The final projections for the 2011 Giants are below. Today it's the Giants bullpen. This was a major strength for the team last season and I expect that will continue this year led by Brian Wilson and Sergio Romo.
Most projections that you will see give you one line of stats. I know my limitations, so I will gave you that line of stats, but also a best case and a worst case scenario, so you can get an idea of my general range for that player.
Without further ado, the projections:
Wilson put up one of the best seasons ever for a Giants closer last year and did anything and everything for Bruce Bochy. I expect that he'll continue to pitch at an elite level. I just don't think it's realistic to expect a sub-2 ERA, but he should maintain a strikeout rate over 10 and a respectable walk rate.
Romo is by far my favorite of all the Giants relievers and that may have clouded my judgement because this appears to be a very rosy projection (by almost all measures, I have him better then Wilson). However, I think it's well deserved. Romo has a tremendous strikeout rate for a guy that doesn't hit 97 on the radar gun and has an arsenal of crazy breaking stuff that is second to none. In addition, this offseason, he worked on a sinker to limit his home runs. I expect big things from Romo.
Lopez was a pleasant surprise last season, but I don't think he will be able to replicate it. I was down on the trade when it happened and I still don't see a lot that gets me excited in Lopez's past. He doesn't have great strikeout stuff and he walks too many for my liking. His numbers from last season were built on a foundation of sand and luck. The probability of that continuing is low in my estimation.
Affeldt could be a good guess of what happens to Lopez next season. He was coming off an awesome year where every ball bounced his way and road that to a sub-2 ERA and then things reversed course. Affeldt is still a good pitcher and I think he puts up very solid numbers again this season. Maybe we cross our fingers that he gets some of that double play mojo back.
Casilla has the "stuff" that teams crave in a relief pitcher. He has a hard fastball that runs 95-97 on a regular basis with a nice slider to compliment the heater. The question has never been about his talent but more about harnessing the talent. Last season, he put together his first resemblance of control and showed future closer ability. If he continues on that path, watch out. If his control regresses, then batters need to watch out because a 96 mph fastball hurts a lot.
Ramirez was another one of the Giants mid-season bullpen reinforcements that played above his head. I don't see him repeating his 0.67 ERA that he had with the Giants, not with a strikeout rate in the 5-6 range. Ramirez is an okay pitcher and I'm not ever really comfortable with these projections because I feel like they are too low, but I will go with this and say that the glass is half full.
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