With the MLB season suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, there are no baseball games and limited baseball news. So I’m creating a hypothetical season — complete with news and recaps — until baseball resumes. All news and recaps will have the hypothetical tag, so you can at least know when you’re suspending reality. And you can click “hypothetical season” above the headline to see everything that has happened in this “season.”
Thanks to a pair of early days off, the San Francisco Giants made it 12 games into the season before needing a fifth starter. Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Drew Smyly, and Kevin Gausman have all pitched three times already, and no one else has started a game.
That has to end today, and we finally know who will be getting the nod: Logan Webb.
The team announced on Thursday that Webb had been called up from AAA Sacramento ahead of the series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks, which Webb will start. In a subsequent move to make room on the 26-man roster, infielder Yolmer Sánchez was designated for assignment.
Sánchez won a Gold Glove a year ago, but has never been good with the bat, with only one season in his career that even came close to league average offensive production. The Giants saw some things in his swing that made them optimistic, but the leash was always going to be short, given that Wilmer Flores and Mauricio Dubón are roster locks, and Donovan Solano is waiting in the wings.
The 27-year old Sánchez struggled in Spring Training, and started the 2020 season batting 2-13 with 7 strikeouts. And now he is gone. On the bright side, he finished his Giants tenure with more hits than Connor Joe and Michael Reed. Combined.
On the other side of things, Webb will get a chance to return to the rotation after making his MLB debut last year. In 39.2 innings across 8 starts in 2019, he allowed 44 hits and 14 walks, while striking out 37 batters. Webb finished the year with an ERA of 5.22, but an FIP of 4.12. He clearly showed that the stuff was there, even if the results didn’t always follow.
Webb seemed to start Spring Training behind Tyler Beede in the race for the fifth starter spot, but Beede’s UCL injury and subsequent Tommy John surgery removed him from the race. Farhan Zaidi, Scott Harris, and Gabe Kapler apparently prefer Webb in that position over veterans Trevor Cahill and Tyson Ross, who will remain in the bullpen for the time being.
Here’s the updated 26-man roster, which now has the league maximum of 13 pitchers: