Coming into Spring Training, there was the illusion of a battle for the fifth starting spot in the Giants’ rotation. While names like Ty Blach and Tyler Beede were technically competing for that last rotation position, the favorite was clearly known.
Management made it clear. Their preferred choice would be longtime Giant Matt Cain. From those closely observing, as well as listening to manager Bruce Bochy, General Manager Bobby Evans, President of Baseball Operations Brian Sabean and managing partner Larry Baer, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Cain would start the year in the rotation if he was healthy.
That was the belief BEFORE Spring Training started. I am not one to put a ton of stock into statistics in Spring Training, especially for pitchers, but one look at Cain’s spring gives serious reason to doubt his spot on the team.
In 5 games this spring, Cain has an 8.40 ERA. That becomes even more concerning as you have to remember that in spring, much of the competition are players that will not ultimately make the big league roster.
Cain’s main competitor for the spot is Ty Blach, who had an amazingly memorable outing against the Dodgers at the end of last season where he went eight shutout innings, while only giving up three hits. Blach hasn’t had a perfect spring by any measure, but has certainly had a better spring than Cain, and Giants fans can agree he deserves the opportunity to pitch in a major league rotation.