Over the winter, the Giants inked right-hander Jeff Samardzija to a five-year, $90 million contract. That was in spite of the fact that Samardzija was coming off of a nightmare of a season. He finished with a 4.96 ERA and a 163/49 K/BB ratio in 214 innings while leading the majors in hits allowed (228) and earned runs allowed (118) and the American League in home runs allowed (29).
Things haven’t gone much better this spring for the 31-year-old. During Wednesday’s start against the Mariners, Samardzija was knocked around for seven runs on eight hits and a walk with three strikeouts in four innings. Three of those eight hits were home runs. In his previous start, he gave up three runs in four innings.
Eno Sarris of FanGraphs tweeted that he didn’t see Samardzija top 93 MPH during Wednesday’s start. He made an apt — and relatable, for Giants fans — comparison to Tim Lincecum in that both were pitchers who relied more on stuff than on command. In Lincecum’s case, once his stuff was gone, he couldn’t hang anymore. The Giants certainly hope that’s not the case for Samardzija in year one of his contract.