Predicting 2014 Statistics for San Francisco Giants’ Starters
Predicting 2014 Statistics for San Francisco's Starting Pitchers
Starting pitching is the definitive blueprint to success for the San Francisco Giants. It's inarguable that the orange and black will not be able to reclaim World Series majesty without season-long, star-studded performances from the likes of two-time Cy Young champ Tim Lincecum and rising star Madison Bumgarner.
The Giants need their starting five to carry the load in 2014. All five Giants starters refused to relinquish the chance to toss the first pitch en route to a championship in 2012, starting 160 of 162 regular season games. That feat was largely relative to individual success, as each starter recorded at least 10 wins.
San Francisco's pitching production dwindled last season, though. The Giants combined to record an inefficient 4.00 team ERA. If the Giants are going to compete for another title in 2014, they need their starters to perform at peak ability.
Lincecum flashed some promise toward the end of last season, but has posted below average numbers in consecutive seasons. Giants ace Matt Cain showed some signs of fatigue in 2013 after pitching at least 200 innings in the six previous seasons. Cain figures to post better numbers next season, given his career track record, although substantial uncertainty surrounds Lincecum.
Veteran hurler Tim Hudson is a big-time upgrade over crafty left-handed pitcher Barry Zito, who was granted a $7 million buyout at the conclusion of the 2013 campaign. Hudson owns a 3.44 ERA in 15 seasons of work, but has battled injury issues on-and-off over the past five years.
Journeyman pitcher Ryan Vogelsong was also plagued by injury in 2013, forcing him to miss significant time. The 36-year-old was able to start just 19 games for the Giants last season, recording an inefficient 5.73 ERA.
The Giants starting rotation was uncharacteristically ineffective in 2013, registering just 80 quality starts to rank 22nd in baseball. San Francisco's formerly vaunted rotation is bound for a bounce back campaign in 2014, though.
The key to sustaining season-long success is to stay healthy. The Giants need all five of their starting pitchers to avoid the dreaded disabled list in order to maximize their chances of reclaiming the NL West crown.
The following stat predictions for Giants' starting pitchers are based on career numbers and respective bounce back potential, assuming each player is able to stay healthy.
Matt Cain: 13-7, 3.65 ERA, 173 strikeouts, 210 innings pitched
Madison Bumgarner: 16-4, 2.99 ERA, 201 strikeouts, 220 innings pitched
Tim Lincecum: 11-9, 3.93 ERA, 212 strikeouts, 200 innings pitched
Tim Hudson: 12-10, 3.71 ERA, 160 strikeouts, 190 innings pitched
Ryan Vogelsong: 10-10, 4.25 ERA, 142 strikeouts, 185 innings pitched