Giants ace Madison Bumgarner may be returning from his hand injury sooner than anticipated.
Bumgarner has been dealing with a fractured left hand he suffered in spring training, when he was drilled by a comebacker toward the mound. This injury was a major setback to the Giants. As a result, fans have not been wagering on them to win at sites like NetBet Sport and other great online sportsbooks.
It was a stroke of bad luck, and he had pins put in his hand as a result. The good news is that they’ve since been removed, and he could return sooner than later.
The Giants can certainly use him in their rotation, which is currently thin.
While we’re on the topic, here are some other players to had a slow start to the year and are turning things around:
These guys have successfully done that after looking at how their performances have improved between April and May.
Garrett Richards, SP, Los Angeles Angels
The slow start
First and foremost, the fact that Garrett Richards is healthy and taking the ball consistently is a huge step forward. His 51.2 innings are already the most he’s thrown in a single season since 2014 (207.1).
He did struggle through the month of April, which consisted of 27.2 innings and a 4.88 ERA. Opposing hitters posted a .323 wOBA against him, and while his strikeout rate was up at 29.1%, his walk rate was equally high at 15.0%.
When you’re putting that many people on base, it’d also help to own a strand rate higher than the 64.2% mark he produced in the season’s first month.
Richards’ strand rate has improved slightly to 69.2% through 24 innings of work in May. The right-hander’s 21.7% strikeout rate is a sizable regression from April, but it was also accompanied by a 4.4% walk rate. So, he not only saw his WHIP drop from 1.52 to 0.96, but his ERA went from nearly 5.00 to 1.50.
Outside of an elevated overall walk rate (10.5%), it’d be hard to look at his overall numbers (3.31 ERA and 3.80 SIERA) and realize he struggled out of the gate.
Jose Ramirez, 3B, Cleveland Indians
The slow start
April actually wasn’t too shabby for Jose Ramirez — he slashed .267/.353/.514 with 7 home runs and 14 RBI through 119 plate appearances. It was the very beginning of his season that was incredibly brutal, though. Like a number of Indians batters, he struggled by hitting .086/.256/.171 through his first 43 plate appearances (10 games).
While that produced an anemic 21 wRC+ and .206 wOBA, he kept taking his walks — Ramirez an 18.6% walk rate and 4.7% strikeout rate during this time. He was bound to get hot, and boy has he ever.
Ramirez’s cumulative wRC+ of 166 is among the 10 best marks in all of baseball. He’s accomplished this by posting a 133 wRC+ throughout April before upping that number to 210 in May.
The switch-hitter has been rather dependent on fly balls so far this year (his 42.1% rate would be a new single-season career high if the year ended today), but the big change has happened in his quality of contact.
The Indians’ third baseman had a 24.1% hard-hit rate during his rough start, with that number jumping up to 34.7% since he caught fire.
Jhoulys Chacin, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
The slow start
Jhoulys Chacin’s first month with the Brewers didn’t at all go how he was hoping it would. While his 4.54 ERA didn’t look so terrible, the 5.50 SIERA was actually one of the worst in baseball. The right-hander put together a 46.4% ground-ball rate, but it was also accompanied by a 49.1% pull rate and 39.7% hard-hit rate.
Nearly walking as many hitters (11.0% rate) as he was striking out (12.9%) didn’t help, either.
Through 23.1 innings, Chacin has shaved a full three runs off his April ERA, as it currently stands at a tidy 1.54 in May. His hard-hit rate allowed has gone down slightly to 37.5%, but his soft-hit rate has increased six percentage points.
It’s also worth noting that although his fly-ball rate has gone from 31.3% to 46.3%, his infield-fly rate has gone from 8.6% to 20.0% between April and May.