|Jeff Suppan pitched for Boston, Kansas City, St. Louis, Arizona, |
Pittsburgh and Milwaukee in his career.
The Giants, until now, were a set lineup with one lingering issue: the 6th starter.
This position is typically used for insurance, in case one of the starting five become injured. In the Giants case, if Tim Lincecum or Matt Cain becomes injured, the Giants would be left with a gapping hole in their top tier rotation.
As a team that relies on their talented pitching, a sixth starter is just as important as the first five. So, the Giants filled the potential position with Jeff Suppan, a 36 year-old seasoned veteran.
Entering his 17th season in the majors, Suppan has been a streaky pitcher, sporting a career 4.69 ERA and a 12.6 WAR.
To provide some perspective: Todd Wellenmeyer has a career -1.1, while Barry Zito's WAR since joining the Giants is 4.2. So the good news is that Suppan is not as bad as Wellenmeyer, but still not as good as Zito (who actually hasn't been too bad as of recent).
So a minor league contract and an invite to spring training for Suppan, the Giants are getting a good deal on a veteran 6th starter. The price, you ask? A mere $1 million with performance bonuses he could earn as the season goes on.
This move may seem insignificant to some people, but if the Giants lose any of their starting rotation, this acquisition will seem like a blessing sent from the baseball gods.
So for now, lets all hope our starting rotation stays intact and Suppan fills in wherever we need him.