Should San Francisco Giants Worry About Their New Starter After Last Outing?

The San Francisco Giants didn't get the outing they've been accustomed to seeing from their offseason acquisition, sparking some concerns that he might be having regression soon.
May 19, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Jordan Hicks
May 19, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Jordan Hicks / Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

After a slow start that was frustrating for the entire San Francisco Giants organization, they are now beginning to feel a bit better about themselves after winning four straight games.

Their offseason acquisition Matt Chapman was a major reason why they pulled off a sweep against the Colorado Rockies who were previously surging before they came into town. They're hoping he and the offense can continue that output as they hit the road.

Once they get Blake Snell back, their starting rotation should look a lot more formidable, especially if he returns to form after a rough beginning of his campaign.

However, it might be time for them to start worrying about another one of their winter acquisitions after Jordan Hicks looked like a much different pitcher than he had shown to be thus far.

The former reliever turned starter had been a revelation for the Giants and was one of the few bright spots during their disappointing early stretch. He had a 3-1 record and 2.44 ERA prior to taking the mound on Sunday, making the transition better than anyone could have imagined.

And while the 27-year-old only allowed one earned run on three hits over five innings to pick up the win and reduce his ERA even further, there were some warning signs that might suggest regression is coming.

Hicks was only able to throw 72 pitches before getting pulled. His average sinker velocity of 91.7 mph dipped more than three mph from his season average against the Rockies according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.

This seems to suggest that fatigue might be setting in for the right-hander.

That's something to be expected in this new role as his career-high in innings pitched was 77 2/3 back during his rookie season in 2018. Since then, he's battled elbow injuries after getting Tommy John surgery.

Hicks is already at 53 innings through his 10 starts, which is on pace to shatter his career-high.

San Francisco will have to heavily monitor his performance and innings so they don't overwork him early.

The good news is that he was still able to have a great outing with his diminished velocity, something that should give the Giants hope moving forward as he showed to be effective despite not overpowering hitters.

Still, this is something to have on their radar as their best pitcher to date could be hitting a wall soon.


Published
Brad Wakai

BRAD WAKAI

Brad Wakai graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Journalism. While an undergrad, he did work at the student radio station covering different Penn State athletic programs like football, basketball, volleyball, soccer and other sports. Brad currently is the Lead Contributor for Nittany Lions Wire of Gannett Media where he continues to cover Penn State athletics. He is also a contributor at FanSided, writing about the Philadelphia 76ers for The Sixers Sense. Brad is the host of the sports podcast I Said What I Said, discussing topics across the NFL, College Football, the NBA and other sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @bwakai