Late in the afternoon, just as Grant graciously transferred the site’s Twitter account into my custody and I was trying to think of cool, fun ways to make that account be just as good as it was when he ran it without reminding people that he was no longer running it, the story broke that Jeff Samardzija’s shoulder had been bothering him all spring and that today he got an MRI and would be placed on the DL ahead of Opening Day.
That’s a lot of words to setup the main thing: the Giants’ rotation is actually bad now.
Just yesterday, it was average with a chance of being decent. The ceiling suggested starting pitching that could keep an above average offense in a game to then hand off to a bullpen that might be better than the previous two seasons’ worth. But that’s no longer the case. It’s Bumgarner, Cueto, ?, Stratton, profit? right now and that’s not the position any team wants to be in... after all, we can kinda consider Bumgarner’s situation to be “coming back from a shoulder injury”, too.
Maybe we should’ve seen this coming with Jeff Samardzija. His reputation as a starting pitcher was based on his durability. You could forgive the endless barrages of home runs allowed because between all of them (so, so many home runs allowed), there would be strikeouts, and 6+ innings pitched, but also so many home runs allowed, but also the occasional 8 shutout innings. He was the perfect back end of the rotation starter. A regular ol’ innings eater, but now he’s the one who’s been eaten... probably by all the innings.
That’s the thing about pitchers: every single one of them is a ticking time bomb of doom for their respective team. It would be... ironic? a cruel twist of fate? if somehow the Giants survived Madison Bumgarner’s Off Day Adventure that nearly ended his career but not Jeff Samardzija’s Does Everything the Team Asks of Him But Gets Injured Just By Pitching Anyway Adventure.
You better believe we’re turning this developing story INTO A STORY STREAM...