Giants’ decision to change rotation for Mariners series has pros, cons

It’s been more than six weeks since Drew Smyly last made a start for the San Francisco Giants, but with the team in search of a lift in the starting rotation, the left-hander will face the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday.

The club announced Smyly will follow fellow southpaw Tyler Anderson, who will take the ball on Tuesday for a pivotal series opener against Seattle at T-Mobile Park.

Smyly returned from the injured list (left index finger strain) Thursday in San Diego and struck out eight of the 15 Padres hitters he faced, giving manager Gabe Kapler the confidence to create room for the veteran starter in the Giants’ rotation. Smyly likely would have returned to a starting role regardless of what took place in San Diego over the weekend, but with Kevin Gausman dealing with elbow tightness, the Giants had an open spot to fill in the team’s rotation.

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Gausman was due to have a MRI on Sunday, but the Giants have not provided any updates regarding his status. The right-hander has been the most consistent starter for the club this season and any absence, whether it’s short or prolonged, would hurt the team’s postseason chances.

Smyly has only pitched in four games with the Giants since signing a one-year deal to join the club this offseason, but he’s performed well as he’s posted a 2.92 ERA and struck out 19 batters in 12 1/3 innings.

With No. 1 starter Johnny Cueto struggling and right-handers Logan Webb and Trevor Cahill failing to pitch deep into games at the back end of the rotation, the Giants need Anderson and Smyly to pitch well in Seattle if they hope to retain a grip on the final National League playoff spot.

At 23-24, the Giants hold a 1.0-game lead over the Cincinnati Reds for the last Wildcard spot, but have a two-game lead over the 23-26 Reds in the loss column.

If the Giants are seeking more changes in the rotation heading into the final days of the regular season, it’s possible veteran right-hander Jeff Samardzija could return from the injured list. Samardzija (right shoulder inflammation) has missed most of the season due to …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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