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San Francisco Giants: Predicting the Starting Rotation in 3 Years

Brett AppleyCorrespondent IMay 22, 2016

San Francisco Giants: Predicting the Starting Rotation in 3 Years

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    The San Francisco Giants are known throughout MLB for having one of the best starting rotations in the game, and it was one of the keys for the Giants during their championship run last season.

    In 2011, the Giants rotation has put them in first place in the National League West with a record of 48-38.

    Not only does San Francisco have pitchers in the majors who are young and talented, but its farm system is also one of the best in baseball. There are plenty of pitchers in Triple-A or lower who could be studs in the near future.

    That gets me thinking: How good could this Giants rotation actually look in just a few years?

First Starter: Tim Lincecum

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    Age in 2014: 30

    MLB Service in 2014: Eight

    There is no question about it: Tim Lincecum will be the ace of the Giants staff as long as he remains in San Francisco.

    Lincecum has already won two Cy Young awards and been selected to the All-Star game four times in his short career. He leads the rotation with confidence and will be the No. 1 starter in three years as long as he isn't traded.

    It's crazy to think how good Lincecum has been compared to how good he will be in a few years, considering he will only be 30 years old in 2014.

Second Starter: Madison Bumgarner

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    Age in 2014: 24

    MLB Service in 2014: Six

    Another pitcher who has a crazy amount of potential is Madison Bumgarner. He has already won a World Series and has pitched tremendously in high-pressure situations.

    AND he is only 21 years old!

    In just a few years, Bumgarner will surely be near the top of this rotation.

    Even though Matt Cain has been in San Francisco longer, the Giants love to switch up left- and right-handers, which is why Bumgarner should start right after Lincecum.

Third Starter: Matt Cain

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    Age in 2014: 29

    MLB Service in 2014: 10

    Matt Cain will be the rock in this rotation for a long time to come. He has the most experience of anyone in the rotation and won't even be 30 years old by the time 2014 rolls around.

    Cain is a two-time All-Star and has pitched tremendously this season, allowing one run in his last 21 innings.

    Since Bumgarner is left-handed, Cain should be the next starter in the rotation and should provide the Giants with a solid start every week.

Fourth Starter: Eric Surkamp

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    Age in 2014: 26

    Projected MLB Service in 2014: Two

    Besides Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain, the other two or three current Giants starters are Jonathan Sanchez, Ryan Vogelsong and Barry Zito.

    While I would love to see Vogelsong pitch the way he is now for the next three years, I find it highly unlikely.

    There is a great chance Sanchez will be traded or given up on by that time, and I hope with all my heart that Zito isn't still pitching for SF.

    That leaves two openings in the rotation, and I believe young stars will emerge to fill those holes.

    Eric Surkamp is a nasty left-hander who plays in Double-A at the moment but has had excellent numbers ever since he was drafted.

    Surkamp is currently ranked the eighth-best prospect in the Giants farm system, and he has a great chance of making it to the majors in the next couple of years.

Fifth Starter: Zack Wheeler

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    Age in 2014: 24

    Projected MLB Service in 2014: Two

    Zack Wheeler has been on the fast track to the majors ever since he was drafted sixth overall by the Giants in 2009.

    Wheeler is ranked second among all Giants prospects (only behind Brandon Belt, who has already made the majors) but has struggled as of late in Triple-A.

    Still, Wheeler should be called up in the next year or two and should have a solid spot in the rotation by 2014.

    Wheeler would have been placed ahead of Surkamp, but as a right-hander, he will most likely follow a lefty.

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