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How will the Giants cope without Madison Bumgarner

Madison Bumgarner Giants

The San Francisco Giants will be without ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner for a good portion of the season. If he plays any at all. The southpaw was hit in his throwing hand by a line drive against the Royals yesterday. The Giants haven’t given a timetable on his return, but it’s a bone fracture in his left hand. Fractures take a long time to heal so expect Bumgarner to miss an extended amount of time. It was also reported that his injury will require pins in his hand for at least four weeks. He’ll definitely be out until the All-Star break and could even be out longer depending on the healing process. Last year, Bumgarner experienced a shorter season due to a dirt bike accident. This year will be an even shorter season it seems, with a fractured left hand.

Losing a guy like Madison Bumgarner is devastating for a team like the Giants who are trying to get back into contention. Between 2011 to 2016, the four-time All-Star 93-61 with a 3.00 era. He also threw 14 complete games, six shutouts, a 1.079 WHIP, and 9.1 K/9 during that time. So losing him is a significant blow to San Francisco. The Giants ranked 16th in MLB team pitching last year. Part of that was due to Bumgarner’s injury last year. They were hoping to improve upon that, but now more guys will have to step up.

Jeff Samardzija was already on the DL for a strained pectoral muscle. So the Giants are without two of their top-three pitchers in the rotation. Johnny Cueto is the No. 2 guy for the Giants and will move up the depth chart. However, Cueto had a disappointing season last year. Going 8-8 with a 4.50 era isn’t going to cut it for a team trying to get back on top of the NL West. He needs to get back to his 2016 numbers. Cueto went 18-5, with a 2.79 era, two shutouts, and five complete games that year. Hitting close to those numbers will be crucial for the Giants to somewhat sustain the blow of losing Bumgarner. Chris Stratton showed flashes of potential last season and Ty Blach is expected to round out the rotation.

It’s still unknown how the San Francisco Giants will fill out their rotation without Madison Bumgarner. Derek Holland hasn’t been productive since the 2013┬áseason. The Giants also don’t have a lot of strong arms in the farm system. To put it bluntly, San Francisco is in trouble with their starting rotation.

The Giants retooled this offseason offensively. This was a team that finished 29th in the MLB in batting last season. They ranked dead last in home runs and 29th with a .309 OBP in 2017. Acquiring Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen will help offensively. Austin Jackson adds depth in the outfield. Add those guys to the likes of Buster Posey, Joe Panik, and Brandon Belt, it seemed that the Giants were on the right track. And they are on the offensive side of things. The problem now is pitching. If the Giants can’t get any production out of their arms, we might as well call it a season for the San Francisco Giants.