After winning the World Series in 2012, the San Francisco Giants had high hopes entering the 2013 season as the defending champions. Things started out well for the Giants to begin the season as they held the top spot in the NL West for a brief period before their downfall began in May. San Francisco started losing games at a rapid rate, and showed no flashes of the team that won a championship a year ago.
Entering Spring Training in 2014, the Giants are look to get back on track in a hurry.
One of their weaknesses from a year ago was the pitching staff. A once dominant unit, players such as Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain struggled to get anything going from the mound in 2013, which is why they signed Tim Hudson in the offseason to hopefully boost the starting five. However, the answer to their problems may be right in front of their face.
Kyle Crick received an invite to Spring Training with the Giants after tearing up the minor leagues for the last two years, and rightfully so after the numbers he’s been putting up. Rated the top prospect in San Francisco’s farm system, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-hander posted a 1.57 ERA in 68.2 innings with a 3-1 record as a starter for Class-A San Jose in 2013. He also only allowed one home run the whole year and struck out an incredible 95 batters.
The best part about Crick, besides his impressive statistics, is the fact that he is only 21-years old. He’ll definitely have a chance to make the Giants roster in Spring Training because of his talent, but even if he does, it won’t be as a starter. San Francisco already has their starting rotation in place with Cain, Lincecum, Hudson, Madison Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong. Out of those five, Crick could possibly take the place of Vogelsong, but there’s no other way unless one of them suffers an injury.
However, if Crick shows enough for manager Bruce Bochy in Spring Training, he might have to reconsider keeping Crick in the minor leagues. He might be only 21-years old, which means the Giants have plenty of time to develop his talent, but you can never have enough arms in your bullpen. The right-hander could easily provide either a spot start or become a long reliever until San Francisco feels the time is right for him to become an everyday starter.