Blog Entry

Giants may make Runzler starter

Posted on: November 2, 2010 4:50 pm
Runzler The Giants have no problems in the starting rotation, as the World Series just proved.

With Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner throwing up zeros all postseason, the Giants won the World Series with a man slated to make $64.5 million as their No. 5 starter the next three years riding the pine.

GM Brian Sabean told AOL Fanhouse's Tom Krasovic that the team is considering making Runzler a starter. At 6-foot-4 and with a 94-mph fastball, Runzler could have tremendous success as a starter. However, there are two things holding him back.

First, Runzler has been a reliever since becoming a professional baseball player, having been drafted by he Giants in the ninth round of the 2007 draft. He has exactly two minor league starts to his name, and those were rehab stints, both coming in 2010. Overall, he's appeared in 118 games in the minors, and the 25-year-old has a scintillating 11.8 K/9 ratio (188 whiffs in 143 innings). That's backed up with a 10.5 K/9 in the bigs, having appeared in 41 games.

However, the other drawback to Runzler making a conversion to starter is that he doesn't know where the strike zone is. You thought Jonathan Sanchez had trouble finding the plate with a 4.5 BB/9 in 2010? Runzler averaged a 4.8 BB/9 in the minors that has spiked to 5.4 in the majors.

Just 25, Runzler could become a big weapon in the rotation should the conversion take, but if he doesn't show any improvement with the command (above and beyond Sanchez' mark, even), he seems fated to a late-inning role in the bullpen.

-- Evan Brunell

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