DENVER -- Just as they're about to get one starter back, the Giants have lost another key one to injury.
Jeff Samardzija was pulled after just one inning at Coors Field on Tuesday night due to right shoulder tightness. He gave up two runs in the first and his fastball averaged just 91 mph, a significant dip from recent starts. After the inning, Samardzija met with manager Bruce Bochy, pitching coach Curt Young and head trainer Dave Groeschner. When the call was made to the bullpen, Samardzija grabbed one of his bats and snapped it over his knee.
Samardzija was shut down at the end of the spring with a pectoral strain and hasn't been himself since debuting on April 20. He has a 6.56 ERA and 1.68 WHIP while struggling to command his pitches. His stuff has not been the same as in past years, and his fastball velocity has been down for the majority of the season.
Dereck Rodriguez, called up Monday, replaced Samardzija and made his MLB debut. If Samardzija is forced to miss time, his absence would be felt. This is a rotation struggling to soak up innings, and Johnny Cueto only just started playing catch. Madison Bumgarner will return Tuesday, but the Giants need much more than that.