#SFGiants Hamstring Injuries: Cain Leaves Game After 3, Casilla Swings When Told Not To

After a Tuesday comeback walk-off by the Colorado Rockies over the San Francisco Giants, having Matt Cain on the mound on Wednesday seemed like a promising chance for a bounce-back in the standings. Unfortunately, despite the 5-1 victory on Wednesday by the Giants thanks to many dingers (and not that annoying dinosaur), the Giants are left waiting for status reports on the hamstrings of Matt Cain and Santiago Casilla.

Just waiting to hear on the severity of the strain, maybe we’ll hear tomorrow during the pre-game, the same time we’ll probably hear about the move for Casilla:

There are always times you hope the people that watch baseball for a living are wrong:

May be the most maddening part of Casilla’s injury is the recklessness/selfish behavior of ignoring signs/orders and busting his tail down to first on an infield grounder:

So, really, Casilla brought this on himself, because a reliever really doesn’t need to exert the effort to swing, or sprint down a basepath because his skills are needed on the mound. Sure, it might be fair to question why was Casilla batting at all, though a four-pitch outing in the eighth seemed to be low enough for manager Bruce Bochy to say, what the heck, pitch the 9th, too.  

Sorry, Hunter, the Giants are going to have to look elsewhere.

The depth of the Giants farm system can handle a blow to the bullpen, even though Santiago Casilla has been the most-used reliever in terms of innings pitched for the Giants. He has 26.1 IP through 47 games, which easily puts him on pace to break his 63.1 IP season-high he set in 2012. Casilla was being used a lot, but Jean Machi could step in to be that 8th inning guy with the start to the season he’s brought. You also have Heath Hembree, Derek Law, and George Kontos doing just fine in the minors. One of them could see a promotion if the Giants decide to hold on to their probably-not-a-good-idea-thirteen-man-bullpen. Heaven forbid one of the out-of-option relievers get designated for assignment, though. Giants are squeezing every last bit of usable talent out of some of those relievers.

The depth of the Giants farm system for the 2014 season cannot handle a loss of Matt Cain. Has he been #1 starter Matt Cain this year? No. You know what he can be, and he can be better, which we may not be able to say the same of Yusmeiro Petit, David Huff, or even Edwin Escobar in being able to produce that kind of efficiency. If Matt Cain is out for a long period of time, I’d say that big lead in the West starts to fall and you’ll watch three teams jockeying for first place between the Giants, Dodgers, and Rockies. Losing a starter doesn’t just affect the games they’re supposed to pitch in, it can affect strategy of games after that due to bullpen usage, as good as the Giants bullpen has been it doesn’t necessarily trigger a “no big deal” mindset. I don’t trust Petit to keep dealing, though I will hope he does well! That health of the rotation, it is a big key to the Giants going far while their young guns continue to be molded into being more-or-less ready for the bigs.

The Giants and Rockies will conclude their three-game set tomorrow with the final game of the series beginning at 12:10 PM PST. They will then be happy to get out of there and come back home to begin a six-game homestand with the Minnesota Twins and Chicago Cubs.


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