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Giants’ Potential Pitching Rotation to Start 2020

In the last season with manager Bruce Bochy at the helm, the Giants struggled. They finished with a record of 77-85, which was third in the NL West and not good enough to reach the postseason.

With Buster Posey sitting out the season, the Giants will be without their leader. The Giants will likely struggle under new manager Gabe Kapler in 2020. If they somehow succeed, it will be because of several of their arms bouncing back to the form they had earlier in their career.

Here is a look at what the Giants’ pitching rotation could look like if the season isn’t canceled due to COVID-19.

1) Johnny Cueto

Cueto has spent time with the Reds, Royals and Giants in his 12-year career. He has a career record of 126-87 and an ERA of 3.35. His big accomplishments are being named an All-Star twice and helping the Royals win the 2015 World Series.

The last few years have been injury-plagued for Cueto, as he has just 13 starts in the last two years. In 2019, he had an ERA of 5.06 in four games pitched. The injuries include Tommy John surgery in 2018, something he has not shown he can overcome.

He has had his fair share of struggles in the postseason with a 2-4 record and a 4.54 ERA. The most important thing for Cueto in 2020 though, will be staying healthy.

Giants' Pitching rotation
Jeff Samardzija (Photo by mercurynews.com)

2) Jeff Samardzija

The former Notre Dame wide receiver has had a great career and is now 35 years old. He has a career record of 80-104 with an ERA of 4.09. The highlight of his career was being named an All-Star in 2014, when he was a member of the Cubs.

Samardzija has battled injuries of his own, but was able to start 32 games in 2019. He posted a record of 11-12 with an ERA of 3.52, which was his best in years. His 181.1 innings pitched also helps show he has a little bit left in the tank for the 2020 season.

He is not known as a postseason pitcher, as he has an 18.00 ERA in two appearances. Like Cueto, Samardzija will be looking to prove he can post another good season, after some down ones.

3) Kevin Gausman

In his career, Gausman has pitched for the Orioles, Braves and Reds. He has 154 starts with a record of 47-63. His career ERA is 4.30 in 925.2 innings pitched. The veteran has plenty of experience, but he needs to pitch the way he did before the 2019 season.

Last season, Gausman started 16 games for the Braves with a 3-7 record and a 6.19 ERA. The Reds claimed him off waivers and made him a reliever. He had a 4.02 ERA with the Reds for a little bit of improvement.

He has a 2.70 ERA in the postseason with experience in 2014 and 2018 with the Orioles and Braves respectively. Gausman was used as a reliever in these situations, but if the Giants somehow make the playoffs, he will need to be ready to start a game.

4) Drew Smyly

Smyly has bounced around the league in his six-year career. He has a 35-34 career record with an ERA of 4.16. In the first part of his career with the Tigers and Rays, he pitched well, but more recently he has struggled to find his form.

In 2019, he spent time with both the Rangers and the Phillies. His record over the year was 4-7 with a 6.24 ERA. The end of his season with the Phillies was better than the start of the year with the Rangers. He pitched 117 innings between the two teams.

He has been used as a reliever in the postseason. In 10 appearances, he has a 2.50 ERA. All of these appearances came very early on in his career when he was on the Tigers. Smyly would have a similar role in the postseason if the Giants were able to sneak in somehow.

5) Andrew Suarez

Suarez has struggled in his MLB tenure, but will likely be the Giants’ fifth starter to start the season. He has a career record of 7-15 in 50 games. In his 193 innings pitched, he has a career ERA of 4.71.

Last season, Suarez pitched in 21 games with an 0-2 record. He started two games, had an ERA of 5.79 and had 32.2 innings pitched. His role will drastically increase this season.

If Suarez doesn’t pan out, Logan Webb, Tyler Anderson, Trevor Cahill or Tyler Beede could be called upon to fill in.

 

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