Okay, that headline may be a little unfair. Jeff Suppan has much more impressive facial hair than Todd Wellemeyer.
The Giants completed their search for a 6th starter/long reliever yesterday, signing the veteran Suppan to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. I mentioned Suppan as a possibility for that role in my article the other day, but didn’t think he’d be the best option for the role because a) his age, and b) he’s been really, really awful over the last few years. Yet, here we are.
It’s not that the Suppan signing is a terrible one, per se. The Giants needed rotation insurance somewhere in their system, and weren’t comfortable with the options they had in the organization. Suppan has been around for a while, knows how to pitch, and has had success in the big leagues… granted, that success has only seemed to come when he’s pitching in St. Louis as of late, but that’s neither here nor there. Suppan is fully capable of making a spot start or two when needed.
Here’s the scary part: what if the Giants need Suppan to make more than a spot start or two? Right now, his role would be to hold down the long relief role and make a start when the Giants decided one of their pitchers needed an extended rest; but, if one of the starters gets injured, then what? We’re looking at an extended run of Jeff Suppan in the starting rotation. Hell, we could be looking at an extended run of Suppan and Barry Zito in the starting rotation. I know it's scary... I'll give you a minute to stop crying.
For now, though, I’m fine with the Suppan signing. Sure, he’s basically an older Todd Wellemeyer with a better track record, but the Giants needed someone like Todd Wellemeyer in the system this year, so long as it wasn’t the actual Todd Wellemeyer. If Suppan can be the long reliever the team currently lacks while also making 5-6 starts over the course of the season to rest the starters, it’s a successful signing. If he has to make any more starts than that? Then…uh…
Well…I’ve been told he has a fantastic beard. Let’s just focus on that.