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Is Yusmeiro Petit Worthy of Final Push Roster Spot?

On the one hand, Yusmeiro Petit a near 30-year-old pitcher with fewer than 400 career Major League innings, a career 4.79 ERA and  a 1.30 WHIP. It all just screams “journeyman” and really, you don’t think of journeymen as guys you want to add down the stretch.

So, why are we here?

Yusmeiro Petit, 2014

Last Month14.1401211-00.630.28

Beyond the total numbers, Petit has also shown himself to be capable of some pretty spectacular things over the last few seasons.

  • In 2013, he retired the first 26 hitters he faced in a game. Only a very good take from Eric Chavez, followed by a near miss from Hunter Pence kept him from throwing a perfect game.
  • In 2014, he set a Major League record by retiring 46 hitters in a row. This run was done predominately in relief (8 outings, two starts that book-ended six relief appearances). Better yes, as I’m sure many of you know, that run was just finished. So, as the numbers above indicate, Petit is on a nice hot streak.

So, what are the worries if you add him?

The main one is what we went over at the top. The complete body of work indicates that Petit has been a journeyman pitcher throughout his career, at best. Now, as the Giants pitching coach, Dave Righetti has a bit of a history of turning journeymen into All-Star caliber guys (Ryan Vogelsong comes immediately to mind), but there always has to be a lingering concern that he’ll have a sharp regression.

With the Giants in a playoff race and Tim Lincecum (plus several other potential call-ups) on the team, there’s very little reason for them to be patient.

So, why is he worth adding?

Right off the bat, I’ll say that this is a big if. As things stand now, Madison Bumgarner is in line to pitch the last game of the season for the Giants. Having said that, it’s very possible that the Giants postseason run will start with a Wild Card play-in game and given the standings and a fairly easy schedule, it’s not hard to imagine that the Giants will be realistically out of the NL West race, but easily in the Wild Card game. If that happens, Bumgarner’s probably the guy they’d want starting So, it’s not at all unlikely that things will get shuffled.

Having said that, if things do hold true to form and Yusmeiro Petit starts every fifth game for the Giants, this is what he’s looking at.

Yusmeiro Petit Probable Starts

September 2at Colorado Rockies
September 9vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
September 14vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
September 20at San Diego Padres
September 25vs. San Diego Padres

Only today’s start is in a hitter’s park, and only the game against the Dodgers comes against a playoff contender. Even if things do get shuffled, the worst it gets Petit is an extra game against the Dodgers. After this weekend’s series in Detroit, the Giants have nothing but NL West games on the schedule and the West is a pretty good place to pitch.

Obviously the current run isn’t likely to hold, but Petit is set up well for a strong September. Don’t be at all surprised if he comes up with 4-5 quality starts and about a strikeout an inning.

You know what you need better than I do, but Yusmeiro Petit is worth gambling on if you’re thinking you need a strong September from a pitcher to put you over the edge.


Tags: MLB San Francisco Giants Starting Pitchers Yusmeiro Petit

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