Saturday, April 3, 2010

SF Giants Season Preview

It has arrived. Opening Day is on Monday and Giants fans cannot be more excited for this year's team. Is it the solid pitching staff getting these fans going? Or is it the so-called upgrade in offense? One thing is for sure, the Giants have a shot to win the NL West for the first time in a long time. Granted, it is just a "shot" at winning the division, but for a franchise that has gone through its ups-n-downs, and a fan-base that has gone with it, this season couldn't look any better.

Several story lines dominate the start of this season. Will Tim Lincecum three-peat as Cy Young winner? Will Madison Bumgarner crack the rotation this season? How will the Giants handle Buster Posey once he is done obliterating the Minor League this season? And will the upgrade in offense pay off for the stretch run? These are the questions that dominate the speculation this season, and I'm sure there are a handfull more.

But let's cover the obvious. The Giants pitching staff, although they lost Brad Penny, is still solid. They might have the best 1-2 in the League, as well as the best 4-5 in the League. What worries me is the #3 pitcher, Barry Zito. We saw glimpses of brilliance during the second-half of last season. How will that carry over into this one. By the looks of Thursday nights game, not so much. Zito is the "if." Zito is the difference.

Todd Wellemeyer and Jonathan Sanchez are going to give you a .500 season, more or less. And Lincecum and Matt Cain are going to get you 15 wins, more or less, depending on the offense. But I have no idea what to expect from Zito. This we will find out soon. My advice, the Giants are one pitcher away from making a run for this division. Whether that pitcher is already in the organization in the form of Bumgarner or a surprise with Wellemeyer, or they have to go pick one up at the trade deadline, we will find out. They may miss Brad Penny.

As for the hitting, I was pleased this offseason to find that for once in long time a Bay Area Sports team, whose name is not the Sharks, went out and upgraded the part of their team that they needed to upgrade. The Giants needed to upgrade the offense, and they brought in Aubrey Huff and Mark DeRosa. These aren't high-profile names by any means, but it is better than what they had last year, right? I'm still trying to convince myself. The Giants will score more runs this season than last, and if they overcome all expectations hitting-wise, then they will win the West, plain and simple.

Their pitching is moderately strong, their bullpen is just about flawless (knock on wood), and the only thing left is their offense. Which they now have, just not a lot of.

They have a good line-up...until you look at the every other line-up in the NL West.

But there is one thing that the Giants have and will need to resist this season if they want any success. Health is the key. With a pitching rotation and line-up that is as fragile as this team's, pray for good health. They have already lost Freddy Sanchez, who is starting the year on the DL, but Juan Uribe can pick up the slack while he's gone. They're lucky.

If the Giants lose someone like Pablo Sandoval, or Cain or Lincecum, during the season, you can start panicking. Because in this division, there is not much room for error. For any team.

I see good things for the Giants this season, maybe somewhere around 85 wins, more or less. Bottom line, the Dodgers will not be as good this season, and the Rockies will be better. That's all you need to know. And if the Giants can fit somewhere in between those two teams, they may find themselves with a Wildcard birth to playoffs.


  1. giants are not one pitcher away from the divison win. they definatly are a quality hitter away from a division title. A hitter like Holiday would provide a solid 25 and 100 a year guy.

  2. Well of course that would help, problem is he is locked up now and wanted way more than the Giants were willing to spend. they werent even in contention for him.

    Here's another reason why you wont see a legitimate power hitter coming to SF willingly, they fear the Giants ballpark. It will always be a pitching park, just be happy the Bay Area will get to see some good pitchers come through AT&T.