San Francisco Giants Friday Farm Report: Triple-A starting pitching also struggling

Michael Kickham

Michael Kickham

Giants fans may be concerned about the 5.09 ERA of the starting rotation of the San Francisco Giants. They may be more concerned about the ERA of the starting pitchers of the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies.

The six pitchers who have started games for the Grizzlies have a 6.60 ERA.

Shane Loux is the exception. He started Tuesday against Tacoma, pitching four scoreless innings and allowing just one hit. It has been his only start this season. Both other than Loux, other starters are:

  • Boof Bonser 0-1, 5.02, 12 BB, 7 K, 14.1 IP
  • Yusmeiro Petit 1-1 6.32, 5 BB, 18 K, 15.2 IP
  • Michael Kickham 0-1 6.39, 11 BB, 12 K, 12.2 IP
  • Chris Heston 2-0 7.80, 3 BB, 18 K, 15 IP
  • Andrew Kown 0-1 12.15, 4 BB, 3 K, 6.2 IP

Kown was released Monday and replaced in the rotation by Loux.

Now, it’s worth noting that the Pacific Coast League is a hitter-friendly league. We learned last season when a Fresno hitter with impressive PCL numbers gets called up, those numbers do not translate well to the majors.

Fresno’s team ERA of 5.20 is 11th of 16 teams in the PCL.

But it’s also worth noting that the Grizzlies’ bullpen has an ERA of 2.42.

In the bullpen, Jean Machi, who was called up on Tuesday, had a 0.00 ERA in 5 innings; Dan Runzler has a 0.00 ERA in 6.2 innings; Steve Edlefsen has a 1.29 ERA in 7 innings; Heath Hembree has a 1.29 ERA in 7 innings; and Jake Dunning has a 1.69 ERA in 10.2 innings.

So at least the early number seem to reveal that if there are more struggles on the Giants’ rotation, there may not be much relief from starters at Triple-A.

TRIPLE-A FRESNO

  • OF Francisco Peguero, who was leading the team in hitting at .395, went on the DL with a strained shoulder that he injured making a diving attempt at a catch. It was his non-throwing shoulder.
  • OF Roger Kieschnick is on a hot streak. He went 4 for 6 with two doubles and triple in Fresno’s win over Tacoma on Thursday. He’s on a six-game hitting streak and is hitting .391 (9 for 23) over the past week, bringing his season average to .365.
  • 1B Brett Pill appears healthy and hitting. In the past week, he’s 8 for 20 (.400) with two home runs and 8 RBI. He’s hitting .300 for the season.
  • C Johnny Monell, who made a nice impression with his bat during spring training, got off to cold start at Fresno. But now, he’s warming up. He’s 7 for 18 (.389) in the past week with two home runs and 4 RBI.

DOUBLE-A RICHMOND

  • 3B Adam Duvall is leading the team in hitting by almost 100 points. He has 2 HR, 10 RBI and a .378 average with a .465 OBP.
  • 2B-SS Joe Panik is hitting only .217 this season, but it’s worth noting that he has seven walks and three strikeouts in 67 plate appearances.
  • SP Justin Fitzgerald is 1-0 with 1.93 ERA in three starts. He has just three walks and 19 strikeouts in 14 innings.

CLASS SAN JOSE

  • 2B Ryan Cavan leads the team in hitting at .333 with one HR and 12 RBI.
  • 1B Angel Villalona, who got off to a dreadful start of the season, is showing signs of improvement. Over the past week, he’s 8 for 25 (.320) with three home runs and 8 RBI. But because he’s opening week was so bad, he’s now just hitting .155 for the season.
  • SP Kyle Crick is 0-1 with 0.93 ERA. But he’s given up five unearned runs in 9.2 innings. Also he had 9 BB and 12 Ks.
  • SP Clayton Blackburn is 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA in 17 IP. He has 21 strikeouts and two walks.

CLASS A AUGUSTA

  • Through 15 games, the Green Jackets have yet to hit a home run. 3B Shayne Houck leads the team in hitting with .421 (8 for 19).
  • SP Joan Gregorio is 2-0 with 1.06 ERA in 17 IP. He has 23 strikeouts against one walk.
  • SP Chris Stratton, last June’s first-round pick by the Giants, is 2-0 with 1.08 ERA in 16.2 innings. He had 17 strikeouts against five walks.

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