Tag: Todd Wellemeyer

Should San Francisco Giants Use Sixth Starter for Stretch Run?

Baseball managerial practices are organic. They change and shift according to knowledge into the laws of physics, culture, and economics.

In times of yore, a five-man rotation was thought to be useless, Cy Young started 49 games in a single year, and the concept of a closer would have been bizarre.

Getting back to the present, Stephen Strasburg’s muscles flared a few weeks ago, and it seems he may be shut down for the year.

Baseball’s “chosen one” had never pitched more than 128 innings in a season, and so nearing that number between the minors and majors this year, the Nationals began to tread carefully.

With his inflammation not abating, what are the chances they let him pitch again this year?

We live in the age of the pitch count and caution.

Looking at the numbers for the Giants’ starting pitching staff this year, some interesting trends start to emerge.

At the start of the year with a well-rested staff, the Giants came out firing on all cylinders, with the exception of Todd Wellemeyer’s road starts.

At home, however, Wellemeyer joined the party and the Giants maintained first place in their division.

Some ups and downs took them through the first half, but it was the offense’s impotence during stretches that prevented them from winning, e.g. the series in Oakland.

But before the All-Star break, the pitching seemed to completely break down and looked fatigued. They lost seven in a row and the formerly dominant pitching staff became average to subpar.

Of course, many will point to the obvious friction—holding Buster Posey back and continuing to use the very much depleted Bengie Molina—as the source of the teams’ woes.

The Giants traded Molina on June 30th, and the team has been much better since then.

Right before the All-Star break in Milwaukee, the team was able to get healthy on a fairly inept team, and Posey redonned his Iron Man suit and put the team on his back.

But the starting rotation really seemed to find themselves after the extra rest of the All-Star break.

Lincecum started the second half with a shutout. Zito followed with eight shutout innings.  Cain then gave up 2 ERs in seven innings. Sanchez also gave up 2 ERs in seven innings. And Bumgarner finished up the first cycle by going 5.2 IP and allowing 1 ER.

The Giants won four of five, and the starting rotation posted an ERA of 1.28.

Since then, the offense has outperformed every other one in baseball while the pitching has stayed solid.

But those first five games are instructive—with a little extra rest, the starting rotation dominated.

Furthermore, Lincecum needed to skip a start at the end of last year to refuel.

Now Wellemeyer is ready to return to the big league club and the Giants will have five-and-a-half starting pitchers.

Yes, I said five-and-a-half. Earlier this year I wrote an article suggesting Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde should be separated at the hip. In other words, Wellemeyer should just make his home starts. It was supposed to be funny…a joke.

But now, it actually seems to make sense. If the staff pitches better with a little extra rest, why not let Wellemeyer take a few home starts from here on out?

The Giants can go in one of two directions: either say we’re embarrassed that the guy can’t pitch on the road and not start him at all, or say we’re proud the guy can knock it out at home and send him out there.

The glass is either half empty or half full.

But if the corollary that a better rested staff is more dominant is true, then a “5.5 Man Rotation Giants” would have the best staff in baseball going into September and October.

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Todd “Mr. Hyde” Wellemeyer Strikes Again as San Francisco Giants Lose

Todd Wellemeyer continued his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde routine in Pittsburgh on Saturday, giving up six runs, nine hits, and three walks in three innings of work. Actually, work might be the wrong way to phrase it…it was more a vacation.

The contrast of his home and road numbers is mind-boggling at this point.

Dr. Jekyll: 3-1, 2.94 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, .213 BAA

Mr. Hyde: 0-4, 10.62 ERA, 2.21 WHIP, .305 BAA

Mr. Hyde put on quite a show in Pittsburgh, ostentatiously strutting out his schizophrenic demeanor and homeless-man composure.

At one point, he even started laughing at himself and his ill fate. In true Mr. Hyde fashion, he was the only person laughing.

Asked after the game what he was laughing at, he replied, “all of the sudden I realized it wasn’t batting practice. I can’t believe I didn’t catch that until the third inning. Too funny.”

Manager Bruce Bochy described Wellemeyer’s particular deficiency as a mental disability.

He clarified that Wellemeyer is both getting treatment and on medication.

Even more optimistically, he explained because Wellemeyer’s disability falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Giants have petitioned MLB to have a 25.5th player allowed on the roster.

The player will be a pitcher who travels with the team and takes the 5th starters’ rotation spot. Meanwhile, Wellemeyer will remain in San Francisco and start all of the home games as the stable Dr. Jekyll.

The disability itself is technically called “Cantpitchontheroadism,” although it’s also referred to as Mr. Hyde syndrome.

Moreover, hip writers have begun calling any strong disparity or contrast Wellemeyerian as in “J-Lo’s behind is way bigger than her chest; that’s Wellemeyerian.”

Lawyers for the Giants defiantly stated that if they are not granted the exception by MLB, they will have no problem taking their case to the courts, and even to the highest court if necessary.

Justice Antonin Scalia was asked about Mr. Hyde Syndrome: “I haven’t read the research and test cases myself, but I did catch the first three innings of Saturday’s game. It’s real.”

If Judge Scalia is already on board, MLB will have little choice but to grant the exception.

The Giants are likely to call up Madison Bumgarner from Fresno, who was interviewed about the prospect of being the 25.5th guy.

Bumgarner: “I can’t wait. It’s a dream come true.”

Reporter: “Pitching in the big leagues?”

Bumgarner: “Not living in Fresno anymore. Have you ever been there?!”

Reporter: “You’ll have to get used to the Four Seasons, huh?”

Bumgarner: “Are you kidding me? I’d settle for a Howard Johnson’s in Hell’s Kitchen.”

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Todd Wellemeyer’s Latest Stumble Increases Volume of Cries for Madison Bumgarner

If you haven’t heard them before, you should definitely start to hear them now.

Todd Wellemeyer’s latest debacle on the mound has many San Francisco Giants fans pining (even louder) for the promotion of top pitching prospect Madison Bumgarner.

After a spring training stint that was about as absurd as the new immigration law in Arizona, Bumgarner is once again turning heads with the Fresno Grizzlies, and it might be wise for GM Brian Sabean to strike while the iron is hot.

Those who have been following Bumgarner know that his start to the 2010 season was laughable.

In Scottsdale, the highly touted prospect looked more like a fish out of water, consistently flopping and floundering on the mound. Through seven innings pitched in spring training, Bumgarner struggled mightily, allowing five runs, seven walks, and eight hits. 

Things did not get any better for Bumgarner down in Fresno early in the season. His fastball had apparently lost its infamous zip, and batters were making this Top-50 prospect look vastly overrated.

Bumgarner started off his first month in Triple-A getting lit like a Christmas tree. In his first two starts, he thrashed around for seven innings, giving up 11 runs, 21 hits, and only striking out six. For the entire month of April, he put together a miserable 6.50 ERA, a 1-1 record, and a 1.89 WHIP.

As of late, however, something has clicked back into place for Bumgarner, and he is quickly transforming back into the formidable pitcher that fans were once dying to see pitch in San Francisco.

So far in the month of May, Bumgarner is mowing down opponents. Through four starts, he is posting a remarkable 1.50 ERA with a much more respectable 7.5 K/9 and 0.92 WHIP.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about Wellemeyer.

This past month, Wellemeyer has been getting pummeled. Through 19.2 innings pitched, he has given up 11 earned runs, posting a horrid 5.03 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.

But is it too soon to call up the rather inexperienced Bumgarner to replace the consistently inconsistent Wellemeyer?

As easy as it is to say yes, now could be a better time than any to throw this young pitching prospect into the fire.

Bumgarner certainly could not do any worse than Wellemeyer’s current production, plus a call-up would allow this young pitcher to gain valuable major league pitching experience. 

As he has shown in his last few starts, Bumgarner is maturing into the elite pitcher that scouts and experts have been labeling him with since his first round selection in the 2007 MLB Draft.

Bringing up Bumgarner also allows Wellemeyer to fix whatever is wrong with him down in Fresno rather than getting knocked around every fifth day in the Bigs.

The escalation of Bumgarner’s advancement might be sooner than most would hope, but the opportunity to make a change is persistently presenting itself, and the future could be now for this potential MLB star. 


Article originally published on The McCovey Cove Splash

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