Happy Tuesday, San Francisco Giants fans. The whole squad is now practicing, and the first Spring Training game is just four days away.
So let’s talk about the rotation. Namely, who’s in and who’s out?
The Giants figure to have one of the better rotations in baseball this year, even after losing Carlos Rodón, who was one of the best pitchers in baseball a year ago.
San Francisco has six players starting pitchers who are roster locks:
Behind those six they have Jakob Junis, who had a strong year for the Giants last year and made 17 starts.
And behind him they have Keaton Winn, Sean Hjelle, and Tristan Beck on the 40-man roster, and Kyle Harrison poking his head out from the wings.
That’s a whole lot of pitchers.
So who starts the season in the rotation? Health permitting, Webb and Cobb are locks. Common sense (and prior quotes) suggest that Stripling and Manaea will be there, too. Which leaves DeSclafani and Wood jockeying for the final spot, with the odd man out likely moved to the bullpen, where they’ll probably start a lot due to injuries.
Or maybe the Giants will go the unconventional route and have a six-player rotation which, I’ll point out, is unconventional for a good reason?
And Zaidi confirms the team could use a six-man rotation at times, assuming full health/expected performance. It's tricky with the 13-pitcher limit but they'll try to find ways to do it.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 16, 2023
There’s a good chance the Giants never have to answer this question, just as they never had to answer it a year ago because of injuries. But assuming full health, who do you have missing the rotation to start the year? And who’s out when Harrison forces the issue? And are they converted to the bullpen or sent off in a trade?
Which of those youngsters do you see making starts, and how many?
We might not know these answers until the season is over, but they’re fun to think about.