Even though Jeff Samardzija is a lot closer to a return than originally forecast following his pectoral injury at the end of Spring Training, the Giants were still going to need a spot starter this week. It’s their first chunk of games (7!) without a break and it’s far too early in the season to juggle around starts and days of rest unless needed. April feels like a fine time to debut a now-shaky-yet-once-exciting pitching prospect.
The stakes aren’t exactly low — the Giants are desperate to regain relevance in the National League — but there’s also zero pressure on Beede to come out and be Tim Lincecum here. I say all this because Beede seems to be the heir apparent to an old line of Giants pitching prospect: the guy who’s great for the Giants system but hardly for anyone else’s. There’s definitely a Foppert or Ainsworth vibe coming off of him, but that’s more the result of his recent results... which, in fairness to him and fairness to baseball analysis, is a fair assessement. He’s been somewhat disappointing these past couple of years, after being near the top of the prospect charts after the Giants selected him in 2014.
As Roger noted in last week’s minor league Chroncast Special (PROMOTE CONTENT! PLUG SITE VOICES! PROMOTE! CONSUME!), he hasn’t shown the ability to repeat his success and use his skills to be effective over a long stretch. Which is fine for this spot start, because he’ll only be facing the offense of the Arizona Diamondbacks...
Grant lamented the Giants’ inability to develop useful major league starters ever since Madison Bumgarner and here’s another fine example of it jumping up to... I don’t know... do something to them that’s probably not great. And yet, Beede really only has to be as effective as Chris Stratton has been (which, admittedly, has only been “kinda-sorta/maybe”), provided the Giants’ offense isn’t some sort of rivalry-induced mirage. That is perhaps the bigger development: the Giants aren’t necessarily in such dire straits that one April start isn’t going to be a referendum on the next stretch of games.
Oh, and welcome to the big leagues, Tyler Beede. Baseball’s a lot more fun when guys prove the naysayers wrong. And we’re only naysaying because, well... the numbers? The expectations? Who cares. Go dominate the Diamondbacks.