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July 2, 2013

What You Need to Know

No Trouble with the Curve

by Zachary Levine


The Monday Takeaway
It was the first day of July, so it was the first day that we were federally mandated to spin every baseball story toward the trade deadline. Not that the dueling meltdowns of Monday evening are all that difficult to attach to trade storylines. While Yovani Gallardo and Mike Kickham both lost games on Monday night, their evenings signified much bigger problems.

Their poor outings, both on the road against teams with struggling offenses, were pretty much simultaneous with deficits and concerns mounting. Gallardo was lit up by the Nationals as Bryce Harper went deep in his first at-bat back from the disabled list, and he wasn’t yanked until after he gave up eight runs in three innings. Flipping channels, you saw the Reds teeing off on Kickham for seven runs on nine hits in 2 2/3 innings.

For the Brewers, who are going nowhere, the problem is obvious. They don’t have a great farm system, and Gallardo was one of the pieces they seemingly could trade to get out of what appears to be a rut even with Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura’s emergence. This outing definitely didn’t help.

For the Giants, the problem is decidedly more complicated. Much was made even last year when they were winning the World Series about their lack of a sixth starter, whether they were fortunate not to need one as in 2012 or struggling without one in 2013.

Just looking at production, the Giants’ rotation has fallen from fourth in the National League in ERA last year to 13th this year. Using FRA or other peripheral-based stats paint a slightly better picture in places, but they’re still going to be in the market for upgrades at the deadline.

The problem, though, is how many it’s going to take to make this a competitive rotation again. Staff-wide, they’ve gone the wrong direction.

Pitcher

2012 ERA

2013 ERA

Madison Bumgarner

3.37

3.08

Matt Cain

2.79

4.29

Tim Lincecum

5.18

4.64

Ryan Vogelsong

3.37

7.19

Barry Zito

4.15

4.53

All starters

3.73

4.57

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<< Previous Article
Baseball ProGUESTus: T... (07/02)
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