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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lineup Analysis

It seems like the Giants problems have reversed as the calender turned from April to May. While their starting pitching is still doing a decent job for the most part, they have certainly came back to earth early this month. Matt Cain, arguably the Giants best starter, has been hit uncharacteristically hard this month, as he's given up 18 hits in 10 innings after only giving up 12 hits through all of April. It seemed like, through the first month, it was a given that a Giants' starter would go at least 6-7 innings, keeping the team in the game. The only question's were: will the offense score enough runs to win and will the bullpen hold onto the lead if they got one? Now all of the sudden, the offense is starting to heat up, and it's the pitching that has been lagging. A big reason for the offensive explosion in may is due to the fact that Randy Winn and Omar Vizquel are swinging it well, and Bengie Molina has been playing at an all-star level at the plate. Besides that guy named Bonds, who happens to be on pace for 50 home runs, the Giants have struggled to hit the ball out of the ballpark as a team this year. Seeing Molina hit 2 home runs in the same inning was a refreshing to say the least. Winn has also stepped it up as he has raised his average over the .300 mark for the first time since the end of the 2005 season. While Winn still doesn't look quite like the player the Giants got back in '05, he has looked much better than he did last year. I am not going to expect him to hit 20 home runs again, but the Giants need him to be a .300 hitter for him to have value to the team. Vizquel is still down around .250, but has added about 20 points to his average over the last week.

I think the Giants best lineup right now, on May 10th, 2007 is to have Vizquel 2nd and Winn 3rd in front of Bonds. It seems the best thing Aurilia has been doing in front of Bonds lately is walking. His double plays are killing offensive rallies and preventing Bonds from hitting with runners on. Not only is Winn slugging better than Aurilia and getting on base at a better clip, Winn's speed effect the chances of double plays in front of Bonds. Not saying Winn is a choice number 3 hitter, but with this team, I think it makes some sense. The only problem with Winn moving to the 3rd spot, is that it would cluster together 3 right handed hitters at the bottom half of the lineup. If Dave Roberts' elbow injury is serious, which is looking like a strong possibility, then that throws this whole thing off and Winn would likely move into the leadoff role for the time being. There is a better than 50/50 possibility that Roberts bum left elbow will require surgery, which would result in 4-6 weeks of Todd Linden manning center field. It tells you all you need to know about this teams outfield depth when you see that Todd Linden is the 4th outfielder getting a good number of at-bats, even though he has a better chance at not making contact with the baseball than making it, and he has made two outfield mistakes that have cost the team 2 wins. If Roberts goes under the knife, the Giants are in trouble.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 1:15 AM, Anonymous Kelsdad said…

    Roberts is having surgery, probably Monday. Out minimun four weeks.

  • At 12:35 PM, Blogger TC said…

    Ok, time to see what the kids can do. Glad to see they finally lost patience with Linden.


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