Giants Likely to Choose Veteran as Fifth Starter

As the San Francisco Giants rampage through the Cactus League with an MLB leading 18-7 record, journeyman starter and long reliever Todd Wellemeyer has apparently just about locked up the fifth spot in the Giants rotation. Wellemeyer, 31, spent 2008 and 2009 as a St. Louis Cardinal, posting a disappointing 7-10 record and 5.89 ERA last year. In contrast, Wellemeyer has a 1.20 Spring ERA going into today’s action.

The Giants signed Wellemeyer with the expectation he would be the principal long reliever in the 2010 bullpen, but early on in Spring Training he found himself in an unofficial competition with twenty year-old rookie phenom Madison Bumgarner for the fifth spot in the Giants rotation. After Bumgarner posted a 6.43 ERA in seven Spring innings, the Giants optioned the 20 year-old rookie to Triple A Fresno where he will be in the starting rotation.

Although Todd Wellemeyer been impressive this Spring, 2009 Triple A Fresno starter Kevin Pucetas has put up even better numbers: a 2-0 win-loss, .064 ERA, 6 hit/2 walk performance in 14 innings pitched. But Pucetas will also likely not make the big club. The Giants can rightly assume that Wellemeyer will not sustain his Spring numbers during the regular season, and sooner or later another candidate will be needed to fill the 5th spot in the rotation.

Kevin Pucetas and Madison Bumgarner will likely find themselves competing all over again, this time in Fresno for an eventual shot to join the Giants 2010 starting rotation.

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