Now we have a general date for Bumgarner’s return: "early June", per Bruce Bochy. That doesn’t factor in the time it will take for him to get back to a major league-quality level of pitching; and, of course, there’s no way to know what state the Giants will be in upon his return.
Still, it could’ve been much worse. Three pins in a pinky finger is not a broken hand or Tommy John surgery. The Giants will still be able to see what they’ve got in a top tier pitcher as they plan ahead.
As Andrew Baggarly pointed out last night:
The real shame of this Bumgarner injury isn't merely how it impacts the Giants in 2018. It's when you realize this fracture probably wipes out 20-25 percent of the time Bumgarner remains under club control. Those thoughts and more in story coming soon on @TheAthleticSF.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) March 24, 2018
The Giants planned to make a run this season, and that might very well still be in play. But what about next year? An injury to your ace that will take him out for at least a third of the season with an aging roster, you know, aging quickly, might really get an organization thinking ahead far sooner than they expected.
Everyone knows what Madison Bumgarner means to the Giants, and the organization knows what they can expect from him when he’s on the mound, but pretty soon we might all start trying to figure out what the Giants can get for him.