The Giants are five games deep into Spring Training 2017. As anyone knows, Spring Training is more for the pitchers than it is the hitters, hence the frequently high scoring games. Naturally, a large number of Bruce Bochy’s hurlers are prospects. After a 3-2 start to the pre-season, here’s where the bullpen inventory stands, provided San Francisco opens up on April 2nd with 12 pitchers on the 40-man active roster.
The starting rotation is set, primarily with returnees. Johnny Cueto is already scheduled to start Opening Day, despite not having shown up to Spring Training (family related absence). Five year veteran Madison Bumgarner will also be returning to the mound this season. Matt Cain will be back should he stay healthy. Jeff Samardzija returns as well. August 2016 acquisition Matt Moore‘s option has been exercised for 2017, so we’ll see him throwing again this season, too.
Matt Cain has struggled to stay healthy in the past few seasons.
In the bullpen
Based on a 12-man (with a possible 13th) pitching staff, the following are who I see sitting in the bullpen on April 2nd. Derek Law, coming off of a 4-2 record in 2016 will be back this year. In his first Spring Training appearance, we saw one walk from him over a one inning show. MLB veteran Cory Gearrin will also be back in a Giants uniform this year. In Game 1 of Spring Training, Gearrin’s first outing included two hits and an earned run, as well as a walk and a strikeout. Game 1 also provided us a look at closer Neil Ramirez, who sealed the game for a win. It’s possible that we could be looking at Ramirez to fill in the shoes of Sergio Romo, who recently signed with the Dodgers, but not likely at the start of the season. Another off-season acquisition, Mark Melancon will also be expected to fill in some shoes. He closed out Game 2 of Spring Training for Giants win #2. I also expect to see returnees George Kontos and Josh Osich in orange and black, and so will Hunter Strickland, who took the loss against the Padres yesterday. Bochy and GM Bobby Evans have plans for Strickland to be the set-up man in the bullpen. Ty Blach would be incredible to see again, particularly after his stellar October performance against the Dodgers, but I think it more likely that he’ll be seen first in Sacramento. Prospect Tyler Beede, who excites me beyond belief after his college career at Vanderbilt, will also start the year in the minors, but I see him coming up mid-season should an injury to another pitcher call for it. Finally, after five games of Spring Training, there is a possibility that we’ll see Michael Roth out there at AT&T, too