Results tagged ‘ Matt Cain ’

Pitching rotation set; no qualms

Manager Bruce Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti set the starting rotation for the 2011 Giants. And here it is:

RH Tim Lincecum

LH Jonathan Sanchez

RH Matt Cain

LH Barry Zito

LH Madison Bumgarner

Now there are some who might object to this rotation, saying that Cain has earned the distinction of being No. 2 man, and that Zito is better placed at No. 5.

But there are several reasons this rotation is the best one.

1. The mix of RH-LH-RH-LH-LH offers different looks to opposing lineups. That different look of pitching behind Cain would put Zito in the best position to succeed. And don’t we all want Zito to succeed?

2. Stress on the bullpen. Lincecum and Cain are the two pitchers on the staff best equipped to pitch deep into a game. Putting them back-to-back would leave the bullpen susceptible to a heavy workload in consecutive games. Sanchez has the ability of pitching eight innings of two-hit ball one start and struggling to get out of the fifth inning the next. And, of course, Zito is the poster child for failing to get out of the fifth. Putting a workhorse like Cain in between the two is a good move.

3. Sanchez has earned the chance to supplant Zito in the No. 2 start with a strong finish last season.

4. Keeping Bumgarner at No. 5 lessens the taxing on his arm. Although, the Giants will not skip anyone in the rotation, so the benefit of this is diminished. 

5. Moving Zito down in the rotation gives him a better chance at getting some improved run support because he’s facing the opposition’s No. 4 pitcher. Run support has been a problem for Zito. Now he gets to go against the likes of, for example, the Dodgers’ Jon Garland, instead of Chad Billingsley.

All good reasons. Now, let’s see if it works. And let’s hope (knock on wood) that there’s no reason to change this rotation between now and March 31.

Countdown to Spring Training: No. 2, Rotation

The Giants enter spring training not really worrying about the starting rotation. It’s set, barring any injury. That’s the only reason they signed Jeff Suppan to a minor-league deal.

Knock on wood, this is the 2011 starting rotation

RH Tim Lincecum

LH Barry Zito

RH Matt Cain

LH Jonathan Sanchez

LH Madison Bumgarner

Now, as much as some Giants fans would love to move Zito down in the rotation, the No. 2 spot is the best place for him. Putting the soft-throwing Zito in between the hard-throwing Lincecum and Cain makes sense.

And please, please, please, can we stop with the questions and comments around moving Zito and his contract. He’s not going anywhere. He’s set to make $18.5 million, $19 million and $20 million over the next three years. He’s got an $18 million option for 2014 that will vest if Zito pitches 200 innings in 2013 or averages 200 IPs over 2012-13 or 2011-13. The only good news is that Zito has not pitched more than 199.1 innings in any of his four seasons in San Francisco.

He’ll never be the kind of pitcher who warrants that kind of salary. But the Giants just need to hope he can be a functional starter.

But the bigger issue at hand is that Zito is the only returning starter who is not coming off a career-high for innings pitched in 2010 — regular and postseason.

So the concern is if any of the four starters will feel the effects of all those innings thrown in October.

Look for the Giants to be conservative with their pitchers this spring and early in the season. What the Giants should consider is treating Bumgarner like a true No. 5 starter in April.

The Giants have five scheduled off days in April, meaning they would only need a No. 5 starter three times in April — the opening homestand, the road trip to Arizona and Colorado, and the end-of-the-month trip to Pittsburgh and Washington.

They could skip Bumgarner’s turn in the rotation and throw him as a long man in between starts.

But we don’t expect the Giants to do this. This has not been Bruce Bochy’s M.O.  Hopefully this philosophy doesn’t come back to hurt the Giants

Giants lock up 3 pitchers to extensions

The Giants confirmed they have agreed to extensions with pitcher Matt Cain, Jeremy Affledt and Brian Wilson.

The terms for Cain are a bit sketchy. but Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that Cain will receive $4.5 million 2010, $8 million in 2011 and $15 million in 2012.

The deal buys out Cain’s first year of free agent, and it keeps fourth-fifths of the Giants’ starting rotation under team control through 2012. Cain is now signed through 2012, Lincecum is arbitration-eligible through 2013, Jonathan Sanchez is arbitration-eligilble through 2012, and Barry Zito is signed through 2013 with a club option for 2014 (although it is exceedingly doubtful that club option will be picked).

Affledt will get an extra $500,000 on top of his $4 million salary for the second year of the two-year deal he signed with the club in 2009. He’ll receive $4.5 million in 2011 and there’s $5 million option for 2012.

Wilson receives $6.5 million in 2011 and $8.5 million in 2012.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 305 other followers