The San Francisco Giants may have the worst bullpen in Major League Baseball history.
There’s no doubt the team has a loaded rotation which would be tough to deal with in a playoff series, if they actually make the post-season.
San Francisco, St. Louis and New York are all tied and just two of the teams will earn a wild card spot.
The bullpen down the stretch is going to be crucial for the Giants.
On Monday, the Giants bullpen blew a 1-0 game after Madison Bumgarner shut down the Los Angeles Dodgers through seven innings.
Tuesday had a different outcome with the Giants getting a 2-0 win over the Dodgers, but there was never a comfortable moment once Johnny Cueto came out of the game.
Bruce Bochy needs to make a decision soon on who he wants to be the closer because a closer-by-committee will not work down the stretch or in the postseason.
Here are three options Bochy can choose from to take over the closer role.
1. Sergio Romo
Romo earned his first save on the season on Tuesday in the 2-0 win over Los Angeles. The right handed reliever has been in and out of the bullpen all season, but the closer role is one he is familiar with.
From 2012-14, Romo had 75 saves in 86 opportunities. Those aren’t incredible numbers over a three season span, but he was able to get the job done at an effective rate.
He has pitched in just 35 games this season, so his arm should be relatively fresh which will be important when the Giants need a closer for three or four days in a row.
Is he the ideal choice for a team pushing for a playoff spot? Probably not. However, he’s a known commodity and that’s something you can’t say about a lot of the arms in the team’s bullpen right now.
2. Jeff Samardzija
This option might sound outlandish when you think that he’s the third starter in the rotation and the team paid big money for him to pitch every five days.
With the historical struggles of the bullpen in the late innings, making Samardzija the closer is a realistic choice for Bochy.
Samardzija spent the majority of his first four seasons in the big leagues as a reliever with the Chicago Cubs. In 2011, he racked up 88 innings out of the bullpen and had an ERA under 3.00.
He’s familiar with the bullpen and he has the stuff to be a closer.
The Giants would need to find a fifth starter if this was the route they wanted to go, however, teams primarily use just four starters in the playoffs.
This option may not be the best choice for the team down the stretch because it thins out the rotation, but it could be the perfect situation if, and when, they make the playoffs.
3. Jake Peavy
At this point, Peavy isn’t the type of pitcher the team can rely on to throw six quality innings every five days, but maybe he can be effective giving everything he has for one inning.
There’s no doubt that Peavy doesn’t have closer type stuff. He’s not a prototypical closer in today’s game, but he has the attitude for it.
It takes a different kind of person to be able to handle the pressure of getting the last three outs of a ball game. Not only does Peavy have that explosive personality, but he’s been through it all in the regular and post season.
He’s never been a closer in his career, nor has he really been a full-time reliever, but with how awful the bullpen has been, it wouldn’t hurt to try.
In a pressure situation, would you rather have Peavy or Derek Law? Peavy or Josh Osich? Peavy or Hunter Strickland?
Peavy has been around the block and will be ready for any situation.