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The Giants were able to identify Ryan Vogelsong's talent from overseas. They should be able to unlock Blackburn's vast potential.
So far, we've looked at the external factors as to why the Giants should keep Clayton Blackburn, but we haven't discussed why they should look to keep his arm in the farm system.
You can find several scouting reports of Blackburn here and here.
It appears that the downside of Clayton Blackburn is pretty high, leveling him as a fifth-starter type even if he doesn't pan out.
However, his ability to throw up to 95 mph and feature several other above-average offerings makes him a promising.
Bottom line, the Giants have shown the uncanny ability to find young players, tap into their potential and keep them healthy.
Noah Lowry may be the last Giants pitcher to get seriously hurt, but that had nothing to do with the pitching coaches or the front office.
How else were they able to identify journeyman Ryan Vogelsong and turn him into a postseason hero?
Or fix Madison Bumgarner's early career issues with velocity?
The Giants' coaches were also able to identify Bumgarner's postseason struggles before Game 2 of the World Series, where MadBum threw seven shutout innings against the Detroit Tigers to give San Francisco a 2-0 series lead.
How about fearlessly drafting Tim Lincecum and keeping him healthy despite all the detractors noting that his small stature would not allow his body to hold up?
And not being afraid to flip a top prospect in Tim Alderson (who is no longer a top prospect) for World Series hero Freddy Sanchez.
Sure, they have had their fair share of errors as well, like the Wheeler-Beltran trade and signing Barry Zito, but they've identified top talent and developed them.
The only other team that has a pitching staff just as consistent is the Tampa Bay Rays.
The combination of Blackburn's ability to turn into a No. 2 starter and the Giants' proven ability to extract the best from all their pitchers, has Blackburn and the organization in a very good place.
Clayton Blackburn and Kyle Crick has the ability to join Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner at the top of the rotation in two years. You can't trade that away.