The Giants spent $90 million for Jeff Samardzija this offseason. Samardzija was rough last season leading the American League in homers allowed with 29 and all of baseball in runs allowed with 122 and hits allowed with 228. A career 47-61 record and 4.09 ERA is a tough sell for $90 million. Samardzija claims he was tipping his pitches which explains the drop off in production.
As a fantasy owner Samardzija should be far down on my list of prospective pitchers. I actually plan to keep him for $6 bucks in a keeper league. My gut says 2016 will be a career year for Samardzija. Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti is one of the best in the business and should be able to help get “Shark” back on track. The Giants defense is significantly better compared to the White Sox and the ballpark is more pitcher friendly as well. These changes will help balance out his decreasing strikeout rate-increasing fly ball rate. For as bad as Samardzija was in 2015, he walked only 49 batters.
Fantasy Owners should expect Samardzija to be a middle of the rotation starter just as the Giants do. Samardzija will help in strikeouts and maintain a low WHIP. Samardzija has never had a winning season as a starter, but I believe that changes in 2016. The Giants are a well run organization having won 3 out of the last 6 World Series. Trust more in the Giants ability to evaluate talent than Samardzija’s performance last season.