Fffffffffff: Madison Bumgarner Named Opening Day Starter

Madison Bumgarner was named the Opening Day starter for the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday, making it the first time since 2008 that a left-hander was tabbed to be the Opening Day starter for the Giants. For a quick refresher of Opening Day Starting Pitcher History, let’s go back to the last time there was a southpaw on the mound:

2013: Matt Cain

2012: Tim Lincecum

2011: Tim Lincecum

2010: Tim Lincecum

2009: Tim Lincecum

2008: Barry Zito

Not that you forgot who could have possibly been the last LHP, but it is amazing the number of consecutive Opening Day starts we got from Timmy and how different he was from then to now. Anyway, this story is about Bumgarner. Born in August of 1989, Madison will be entering his age twenty-four season. That’s right, he won’t even be twenty-five until August. Want to know the names of some guys that are already twenty-five? How about first baseman Brandon Belt, corner infielder prospect Adam Duvall, and once top-prospect Gary Brown. It’s easy to forget how young Bumgarner is since he’s compiled these figures at the MLB level already:

  • 200+ innings pitched in three consecutive seasons, his 614.1 total IP in those seasons ranks him at 15th overall in the MLB
  • An 11.4 fWAR from 2011-2013, fourteenth overall in MLB
  • 3.12 ERA is 10th overall in those years, his FIP was 3.08, which is 8th overall

Statistically speaking, Bumgarner may have had his best season in 2011, but he still posted these in 2013:

  • 3.05 FIP, 11th overall
  • 3.7 fWAR, 26th overall
  • .251 BABIP against, T-4th lowest overall
  • 24.8% K%, 13th overall
  • 3.00 tERA, 5th overall
  • 11.1% Swinging strike %, T-7th with Tim Lincecum

It’s not easy to be the best in the MLB, but to be Top 15 in most of these categories should certainly make you eligible to start an Opening Day on most teams. Bumgarner’s 2013 has forced the issue since no one else was really able to step up for the full course of a season. This is not to say that every ballclub should make the OD decision based on 2013, but Bumgarner has long had the projected talent to be in this spot, and has the numbers over more than just one season to back up Bruce Bochy‘s decision to put him as the #1. According to beat writer Chris Haft’s article, it looks like Matt Cain will be the #2, with Tim Hudson and Tim Lincecum next, and Ryan Vogelsong rounding out the starting five.

Congrats to Bumgarner, and we, the fans, are excited for him to show us his fffffffffffff face to start the season.


One comment

  1. Natalie Tice

    Congrats to Bumgarner on being opening day starter. He’s well deserving of it. After 2 world series rings and all of his other challenging feats, it’s time for him to check this off his list! Can’t wait to see his Fffff. Go Giants!

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