Madison Bumgarner suffered a Grade 2 shoulder sprain and bruised ribs in a dirt bike accident in late April and missed nearly three months of the 2017 season. The results were strong for the lefty following his return -- he posted a 3.43 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 13 second-half starts -- but the strikeouts were down and the homers were up for Bumgarner down the stretch. He allowed 15 homers and struck out 73 in his final 84 innings. The team context isn't great anymore, because while he pitches in a friendly home park, the San Francisco offense is poor and the bullpen is shaky. Following a full offseason of rest, Bumgarner will presumably return to better form, but it's probably unwise to put him back into the top tier of starting pitchers until he flashes that level of performance again. Keep in mind that he now has more than 1,500 big-league innings on his arm at 28 years of age.
The Giants are expected to pick up Bumgarner's club option for 2018, Austin Laymance of MLB.com reports. This is no surprise, as Bumgarner is San Francisco's ace, and his club option is worth $12 million for next season. Although he missed significant time last year with a shoulder injury, Bumgarner has been lights-out in his career with the Giants, posting a 3.01 ERA over nine seasons. Look for the 28-year-old to have yet another stellar season in 2018.
Manager Bruce Bochy announced Tuesday that Bumgarner will not make another start this season, Andrew Baggarly of The San Jose Mercury News reports. Bumgarner's health isn't a concern at this point in the season, but the Giants will shut their ace down on a high note following his strong 7.2-inning, one-run outing Saturday against the Dodgers. Bumgarner will conclude the year with a 3.32 ERA over 17 starts and will again be one of the most coveted starting pitching assets in 2018 fantasy baseball drafts.
Bumgarner (4-9) earned the win against the Dodgers on Saturday, allowing one run on five hits and one walk in 7.2 innings in the Giants' 2-1 victory. He struck out five. The southpaw was often hovering near the mid-90s with his velocity and hummed along quickly to a victory. Bumgarner now sports a sparkling 3.32 ERA with an 8.2 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 over 111 innings, putting him in position -- despite missing so much time this year -- to again be selected within the first two or three rounds of fantasy drafts in 2018. He lines up to take his final turn of the season Friday at home against the Padres.
Bumgarner (3-7) was tagged for five runs on five hits (three home runs) with two walks and five strikeouts over six innings in a losing effort to the Cardinals on Sunday. Bumgarner turned in his worst outing of the season two days after being scratched from his previous start due to illness. The country-strong ace helped his cause with a solo home run in the fifth inning, but it wasn't enough to overcome the three he surrendered on the mound. The 28-year-old has pitched relatively well (3.22 ERA) since returning from shoulder surgery July 15, but his 1.7 HR/9 in those 10 starts suggests that he may not fully return to form until his shoulder gets a full offseason of rest. The Giants are currently deploying a six-man rotation, so Bumgarner's next start will come against the White Sox next Sunday.
Bumgarner (illness) will start Sunday's game against the Cardinals, NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Bumgarner ended up being scratched from his previously scheduled start Thursday in the series opener with St. Louis after succumbing to flu-like symptoms, but he's apparently feeling fine again after taking a few days off to recover. The staff ace's brief absence forced the Giants to hand Matt Cain a spot start Thursday, but Cain will head back to the bullpen now that Bumgarner is back to full strength.