The San Francisco Giants are having a difficult year in general. After failing to win the World Series for the fourth consecutive even year, the Giants have fallen into a slump, and so has their new closer and former Arizona Wildcat, Mark Melancon.
After suffering through a year with Santiago Casilla – the man who let the Padres win via a ‘balk off’ – the Giants were desperate for anyone who could put up a better fight when closing a game. In the offseason, the Giants signed Melancon to a four-year, $62 million dollar contract. Surely that would mean good things for the club and Melancon… right?
It might be the curse of the Giants’ bullpen, or Melancon just having an off year, but the closer has a 4.35 ERA, 11 saves, and four blown saves in 22 appearances with the Giants. Last year he had a 1.64 ERA, 47 saves, and four blown saves in 75 games split between the Nationals and the Pirates. This year is not what fans should expect from Melancon. Before he made it to the big time, when he was with the Wildcats, he tallied a total of 11 saves in a single season, which is tied for second in Wildcat history.
Unfortunately, the season is only getting worse.
Melancon suffered an elbow injury in July and has since taken time off to heal, but also said hello to the San Jose Giants for some rehabbing. Let’s cut to the chase and say that it’s been bad – real bad. Through the whopping 1.2 innings he has pitched, he has an ERA of 21.60. Can the awful outings in advanced-A be excused? To an extent. Melancon isn’t looking at numbers right now, he’s looking at getting healthy. Mistakes will be made while he’s still not 100%, but shouldn’t he be doing better for someone who is getting paid as much as he is?
It is a tough story to follow because Melancon really deserves to be in a better position than he is now, but it will be a great story when he comes back from these troubles.