Bay Area Sports Fan!

A blog for a Bay Area Sports Fan

Do The Giants Have Pitching?

Posted by davefowkes on 03/29/2009

The Giants have three pitchers with Cy Young Awards, they have a combination of youth and experience, and they have the potential to rank as a top 3 rotation in the Major Leagues this year. All the talk surrounding the Giants tends to revolve around the lineup and who will drive in the runs. It is almost a given that the Giants rotation will be good. But will it? It certainly could, but I see a lot of potential land mines along the way. Let’s break it down by pitcher:

Tim Lincecum: Defending Cy Young champ. Sky is the limit for this guy. The only long term question seems to be will his small body take the beating of pitching over the years. Their is a potential for a Cy Young hangover, but Lincecum is the one guy I don’t question on this staff.

Matt Cain: He has been snake bit by lack of run support throughout his career. He has a great arm, but if he does not put it together this year he may just need a change of scenery. We can make excuses all we want but at some point Cain has to win games, whether he gets the run support or not. Last year he seemed to be dominant in 1-0 losses and then not so good in 8-6 losses. Either way he would get the loss! Is he that good?

Jonathan Sanchez: I actually like Sanchez’s potential. But last year was his first as a starter. He showed promise but was very inconsistent over the course of the year. If he improves he could easily slide in behind Lincecum as a great #2 pitcher. But if he can not master the game, he will drive Giants fans crazy with his inconsistency.

Randy Johnson: Old, old, old. Johnson was a nice pickup. He has some arm left. But at 45-years old how many starts do the Giants really expect to get out of him? And how successful will he be? Johnson has the feel of a 10-10 pitcher or thereabouts. And again, that is if his back can survive.

Barry Zito: Then there is the always fun Zito. I still like him from his A’s years, but the reality is that his fastball is clocking out about as fast as a Tim Wakefield knuckleball. I would love to see the return of the old Zito, but until proven otherwise, Zito will try to cling to a spot in the rotation.

Noah Lowry: How will he be when he returns from injury? You can certainly imagine him being in the rotation for an injured Johnson or bad Zito when he does return, but what will his game look like coming off a major surgery?

On paper the Giants have a great spring rotation. Lots of hope and potential, but when they start throwing for real in April, I wonder if the Giants problems will just be limited to their lineup. If the rotation struggles, the team is toast! Let’s hope for Giants fans that this is all about nothing, Lincecum is just like last year, Cain gets over the hump, Sanchez dominates, Johnson stays healthy, and Zito finds his rhythm. The Giants will win a lot of games that way! But I just wonder if all five of those things can really happen!


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