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Kyle Harrison to start season finale

Logan Webb’s season comes to a close as the Giants try to end things on a high note.

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at San Francisco Giants Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports’s Maria Guardado reports that Logan Webb won’t be starting in the final series of the regular season as the San Francisco Giants host the Los Angeles Dodgers. Instead, the Giants will start three rookies: Keaton Winn, Tristan Beck, and Kyle Harrison.

I think we know now what Kapler and Webb’s long walk in the outfield was all about.

A couple of weeks back, I complained about the Baseball Writers’ Association of America leaving Logan Webb out of the NL Cy Young Award voting. It’s not that I think Webb deserves to win — I think Blake Snell’s case, high walk rate aside, is the strongest of the bunch — it’s that I think he deserves to be in the conversation. If not the top three, then the top five. Easily.

2023 NL Cy Young race Top 10 candidates by fWAR

Category Wheeler Strider Gallen Steele Webb Snell Nola Senga Burnes Luzardo
Category Wheeler Strider Gallen Steele Webb Snell Nola Senga Burnes Luzardo
IP 188 181.2 203.2 173.1 216 180 193.2 166.1 189.2 171.1
WHIP 1.07 1.07 1.11 1.17 1.07 1.19 1.15 1.22 1.06 1.24
K 207 274 213 176 194 234 202 202 196 198
ERA 3.64 3.81 3.49 3.06 3.25 2.25 4.46 2.98 3.46 3.73
BB/9 1.82 2.72 2.03 1.87 1.29 4.95 2.09 4.17 3.1 2.84
K/9 9.91 13.57 9.41 9.14 8.08 11.7 9.39 10.93 9.3 10.4
K/BB 5.45 4.98 4.63 4.89 6.26 2.36 4.49 2.62 3 3.67
HR/9 0.96 1.09 0.97 0.73 0.83 0.75 1.49 0.92 1 1.16
xFIP 3.57 2.9 3.53 3.33 2.96 3.63 3.64 3.77 3.8 3.79
fWAR 5.8 5.4 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.1 3.9 3.4 3.3 3.3
bWAR 4.1 3.3 4.1 3.8 5.7 6.1 2.1 4.5 3.2 3.6

Look at that: Logan Webb is tied with Spencer Strider in three of my arbitrary categories. He should be a top 3 vote-getter, but I am pre-mad that he won’t be, and after that, I think all bets are off. There’s going to be too much regional bias on display and while the voters/writers might not weight the W-L too heavily when it comes right down to a top three, down ballot, I think they will. A shame. Webb had a nice season and he got to end it on a high note: a 1-run complete game.

And so the value proposition of this final weekend is that you’ll get to see the kids play at home against the Dodgers.

  • Keaton Winn will return from the COVID IL to finish off a solid September. In three appearances (2 starts), he’s registered a 3.60 ERA (1.72 FIP), struckout 16 and walked only 3 in 15 innings. He hasn’t allowed a home run and the 59 batters he’s faced have hit .222/.259/.333 against him.
  • This will also be Tristan Beck’s fourth appearance in September (2nd start). In his prior three games, he’s combined for an 8.64 ERA (7.58 FIP) in 8.1 innings, including three home runs allowed. He last pitched on Sunday night in LA, where he held the Dodgers to 2 runs in 4.1 innings as the bulk bro. He also struck out three, but allowed a home run to James Outman.
  • The season will end with a Kyle Harrison start. The #1 prospect in the organization has had a, well, rookie debut. Ol’ Baseball Reference hangs a -0.1 bWAR on his 4.85 ERA in 29.2 IP, not doubt because he’s allowed 8 home runs over that span. He just faced the Dodgers last week and held his own against one of the best lineups in the league: 5.1 IP 2 ER 3 hits, 2 strikeouts, and a walk. He allowed a home run to J.D. Martinez.

It’s a tantalizing glimpse of the future but with a bit more than a dash of the present thrown in. We know the Giants aren’t going to score many — or any — runs for these guys, and chances are the Giants’ pen will need to bail them out around the 4th or 5th inning, but that’s just fine by the Giants: it is their design. We should be looking forward to these arms keeping the Giants in the game.

Earlier today I talked about how this season only broadly mirrors the 2018 season and suggested people dig a little deeper to see how there’s really no comparison. That final weekend series featured Madison Bumgarner’s final start as a Giant, Dereck Rodriguez, and Andrew Suarez. These are three players with lots of potential and, hopefully, plenty of future ahead of them. And if they could stymie the Dodgers’ lineup a little bit, that’d be great.