Hello and happy Tuesday.
Because active rosters allowed for 30 players to start the year, and because most starting pitcher’s arms aren’t fully up to speed, the San Francisco Giants packed 16 pitchers in their duffel bag when they headed to Los Angeles. There’s only so much we can learn from four games, but it did start to tell us something about how Gabe Kapler plans on using pitchers this year (if the season continues).
Here’s how many appearances each pitcher made in the four-game series, with their total innings in parenthesis:
3 appearances: Rico Garcia (2.0) and Tyler Rogers (2.0)
2 appearances: Drew Smyly (4.1), Wandy Peralta (2.1), Trevor Gott (2.0), Shaun Anderson (2.0), and Sam Coonrod (1.2)
1 appearance: Johnny Cueto (4.0), Logan Webb (4.0), Kevin Gausman (4.0), Caleb Baragar (2.0), Tyler Anderson (1.2), Conner Menez (1.0), Tony Watson (0.2), and Dany Jimenez (0.1)
0 appearances: Jeff Samardzija
There have also been some interesting (and admittedly very small sample size) trends with velocity from the Giants pitchers. Twitter user @giantsprospects (whom I cannot recommend following strongly enough) put together a graph comparing 4-seam fastball velocity from 2019 to 2020, with data from Brooks Baseball.
Giants pitchers velo comparison on 4-seam fastballs, 2019 (black) vs. 2020 (orange).— GPT (@giantsprospects) July 27, 2020
Made an attempt to compare in similar roles, so Shaun Anderson's velo from 2019 is only as RP. Rico Garcia has seen the biggest gain, +3.3 mph. Tony Watson has seen the biggest drop, -4.9 (!!). pic.twitter.com/xdf0iR0wcK
A lot of the players with drops in velocity have been recovering from injuries, which might explain the decrease. But there are more players with a velo boost, and while some of that may be due to those players being fully healthy after hampered 2019s, it’s pretty promising data.
Did Barry Bonds hit a home run today?
He did, but just one.
July 28, 1996: Against the Atlanta Braves, Bonds hit a 2-run home run in the 5th inning off of John Smoltz, scoring Matt Williams. It gave the Giants a 5-1 lead, and they would win 10-3. It was his 27th homer of the year.
- Roger Munter examines the breakout potential of Mauricio Dubón (There R Giants)
- Grant Brisbee on how good of an outcome a series split was (The Athletic, subscription required)
- Podcast: Grant Brisbee and Andrew Baggarly on the series split (The Athletic, free)
- Kerry Crowley on what we learned from the opening series, and why none of it matters (Mercury News)
- Maria Guardado on Alyssa Nakken and the history she’s making (MLB)
- Alex Pavlovic’s nine observations from the four-game series (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Dieter Kurtenbach on why Rob Manfred deserves the blame for MLB’s latest coronavirus outbreak (Mercury News)
- Alex Pavlovic on Marco Luciano’s defense at shortstop (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Mark W. Sanchez on how the Giants plan on surprising everyone (KNBR)
- Alex Pavlovic on Gabe Kapler’s bullpen usage (NBC Sports Bay Area)
Have a great Tuesday, everyone.