Logan Webb to Become Youngest Giants Starter Since Early Bumgarner Years

Jhenea Pratt
Pittsburgh Bureau of Police

PHOENIX -- The Giants have gone with youth in their rotation, but even by that new standard, Logan Webb's debut will be noteworthy. 

Webb will be 272 days past his 22nd birthday when he throws his first pitch Saturday night, making him the youngest Giant to start a game since Madison Bumgarner. He'll be the fourth-youngest Giants starter since 2000, trailing just Bumgarner (20 years, 38 days in 2009), Matt Cain (20 years, 332 days in 2005) and Jerome Williams (21 years, 143 days in 2003), according to Stats LLC.

It's been no secret that the Giants have leaned heavily on veteran starters over the past decade, with guys like Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Hudson and Jake Peavy filling in during the championship years and Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto joining the top of the rotation in recent years. 

But as the game has gotten younger, the Giants truly have fallen behind. It's not just that the Giants haven't had a 22-year-old starter since Bumgarner's debut. They haven't even had a 23-year-old. Bumgarner made 105 starts before turning 24. The next youngest Giants starter during that time was Erik Surkamp, who was 24 years and 52 days old when he made his debut in 2011. 

This year the Giants have used 24-year-olds Shaun Anderson and Conner Menez, and they always thought Webb could be an option in the second half. Manager Bruce Bochy admitted the thinking changed a bit when Webb was suspended for 80 games, but back in spring training, Webb opened eyes. 

"He threw the ball well," Bochy said. "The thing you like about him is he throws strikes, and he's got good stuff. I thought he was very confident this spring in his outings and with how he handled himself. This spring he really impressed. I'm not surprised to see him."

Webb said that he thought about his future during the spring, and he was ready to take on any role to get a shot at the big leagues. He said his hopes about a timetable changed a bit after the suspension, but after just three starts back in Double-A and one in Triple-A, the Giants will use him to fill a hole. 

With an off day Monday, Dereck Rodriguez back in the rotation, and Anderson just about 100 percent, it seems likely this will be a cameo appearance for Webb. But no matter how it goes, he'll get his name in the books as one of the youngest Giants starters of the past two decades. 

Webb gave a reminder of just how young he was while chatting with reporters Friday. Asked about his Niners fandom, he said he doesn't remember certain players familiar to reporters. 

"I was born in 1996," he pointed out. 

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