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Reviewing the rotation depth

Benefits of a stand-pat, already-know-what-we-have offseason:

  • No one had to ask if Lyle Overbay was a good fit

Nothing against Overbay specifically, mind you. But for about five or six years, he was some sort of option for the Giants, whether by trade, free agency, or subpoena. Every. Freaking. Year. What about Lyle Overbay? Is he an upgrade over Lance Niekro or Dan Ortmeier or J.T. Snow or Shea Hillenbrand or Ryan Klesko or Travis Ishikawa? The worst part about it: he usually was an obvious upgrade.

Not this year, though. The big question was shortstop, and there were about five options. The Giants took one of those options. Everyone else stayed. Thus endeth the offseason. There is still work to be done, though, according to some folks:

There's obviously no guarantee that a Giants starter will be injured in 2011 and it's a problem most teams face, but here's where it becomes a sticky situation for the Giants: The team has no sixth starter.

It really is the biggest question still facing the team. With Joe Martinez and Eric Hacker with other organizations, there really isn’t a lot of AAAA-quality depth on the team. Now this might not quite be right…

The problem is there's no Plan B in the organization who is even as good as Todd Wellemeyer was.

…because I wrote for Giants Magazine, which technically makes me a part of the organization, and I can not throw strikes and not get swing-throughs with the worst of them, so I’m at least as good as Wellemeyer, but the larger point stands. It’s hard to even do a legitimate depth chart for the starting pitching. Options on the 40-man roster include Dan Runzler (who is being converted this year, and who just walked you), Henry Sosa, and Clayton Tanner. There’s still a glass case, but it’s filled with a can of Aqua Net.

If I had to guess, the progression as of now would go like this:

  1. Ramon Ramirez for a day-of-game injury
  2. Clayton Tanner or Henry Sosa to make one or two starts for a pitcher who isn’t going on the DL
  3. Someone from AA, like Eric Surkamp or Jorge Bucardo, for a pitcher who is going on the DL and expected to take the full 15 days
  4. A trade if the injury is going to keep the pitcher out for a substantial amount of time

Of course, the Giants are probably still looking. When teams have to make 40-man roster cuts before they leave spring training, the Giants will probably hover over and pick over the bones.

While I want to panic and send Aaron Rowand and $10M over to the Rangers for Scott Feldman – because BURLINGAME HIGH SCHOOL RULES SAN MATEO HIGH SCHOOL DROOLS – it’s probably prudent to wait until spring to sift through other team’s roster casualties and build up depth. If starting pitching is the biggest problem facing the Giants, we’re in a better spot than in, say, 2008, when our biggest problem was not having more than two or three good players. Mostly, I’m just thankful for an Overbay-free rosterbation season.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to think about the Yankees’ rotation and laugh for a little bit.