Giants Rundown: Starting Rotation

As spring training draws to a close, the Giants have finally chosen their starting five: Kirk Rueter, Jason Schmidt, Damian Moss, Ryan Jensen, and Kurt Ainsworth. This array of pitchers gives the Giants depth as well as variety in their staff. Let's take a closer look

We'll start with Kirk Rueter, more affectionately known as "Woody." One of two lefties in the rotation, Kirk is definitely a finesse pitcher; his pitches average out in the high eighties and low nineties, but they more often than not are in the strike zone. Unfortunately, Rueter is also known for his six inning starts.

Next is the number two man, Jason Schmidt, touted as the Giants ace of 2002. The big guy has been playing in the majors for eight years. The real power man in the lineup, his pitches reach high speeds, but location has been known to be problematic if he's not right on.

Damian Moss is another finesse lefty. He hails from Australia and rounds out the southpaw portion of the Giants starters. He comes into his third year in the majors from the Atlanta Braves, acquired in exchange for Russ Ortiz, along with a minor league pitcher.

Next comes Kurt Ainsworth, the rookie of the Giants starters. He is what is known as a "pure" or "true" pitcher, because he has a definitive combination of both power and finesse. A nasty mix of speed and control define this pitcher and make him one to watch in years to come.

The final pitcher of the 2003 Giants starters is none other than Ryan Jensen. He had 13 wins last year in his stint as a starter, and he comes into 2003 looking for more. Jensen has been a fairly solid pitcher, with good finesse, but he has had his trouble-moments. He often runs up high pitch counts, and he also accumulates base runners, yet he often manages to get himself out of these spots.

So, that rounds out the rotation. The bullpen may get overworked this year, partially because of issues regarding stamina in the case of Rueter, as well as high pitch counts in the case of Jensen. Schmidt might be able to go long, that is, if he doesn't get into trouble early. However, the fact remains that the Giants lost two horses in Ortiz and Hernandez, so let's see how this year plays out.

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