The San Francisco Giants Starting Rotation

Published: Feb 24, 2014 15:54pm EST
By JasonNeal, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Feb 24, 2014 @ 04:22pm EST


The San Francisco Giants are looking to get back to the Promised Land and make some noise while doing it.  After missing the playoffs last season, there is little patience left within a fan base that has been spoiled with two World Series rings since 2010.  Not to say that the Giants did not deserve those rings, they played phenomenally well in order to win both championships, but their fan base is spoiled now that they had a taste of winning…twice. 

A return to the postseason will quench most of the Giants fans thirst when it comes to their beloved team, but that success will be placed mostly on the shoulders of their five starting pitchers.  Each of the five starters on the Giants has found success in one way or another throughout their careers. 

Tim Lincecum is the most decorated starting pitcher in the Giants rotation.  A two-time Cy Young award winner, a two-time World Series Champion, and an all around team player, Timmy is beloved by Giants fans and it is easy to see why.  Unfortunately, Lincecum has had an awful past two seasons, 20 wins, 4.78 ERA, and a 1.39 WHIP, and will need to turn those numbers back to ones similar to his 2010 stat line if he is going to help this team get back to the playoffs.  The wins aren’t the biggest concern, but an ERA over 3.50 and a WHIP over 1.30 would be cause for concern.

Ryan Vogelsong had a phenomenal ascent to prominence in 2011 and 2012.  A stat line of 27-16 with a 3.04 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP over two seasons is not bad coming from your number four starter in the rotation.  Vogelsong will need to fend off Father Time for a little while longer if he is going to add significant value to this team.  Vogelsong has shown what he is capable of in the past, but he needs to return to that level of execution if the Giants are going to have any chance at making another World Series run.

Tim Hudson had great success with the Braves and across the bay in Oakland where his career started 15 years ago.  Hudson has recovered from a fractured ankle he suffered after being unintentionally spiked by Eric Young Jr. and is looking to add a World Series ring to the rest of his career accolades.  He has been an incredibly consistent pitcher for the duration of his career and might be able to show both Vogelsong and Lincecum a thing or two about adjusting as a pitcher as people discover how to hit the pitches being thrown and as time starts to steal away some of the talent they once possessed.  Hudson has been very effective for his entire career, only posting an ERA above 3.97 twice, but will need to do more of the same this year for the Giants if he wants to see a World Series ring on one of his fingers. 

Matt Cain is one part of the Giants starting rotation that there are very few questions about.  He has been a workhorse in the Giants rotation for years and there is no reason to think that will change now.  Cain has averaged 34 starts, a 3.35 ERA, 184 strikeouts, and a 1.17 WHIP as a pitcher for the Giants and so long as this year is not an outlier in a negative way, there is no reason to think that he won’t be a reason that the Giants make it back to the playoffs.

Madison Bumgarner has risen to stardom and yet has flown under the radar at the same time.  Coming from Hickory, NC., maybe he doesn’t want the spotlight, but when he is on the mound, he certainly shines as bright as anyone else in the league.  He broke onto the scene in the 2010 season and has been a savior of sorts for the Giants ever since.  He and Matt Cain form a righty/lefty combo that would have made Mike Tyson jealous in his prime.  Both guys could be aces on just about any team in the league and Giants fans get an opportunity to watch one of these guys throw 40% of the starts for the Black and Orange.  If Bumgarner can find a happy place and pitch like he has for the past 4 years, he should add to the thought that the Giants are back to belonging in the postseason conversation.

While every team in the NL West has gotten better, it is a common thought that pitching and defense can win.  The Giants will need two of the three starters on the back end to step up their game in order to contend in the competitive NL West, but if Lincecum can return to form, Vogelsong can fend off the reaper for just a little while longer, and if Hudson bounces back to his expected level of play, the Giants will be one team that no one is looking forward to playing from April through November. 


Comments (2)

  • Michael Owen   Feb 24, 2014 @ 05:09PM
    that was a lot of if's at the end. Hmmmm....

  • Anonymous   Feb 24, 2014 @ 04:22PM
    Hudson, Cain, and Bumgarner should be solid as always. The big concern is Lincecum. If Tim can locate his pitches and not try to over power hitters, he will do great. If he resorts to the latter, the Giants are in for a long season.

    -Tony Fernandez -

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