Padres News: The Padres Rotation Against The Rest of the NL West
By James Clark
The San Francisco Giants
The reigning World Series Champions have a very formidable staff led by Madison Bumgarner. Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Jake Peavy, Tim Hudson and Ryan Vogelsong round out their rotation.
Both Cain and Hudson are returning from injuries, so Vogelsong was retained at the cost of one-year and $4 million dollars. He gives the returning champions a nice insurance policy for their veteran pitchers.
Bumgarner is flat out nasty, anyone who witnessed his performance in the postseason has to admire his tenacity. He went out there every time, and just refused to lose. That type of competitive fire cannot be taught, and Bumgarner is truly a special talent.
Lincecum and Cain are both former All-Stars, who have pitched their entire careers in San Francisco. Seven All-Star appearances between the two of them. They, when healthy, give the Giants a very legit 1-2-3 punch.
Lincecum at the ages of 24 and 25 won back-to-back Cy Young Awards (2008 & 2009). He posted a 7.9 and 7.5 WAR in those two years. Since those two seasons, he has a total WAR of 4.9 in the past five seasons combined. Including the last three seasons, where he has put up a negative WAR number every year. (2012/-1.7, 2013/-0.6, 2014/-0.7)
Lincecum is simply not the same pitcher he once was. In a contract year he should be motivated to attempt to regain his previous form. It’s hard to imagine him throwing for the Giants when this season is over.
Matt Cain is coming off a season where he only managed to make 15 starts. He had surgery on both his elbow and ankle. Bone spurs were removed from both areas. Early signs are that he should be good to go once spring starts.
Veteran pitchers Tim Hudson and Jake Peavy round out the Giants’ rotation. Hudson is 39 and recovering from ankle surgery (bone spurs) and Peavy is 33 and was re-signed to a two-year, $24 million dollar contract this past December. Both veteran pitchers provide clubhouse leadership and are great competitors.
The Padres staff is still better than the Giants starting five, that’s a fact. The San Francisco starting staff is still very good, and quite frankly could be dominant if everything breaks their way. Still on paper, the Padres staff have youth and depth that edges the Giants in the long run.