Giants in trouble as Madison Bumgarner goes down with injury

Updated: April 24, 2017

Madison Bumgarner crashed his dirt bike and because of that crash he will now miss 6-8 weeks with an injury in his throwing shoulder. This is not… ideal for the Giants. They were already struggling early, starting out at just 6-13, and now they’ll be without their best pitcher for two months. For everyone building up the Rockies as a potential Wild Card contender this season, you have to feel good about this. For Giants fans, not so much.

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The worst part about this is not potentially missing the playoffs, but the shoulder injury for Bumgarner. He had never been on the disabled list before this, but shoulder injuries have the potential to become recurring for a pitcher. To go from perfect health to out for eight weeks to possibly having an injury that will trouble him for the rest of his career is a seriously tough break. I’m no expert on this sort of thing and I don’t claim to be, but maybe don’t ride dirt bikes. (???)

Last season at the All-Star break, the Giants were the best team in baseball. They struggled in the second half thanks to a shaky bullpen and lost the division to the Dodgers, but ended up sneaking into the Wild Card game. They won that before the bullpen issues popped up again and cost them a series against the Cubs.

Fixing the bullpen was the priority this offseason and the team spent big to bring in Mark Melancon. They added Neil Ramirez, promoted Derek Law and Hunter Strickland a bigger role and said goodbye to Santiago Casilla and Javier Lopez. It was supposed to lead to better things this season, but it has been thin in the middle and thus far the rotation has been an issue as well. Johnny Cueto and Matt Moore both have FIPs over five and Jeff Samardzija‘s FIP is over four.

The offense hasn’t been much help either as left field has been a real black hole for them. Jarrett Parker, Chris Marrero, Gorkys Hernandez and everyone else they’ve played out there hasn’t been hitting and it’s been a drain on the offense. Center fielder Denard Span has not helped much either and last season’s trade acquisition Eduardo Nunez has been worth -0.5 WAR thus far. This isn’t a good look.

You have to think that things will get better. The true talent level of this team is not 6-13. The bullpen will get help when Will Smith returns and Cueto should start to look like himself shortly. The question is, will it be enough?

The good news is that the National League isn’t great this season. Even with their current record and the injury, FanGraphs has them at 18% to win the Wild Card. They share a division with the Padres whou could be the worst team in baseball so they will get a chance to beat up on them throughout the year. They are also, funnily enough, the San Francisco Giants so they have money to spend. They could make a trade to fix that left field hole, picking up contracts if they need to. They are not out of this Wild Card race just yet, but they will need to start playing better soon.

Very soon.

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