SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants proved last season that solid starting pitching wasn't enough to guarantee success. This year, the rotation hopes to be more than just solid -- an improvement which, if achieved, could lead the ballclub back toward respectability.San Francisco certainly seems to have the makings of a rotation which could rank among the National League's elite.
San Francisco Giants
Lowry, 14-8 with a 3.92 ERA last year, has been the Giants' leading winner in two of the past three seasons. The left-hander struggled with command, walking 87 batters in 156 innings, but compensated by coaxing 25 double-play grounders, fifth-most in the NL. Lowry has been the constant subject of trade speculation, but tightness in his left forearm, which sidelined him for the season's final month, may have dissuaded other teams from pursuing him.Kevin Correia, 27, and Jonathan Sanchez, 25, are the leading candidates for the fifth starter's spot. Correia excelled after moving from the bullpen to the rotation for last season's final six weeks, finishing 3-1 with a 2.54 ERA and a .222 opponents' average in eight starts. Sanchez has started only eight times in 60 Major League appearances in 2006-07, but proved his aptitude for the role in the Minors. Despite a 1-5 record and a 5.88 ERA with the Giants last year, he demonstrated his potential by striking out 62 in 52 innings. Left-hander Patrick Misch (2-5, 2.30 ERA at Triple-A Fresno, 0-4, 4.24 ERA with San Francisco) and non-roster right-hander Victor Santos also could receive chances to start in Spring Training.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less