Giolito has been tough to gauge. He has the most wins on the staff but the worst ERA, WHIP, and FIP. He’s been sneaky good at times but concerning the rest of the time. His performance has picked up since the return of Kevan Smith to the team but there are still signs of worry here and there.
His last start was his best of the season, giving up two runs through seven innings last Friday against the Oakland Athletics. The numbers say four earned runs because he left two on and the bullpen allowed those two to score but regardless, he pitched well. He struck out eight and was efficient in getting his outs. Giolito threw 100 pitches through those seven innings. More importantly, he only allowed two walks. That was his fourth start of his last five where he’s allowed two walks or less.
For Giolito, he needs to string together multiple runs of solid outings. Whether it’s five, six or seven innings, he needs to keep the ERA down by allowing just two or three earned runs per outing.
He needs to pitch better in the first inning and really settle down facing the lineup the second or the dreaded third time around. With his walk-rate really climbing down, Giolito should start to really come into his own at the major league level.
If he can bring his ERA down from 7.01 to around 5.00 or even 4.50, with around 150 IP, that would mean he averaged two or three earned runs over his following 15 starts. That’d be a season salvaged for the 23-year old righty.