Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said San Francisco would explore using an opener in 2019.
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner isn't a fan of baseball's "opener" trend, popularized by the Rays last year. The three-time World Series champion told manager Bruce Bochy, "If you use an opener in my game I’m walking right out of the ballpark," according to NBC Sports' Alex Pavlovic.
Bochy said Bumgarner sent him a text after Zaidi said Giants might use openers. “If you use an opener in my game I’m walking right out of the ballpark.”— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) February 9, 2019
San Francisco president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi discussed the potential embrace of the opener in December.
“We have to think a little because of the uncertainty we have from a health standpoint,” Zaidi told the Mercury News. “We’re going to have to explore different forms of pitching staff construction and whether that’s using openers, whether that’s having tandem days where you have two pitchers each throwing three-to-four innings and taking down the majority of the game, I think we’re going to have to develop a plan for the pitching staff that fits the personnel that we have.”
A four-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion, Bumgarner has been among the game's best starters over the past decade. His five-inning save on short rest in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series remains one of the greatest pitching performances in postseason history. Despite missing the first two months of the 2018 season, the 29-year-old left-hander posted a 3.26 ERA, striking out 109 batters in 129 2/3 innings.
The Giants' finished fourth in the NL West at 73–89 in 2018.