The story of another struggling Giants pitcher

A few years back, there was a struggling young pitcher for the Giants. He had tremendous stuff and was regarded as one of the top Giants prospects in recent memory, but was struggling to realize his potential. As his struggles continued, there was talk of sending him down, or even trading him for another bat to support Barry Bonds.

What happened ultimately? It was decided to keep him with the Giants, but skip him for a couple of starts and give him a chance to work out his issues. He threw some sessions on the side with Dave Righetti, made one appearance in relief, and then was reinserted into the rotation.

Who was this pitcher? Matt Cain.

In Cain’s case, the Giants showed patience and it paid off big time. Hopefully the same course of action can help Jonathan Sanchez.

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This post was written by Hank on June 29, 2009

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As I guessed…

The Pablo-as-backup-catcher experiement didn’t last long. After Tuesday night’s game, Alex Hinshaw’s been sent down and Steve Holm was called up.  I think having the backup catcher provides much more flexibility than having 12 pitchers- there were several situations over this homestand where Bengie Molina got on base late in the game but they couldn’t pinch run for him. Well, now they can. If the starting pitching can remain consistent, I think they can get by with 11 pitchers.

While on the subject of pitching, the Giants also adjusted the pitching rotation to a slightly modified five-man format. With the two off days this week, Jonathan Sanchez will be skipped and be available for long relief.

So this weekend against Arizona, instead of Sanchez/Lincecum/Johnson, it will be Lincecum/Johnson/Cain.  Sanchez presumably will rejoin the rotation with the second Dodgers game on 4/28. I think this is a good move for a few reasons:

  • Sanchez has pitched relief before so it shouldn’t be a big deal
  • Lincecum can now pitch the last game against the Dodgers on 4/29
  • The pitch counts for the starters have been relatively low thus far
  • Any chance you get to give your top starters an extra start while still giving them normal rest, you gotta do it.

So, good move, Bruce Bochy- hope it works out.

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This post was written by Hank on April 22, 2009

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