It might not surprise you that Jeff Samardzija led the 2019 Giants in wins or that Madison Bumgarner finished second. But even the most diehard Giants fans might have trouble naming the pitcher who ranked third.
Picked up in a deal with the Washington Nationals that cost the Giants just cash considerations, right-hander Trevor Gott went 7-0 in his first season with the Giants. This year, Gott and other similar relievers have a real shot at leading the club in that category, which might be hated by statisticians but still is important to players.
This will be the year of the reliever, and likely the year of the multi-inning reliever. The Giants feel they're prepared for it and ready to carry a large and varied collection of swingmen who can supplement whatever the rotation looks like.
Gott certainly has the stuff to pitch late in games, and he could end up as one of new manager Gabe Kapler's top setup men. There are two others, however, who look more likely to pile up saves.
Tony Watson has experience and is the veteran leader of the bullpen. The lefty was going to miss the start of the year with shoulder tightness but has had three extra months to recover. Still, it's worth noting that Kapler has mentioned a couple of times this week that Watson might be slightly behind other pitchers in camp. We'll find out soon what that truly means.
Since the start of shelter-in-place, Kapler has repeatedly raved about Tyler Rogers, who wasn't even given a shot by the previous regime but dominated in a September cameo. Rogers was sharp this spring and is working on weapons to stymie left-handers.
The Giants probably won't even name a true closer, but Rogers might be your best bet if you're playing in a fantasy league. For what it's worth, Rogers was his ninth-inning guy when Kapler was posting screenshots from MLB: The Show simulations he was doing in April.
All three of these relievers are locks for the 30-man roster and should regularly see work in the late innings.
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Just about the whole bullpen might be made up of these types.
Shaun Anderson, Dereck Rodriguez, Andrew Suarez and Conner Menez have started games for the Giants the past two years and should be able to contribute in multi-inning stints out of the bullpen. Even Sam Coonrod qualifies; he only once pitched more than an inning as a rookie but was a pretty good starting prospect before having Tommy John surgery.
Newcomers Trevor Cahill, Rico Garcia, Trevor Oaks, Luis Madero and Andrew Triggs have starting experience, along with Carlos Navas, who spent last year with Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Sacramento.
The Giants plan to have multi-inning backups for all of their starters initially and could use the strategy to take down nine innings on a regular basis. That puts all of these guys in the mix, and it's possible you'll see all of them over 60 games. You can expect quite a few roster moves this season to provide fresh arms.
Few did more to potentially earn jobs this spring than Jarlin Garcia and Wandy Peralta. Garcia, picked up from the Miami Marlins in the offseason, struck out eight over five scoreless innings. Peralta pitched in eight games for the Giants last year and struck out 10 over his five scoreless Cactus League innings.
The Giants are going all-in on matchups and platoons, and both of these guys seem like good fits alongside Watson. In addition to Suarez and Menez, the Giants have Sam Selman from the left side. He made 10 appearances last year.
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The Rule 5 Pick
Normally a Rule 5 pick has to spend at least 90 days on the active roster in order to be kept the following year, but this year that number has been reduced to 50. That still means the Giants will have to carry right-hander Dany Jimenez for most of the season if they want to keep his rights.
Jimenez had mixed results in the spring and hasn't pitched above Double-A, but it shouldn't be too hard for the Giants to roster him initially with four extra spots. While they expect to compete, there also should be some innings that Jimenez can soak up in blowouts the first two weeks. That's when the decision will get more complicated.
The Giants must reduce their roster to 28 after two weeks and then cut down to 26 one month into the season. If they're off to a good start, can they afford to keep a Rule 5 pick over a more experienced player? Jimenez's future will be tied to how he pitches, but also to a large extent may be determined by the team's record through one month.
Looking to Break Through
Tyler Cyr, a 27-year-old Bay Area native, is looking at his best shot at making his big league debut. Cyr made just three spring appearances before getting reassigned on March 6, but the staff is bringing him back for a second look.
Cyr looked like he would debut in 2018 but he fractured his elbow and missed the rest of that season. He returned to Double-A last year and had a 2.05 ERA and 10.6 strikeouts-per-nine before joining the Sacramento River Cats for the end of their postseason run.