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Giants' Fifth Starter: Mystery Revealed!

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Player A
23.2 IP / 17 H / 8 ER / 2 HR / 10 BB / 15 K / 3.04 ERA

Player B
17.1 IP / 16 H / 18 ER / 7 HR / 17 BB / 14 K / 9.34 ERA

They are both Todd Wellemeyer. You guys are sharp. There's no guarantee Wellemeyer will be that bad on the road or that good at home in the future, but you can't deny the results so far.

The Giants' first order of business should be to bottle up Wellemeyer's good home vibes and pop them open in the visiting clubhouse, sort of like an open jar of greenies on the shelf above his locker. C'mon, Todd, have a handful; everyone does it! There's got to be some kind of fix. It's not just park factors. On the road he's missing wild out of the zone and wild in the zone, hence the walks and homers. Perhaps opposing teams are employing scantily-clad women to sit behind home plate. Perhaps they're aiming Distract-O-Rays at his head.

Bring in a shrink. Bring in a private dick. Better yet, bring in Tidrow, Dick, who just turned around Madison Bumgarner's season, jumped a few high buildings in a single bound, and changed back into his civilian clothes in a telephone booth. Hell, if Dave Righetti can tweak Jonathan Sanchez's mechanics and attitude, Wellemeyer should be fair game. He's not going to be a co-co-co-ace, but an ERA around 4 or 4.50 (3 earned runs every six or seven innings) would be mighty helpful.

If they can't fix his road woes, at least minimize them. By my unsteady calculations, the Giants could rig the rotation so that everyone pitches on four days of rest and Wellemeyer only has one road start (plus three home starts) through the end of June. The downside is not giving the other rotation members an extra day of rest, something the Giants might want to reserve, especially with Lincecum.

But coaxing another month of decent ball from Wellemeyer is worth trying. It keeps Madison Bumgarner in Fresno for more experience; he's settled in nicely since Tidrow tweaked his motion, but at least four, five, six more starts in AAA with his new mechanics can only help. If you really want to bring up Eric Hacker, the journeyman lefty who's mowed through the PCL this spring, fine. Or Joe Martinez or Kevin Pucetas, for that matter. But Wellemeyer's been just fine at home, something easy to forget when you watch his raggedy road act, so why not try to build on that first?      


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