guy.
Ty Blach was huge down the stretch for the Giants last season. He made 2 starts in his rookie season and if you remember the 1 vs Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers to help seal the wild card spot for the Giants. Blach showed poised as he also pitched 3.1 scoreless innings in the NLDS. Ty Blach is a serious contender to win the 5th spot.
Prediction: As much as I want to see Matt Cain return to his old form I predict Ty Blach winning the spot and pushing Matt Cain to long relief. If Blach struggles Cain will definitely get a chance to start. Suarez will go up and down the minors and may stay in the bigs if any of the starters land on the DL. We will definitely see all 3 of these guys contribute.
Prospect Watch: Tyler Beede
Tyler Beede has made his way up the ranks fairly quick. 1st round pick back in 2014 out of Vanderbilt. Beede has shown flashes of being a front line starter. He’s in camp with the big leaguers this season and could open some eyes. He will most likely start at Triple A, but could be called up if a starter goes down with an injury or could be a September call up.