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Inbox: Was late-season Beede the real deal?

@mi_guardado
January 24, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Bay Area sports universe currently revolves around the San Francisco 49ers, who will head to Miami next week to face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. But it won’t be long until baseball is back in the spotlight. In less than three weeks, the

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Bay Area sports universe currently revolves around the San Francisco 49ers, who will head to Miami next week to face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. But it won’t be long until baseball is back in the spotlight. In less than three weeks, the Giants will report to Scottsdale, Ariz., for the start of Spring Training.

The Giants’ roster still could undergo some changes, as president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and general manager Scott Harris continue to actively search for ways to improve their collection of players for 2020 and beyond. For now, we’ll address the current inventory of talent in the rotation, which will be the primary theme of this week’s Giants Inbox:

Does the team expect Tyler Beede's last six starts (2.97 ERA and 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings) to be an indication of what is to come for the upcoming season?
-- Craig W., Chicago

Beede has always had the pedigree and tools to develop into an impact starter, so I think the Giants were excited by the flashes of promise he showed as a rookie last year, especially toward the end of the season. Beede endured a rough patch immediately after the All-Star break, but the Giants stuck with him in the rotation and gave him the opportunity to work through his struggles. He responded with a nice turnaround. It’s a shame his oblique flared up in his final start of the season, because it looked like he had the potential to accomplish something special after no-hitting the Rockies over 3 1/3 innings.

Beede is only 26, so I think he’ll have the chance to unlock even more of his upside as he continues to build off last year. The Giants are committed to furthering his development, especially now that they’ve brought in a new coaching staff to work under manager Gabe Kapler, so I think he’ll be a significant piece in the 2020 rotation.

Do you expect Seth Corry or Sean Hjelle to get a shot in the rotation later in the upcoming season?
-- Craig W., Chicago

Corry is coming off a dominant season (1.76 ERA over 27 appearances), but he has yet to pitch above Class A Augusta, so he still has a ways to go before becoming an option for the Major League club. Hjelle is more advanced, as he finished the 2019 season at Double-A Richmond and will be in big league camp as a non-roster invitee. It’s easy to see Hjelle following a path similar to Logan Webb and receiving an extended look in the rotation this summer, especially if the Giants end up parting with some of their veteran starters at the Trade Deadline.

Where do former starters, such as Dereck Rodríguez, Andrew Suárez and Shaun Anderson, fit in for the upcoming season for the Giants? Middle relief?
-- Craig W., Chicago

With several starters (Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Kevin Gausman, Drew Smyly, Beede, Webb) ahead of them on the depth chart, it’s difficult to see Rodríguez, Suárez or Anderson opening the season in the Giants’ rotation. They are expected to come into camp as starters, however, and likely will be candidates to serve as swingmen out of the bullpen. It will be interesting to see how the Giants deploy Anderson, who received an extended look in the rotation before shifting to the bullpen last year. A former closer in college, Anderson converted two saves for the Giants in 2019 and could be in the mix to replace Will Smith if he moves to a full-time relief role this year.

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.