The San Francisco Giants ended their 2016 season on a low note. Making the playoffs was great, but losing to the Cubs in a five-game playoff was a hard pill to swallow. Game six was the hardest of them all. As San Francisco led 5-2 going into the ninth. However, as many games before that, the Giants bullpen would blow it.
In 2017, the team made changes. Bringing in Mark Melancon, a closer who had 51 saves in 2015 and 47 the year after. Bringing in Melancon was a no-brainer, and San Francisco signed him to a 4-year deal worth $62 million.
On the appearance, it looked like a great deal for the bay area team. However, it didn’t turn out that way in year one. He blew his first save opportunity by giving up two earned runs on four hits. He would pick up the next five saves, before blowing another opportunity in April.
In May, he was perfect. He would amass five saves and not blow a single opportunity. Unfortunately, they were all rocky. Melancon would allow six hits in 5.2 innings during that span. He also went on the 10-day disabled list for A flexor pronator strain in the elbow.
In June, the wheels really began to fall off, and it was clear he wasn’t himself. Giving up eight runs on six hits in just 5.1 innings. Melancon would blow a win and a save, notching just one opportunity against the Braves, his 11th on the season. He would again go on the disabled list for the same injury he suffered in May. Up to this point, he blew four of 15 save opportunities which included a career-high 4.58 ERA as a closer.
Melancon would return in mid-August, but by then, free-agent acquisition Sam Dyson was dominant in the role of closer. Also, when the team is realistically out of the playoffs, and you’re paying someone $62 million, the last thing a team wants to do is put pressure on the guy’s arm, especially the elbow. Melancon would get one more save opportunity in September, but he would blow it. Giving up one run on two hits in one inning. He would pitch his last game on the fifth, then have surgery to repair his elbow, officially ending his season on September 12th.
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 18, 2017
Even though gruesome looking, the injury should not have much of factor for Melancon in 2018. He has a clean bill of health. However, time is always the determining factor, and the Giants have Dyson waiting in the wings. There is no doubt that Melancon will be the closer for San Francisco, so draft him accordingly. He will get plenty of opportunities. The way the lineup is structured, as of now, the hitting will be in the shallow department. After last season, more than likely he will deliver you a great ROI, as he has a high ceiling and low floor.