The San Francisco Giants have bad news and good news.
The bad news is that Tim Lincecum, the team’s ace, was scratched from his start on Tuesday with back spasms. It sounds like they’re being optimistic about the issue, which isn’t all that surprising, considering they’re pinning their hopes and dreams on his golden right arm for the next ten years or so.
The good news, though, is that Lincecum’s injury clears the way for the organization’s top prospect, Madison Bumgarner, to make his major league debut.
Only five weeks removed from his 20th birthday, Bumgarner is 27-5 with 256 strikeouts and a 1.65 ERA in 49 minor league games over the last two seasons. He made his debut tonight against the San Diego Padres, allowing two runs on five hits (including two homeruns) in 5 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out four, threw 76 pitches, and was in line for the win until Brandon Medders gave up the tying run in the top of the seventh.
I saw Bumgarner pitch recently with the Connecticut Defenders, and while he found himself in several jams, his composure was impressive, especially for a kid who can’t even drink legally. The Giants have to be looking forward to this next month, when they can see what they have up close and personal.
The nice thing is that he doesn’t have the pressure of being number one on his shoulders; Lincecum is clearly the team’s best pitcher and Matt Cain is a solid number two, meaning Bumgarner can settle in as a mid-rotation starter while he adjusts to the majors (whenever he finds himself permanently in the rotation, that is).
(Picture: Greg’s Connecticut Defenders Blog)