The mainstay of success for the San Francisco Giants since 2010 has been its homegrown pitching. There will be at least one spot open in the rotation come the start of next season, with Barry Zito hitting the road for elsewhere. So, who takes over Zito’s slot?
Based on what we’ve seen from homegrown talent lately, the easy answer to that question should be Yusmeiro Petit. The 28-year-old native of Venezuela threw the best game of his young Major League career on Sunday, allowing just two earned runs over six-plus innings, striking out a career-high 10 Diamondbacks in the process. He also allowed only one walk.
Petit replaced Matt Cain the rotation after he went on the DL in August for the first time in his career. Sunday marked the third big league start for Petit this season, and his first two weren’t too shabby, either. Petit allowed only two earned runs in each of his first two starts, keeping the Giants in the ballgame while he was on the mound.
As I mentioned earlier, Zito will be a free agent at the end of this season. So will Chad Gaudin, and re-signing Tim Lincecum isn’t a guarantee. As of right now, the only current Giants who will be a part of the rotation in 2014 are Cain and Madison Bumgarner. Even Ryan Vogelsong’s contract is up, though he has a $6.5 million team option.
Questions are bountiful for the Giants rotation in 2014, but Petit should be an answer to one of those problems. The Giants should be able to bring back Vogelsong; Lincecum may not be so easy. So instead of spending an abundance of money on free-agent starting pitching, the organization should look to Petit to fill some shoes.
Petit has pitched for four organizations (New York Mets, Miami Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks, Seattle Mariners), the majority of his experience coming in Arizona, where he posted a career record of 9-19 with a 5.05 ERA in 56 appearances. Those numbers are nothing impressive, but if the Petit that pitched Sunday shows up to spring training in 2014, he should easily earn a job in the rotation.
Petit struck out National League RBI leader Paul Goldschmidt twice on Sunday. Giants’ fans know how much he has hurt the team the past three seasons. If that’s a sign of things to come, Petit could be a household name in 2014.