Tuesday, April 2, 2013

MAKING THE PITCH: San Francisco Giants

Felipe M

Even though the season has started, it's still early enough to take a quick look at the rest of the pitching staffs.

Here's a quick look at the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Now a look at their rival, the San Francisco Giants

2013 Pitching Projections
Player
Team
K/BB
K/9
BB/9
H/9
WHIP
HR/9
Madison Bumgarner
San Francisco
4.04
8.35
2.07
8.18
1.14
0.82
Matt Cain
San Francisco
3.53
8.31
2.36
7.41
1.09
0.81
Tim Lincecum
San Francisco
2.39
9.27
3.88
8.24
1.35
0.94
Ryan Vogelsong
San Francisco
2.28
7.56
3.32
8.52
1.32
0.77
Barry Zito
San Francisco
1.67
5.96
3.56
9.23
1.42
0.99
Sergio Romo
San Francisco
7.56
11.77
1.56
6.75
0.92
0.69













Let's be real: I don't have to sell you on the idea of Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner. Let's move on.

Tim Lincecum has become the biggest enigma since the electronica musical project known as Enigma.  Suddenly, "The Freak" lost the physical ability that made him a household name and earned him the nickname he now carries.  From a numbers standpoint, his K/9 is good enough to make him a relevant fantasy pitcher, but his other stats prevent him from being the elite pitcher we have been marveling at since almost the very beginning of his career.  However, a decrease in velocity is no excuse for poor control--in terms of allowing so many walks.  His 2012 BB/9 of 4.35 is just unacceptable from a guy with his talent.  

In CBS leagues, he's being picked in the 10th round of most leagues, which is about right for a guy like Lincecum. If he can correct the flaws that have turned him into the mess he has become, then obviously he can be a candidate for "steal of the draft."  However, if his miserable spring is any indicator, those current projections might be more of a reality than just a simple prediction.

Then there's a guy like Barry Zito.  He seems to have been struggling with control since 2003, the year after he won the Cy Young Award. Even in 2002, he had a pedestrian 2.3 K/BB.  Erik Bedard is projected to have a 2.25 K/BB.  So perhaps Zito was always this bad?  He wins 15 games last season and people are turning into believers.  But Zito's success was in posting his lowest BB/9 since 2005.  That and he was pitching for the best team in baseball in 2012.  Clearly, I'm not a believer so I stay away from him.  

Ryan Vogelsong had a good spring, but despite the adequate projections, and being a bit more stable than Lincecum, Vogelsong still was being selected, on average, by the 12th round of many drafts.  Vogelsong is a safe pick in your rotation.  The one concern about his projections is his BB/9, but in 2012, he was able to keep his BB/9 below 3.00.  

Finally, Sergio Romo, barring any setbacks, will prove this season why he should be consider among the elite closers in the game.

The Giants have a real shot in having the best starting rotation/closer combo in the game.  If Lincecum can control his walks and Zito can come close to repeating his performance from last season, this team can attain that title.  

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