17.2 IP, 8.15 K/9, 1.53 BB/9, 1.02 ERA, 2.08 FIP, 2.87 xFIP, 0.5 fWAR, 0.7 rWAR
Tyler Rogers rules.
I had this whole intro about seeing him for the first time in Sacramento and how he worked his way up to the majors, but that didn’t really cut to the core of things, which is this: Tyler Rogers is the single most fun player to watch on the Giants.
It’s not just that he has that unique delivery, ultra underhand, with his knuckles almost scraping the ground, but it’s so dang effective. In the month of September, Rogers had the second most fWAR of any Giants pitcher, ahead of Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith and everyone not named Tyler Beede (Beede, for the record, pitched 10 more innings than Rogers in September and was worth 0.1 more WAR).
That combination of uniqueness and effectiveness makes him an absolute delight on the mound. Nobody throws like Tyler Rogers. Almost nobody’s as good as Tyler Rogers (among relievers who pitched at least 10 innings this year, he was fourth in the majors in ERA and no, YOUR sample size is small).
And this is all coming on the heels of two straight offseasons where Rogers was available to be selected in the Rule 5 draft, and every team in the majors said, “Nah, we’re good.” Grant had a thing for a while about how the Twins, who literally employ Rogers’s twin brother Taylor Rogers, could have had an actual set of twins on the roster and they chose not to. Is that why they continued their proud tradition of losing to the Yankees in the playoffs? Yes, it definitely is.
The important thing is this: every team could have had Tyler Rogers for a tiny amount of cash. They all declined. The thing the Giants didn’t see in him for years (his delivery and mid-80s fastball playing in the majors) is the same thing the league didn’t see in him for years, and now Rogers is making them all look stupid, including the Giants for not bringing him up in 2017 or 2018, both All-Star seasons for Rogers in AAA.
Somehow, probably due to anti-Giants media bias, Tyler Rogers was completely shut out of Rookie of the Year balloting. This is a travesty, and the only way the nation will ever recover is a long series of Congressional hearings to get to the bottom of it.
Role on the 2019 team
Late season bullpen reinforcement. Even before Reyes Moronta and Tony Watson went down with season-ending injuries, they were having poor Augusts, and with Sam Dyson and Mark Melancon traded (along with Drew Pomeranz), that strong bullpen from the first few months of the year had just about crumbled into dust. Rogers was one of the guys the Giants brought up from Sacramento to try to stop the bleeding, and he was very successful at it. The team was still bad, of course, but at least they had one young guy in the bullpen who was absolutely not the problem.
Role on the 2020 team
There’s a spot in the bullpen that’s his to lose. Rogers has spent years putting up great numbers in the minors, and he just kept on trucking when he hit the majors. It’s certainly possible that he gets optioned after a weak spring, but if you were filling out a preliminary 8-man Giants bullpen for 2020, he’d absolutely be on the list.
How Farhan is Tyler Rogers?
3.5 Farhans. Rogers is cheap, he has options, he was undervalued by both the previous regime and all of baseball — Eligible for the Rule 5 draft twice! Twice! — and he gets there, to put it mildly, unconventionally. Farhan signed Pat Venditte last year because he checked very similar boxes, and while that didn’t work out, it did show that he’s open to pitchers who succeed in unorthodox ways. Rogers certainly does that, and the team can pay him the major league minimum, and they can send him down to Sacramento on a whim if they need a major league roster space for, like, DFA Pickup Number 7 in June.
Boy, isn’t it great to be an extremely Farhan player?