One of the great baseball quotes, one that has transcended the genre, was uttered by legendary innovator Branch Rickey, who said, “Luck is the residue of design.” It’s a shame that Rickey is no longer around to offer up a corollary for what’s going on with the San Francisco Giants.
The one thing that the Giants couldn’t afford to have happen happened Friday afternoon during San Francisco’s final game of the Cactus League season. During the third inning, the Kansas City Royals’ Whit Merrifield lined a screamer right at Madison Bumgarner, cheap nfl jersey who reflexively reached up and deflected the ball with his pitching hand. The result: a broken bone and a prolonged stay on the disabled list.
Early word is that Bumgarner will have pins inserted into his left pinkie to aid the healing of a broken fifth metacarpal in his pitching hand. He’s expected to miss six to eight weeks, after which he’ll have to start his innings buildup from scratch.
The news comes on the heels of the pectoral strain that will keep fellow Giants rotation member Jeff Samardzija on the sidelines to begin the season. Samardzija is anticipated to miss three to four weeks, leaving San Francisco two key arms short in a rotation expected to be the foundation of the team.
The best-case scenario is that Samardzija misses a handful of starts and Bumgarner heals quickly and is back on the mound by, say, Memorial Day. In the meantime, the Giants will hope that they can patch together some innings from what looks like a replacement-level set of rotation options. Or worse.
It’s hard to overdramatize the impact these injuries would have on the Giants’ season if they linger. Over at fangraphs.com, the San Francisco rotation is projected for 12.0 WAR. More than half of those wins — 3.5 for Bumgarner and 3.0 for Samardzija — are attributed to these two pitchers.
Beyond that pair and No. 2 starter Johnny Cueto, no Giants starter is projected for an ERA of under 4.50. The replacements will come from a group that includes Derek Holland, who is well into the journeyman phase of his career, and Tyler Beede.
The overriding problem is that the 2018 Giants were not built on the depth model. nfl jerseys cheap china The rotation is not deep, and the bullpen could be replacement level in the aggregate if closer Mark Melancon doesn’t bounce back from his injury-marred 2017 season. And the offense, which is counting on veterans Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria to boost a group that finished second to last in the National League in runs scored last season, has middling upside.