The Giants will likely have one of the best rotations in major league baseball but it won’t look like it because they aren’t going to get enough run support. 30-year old lefty Barry Zito will try to rebound in 2008 as he had the worst season of his career for the Giants last year. He pitched in 34 games (33 starts) for the Giants last season and he was 11-13 with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. He has now pitched in 256 games (255 starts) in his major league career and he is 113-76 with a 3.67 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Look for his ERA to come down in 2007 but his record to stay about the same.
I had to feel sorry for 23-year old righty Matt Cain last season as he has some of the best stuff in all of major league baseball but the Giants didn’t give him any help with the bats in 2007. He started 32 games for the Giants last season and he was 7-16 with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. He has now pitched in 71 games (70 starts) in his major league career and he is 22-29 with a 3.73 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. On a better team, Cain would be a candidate for the Cy Young Award this season but not on the Giants.
24-year old righty Tim Lincecum rose quickly through the minor leagues for the Giants. He only pitched in 13 games (all starts) in his minor league career and he was 6-0 with a 1.01 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP. He only allowed 26 hits and whiffed 104 batters in 62.2 innings in the minors! Lincecum started 24 games for the Giants last season and he was 7-5 with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. He whiffed 150 batters in 146.1 innings for the Giants which shows what kind of stuff he has.
27-year old lefty Noah Lowry will start the season on the D.L. after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, he will likely miss a month. He started 26 games for the Giants last season and he was 14-8 with a 3.92 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. He will need to get the WHIP down this season or his ERA will definately jump in 2008.
27-year old righty Kevin Correia will be the #4 starter for the Giants this season. He pitched in 59 games (8 starts) for the Giants last season and he was 4-7 with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. Correia is a good pitcher and he will show it this season for the Giants.
25-year old lefty Jonathan Sanchez will start the season as the #5 starter. He pitched in 33 games (4 starts) for the Giants last season and he was 1-5 with a 5.88 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP. He whiffed 62 batters in only 52 innings which shows what kind of stuff he has but he will need to throw more strikes to realize his potential.
26-year old lefty Pat Misch will likely be the first starter to get a call if the Giants need one before Noah Lowry is ready to return. He pitched in 18 games (4 starts) for the Giants last season and he was 0-4 with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.
26-year old righty Merkin Valdez will likely start the season in the bullpen for the Giants but he could get a chance to start at some point in the 2008 season. He did not pitch last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Valdez has now pitched in 155 games (92 starts) in his minor league career and he is 32-35 with a 2.97 ERA. He has had 2 rough outings in the majors in his career as he is 0-0 with a 27.00 ERA.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: B+