So far this year, LHP Madison Bumgarner has been mediocre at best for the D-backs. His velocity has been at career lows (86 MPH), he has been missing his spots with his offspeed and breaking stuff, and flat out he hasn't been what the D-backs have been looking for in their ace this year.
Over four total starts, Bumgarner has racked up the a 0-3 record, a 9.35 ERA, only 13 strikeouts, and a high 1.56 WHIP. All of those stats are completely unbearable. You could say that Bumgarner has had a limited amount of starts, which is true, but it's not like he's gotten unlucky, he has done this to himself. If you look at his last start, he gave up four home runs in only 2 innings! If you check every home run hit off of him; they were left up in the zone and they were either breaking balls or that slow, 86 MPH fastball.
Just yesterday, Bumgarner was put on the 10-day IL for a mid back strain. The D-backs have said that he is only supposed to miss a couple of starts. Now, some people may see this as a downfall for the D-backs, even though Bumgarner hasn't played well so far. I see this as an opportunity. With Bumgarner out, the rotation will move up a spot and someone will have to fill that number five spot. The obvious candidate is Alex Young, which I think is the correct choice here.
The whole reason for this article is my reasoning on why I think the rotation might be better without our ace pitcher. My main reasoning is Alex Young coming into place. By far, our worst pitcher has been Madison Bumgarner (although you could make a case for Robbie Ray). With MadBum out of the rotation, you put in Alex Young. Now, if you look at Youngs stats, they are great. Over 9 innings of work, Young has put up a 1-0 W-L record, a 3 ERA, 9 SO, and an even 1 WHIP. Although, he has been working out of the bullpen this year so it is unclear if he could put up these numbers in the starting rotation.
Here is my final verdict; I think the rotation will be better with Bumgarner for the time being. You see, Young is a great replacement, but I don't think he will be as consistent as he has been so far. The bullpen and starting rotation are two different things and sometimes, a player is only meant for one or the other. I hope to see Bumgarner get better soon and get back into the groove of things. This might be what he needs to get reset and focused.