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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Giants Notes: Pagan To Return, Lincecum to Pen?

The last time the Giants saw the Blue Jays, they played one of their worst series' of the year, and they've struggled with a 7-12 record since. Tuesday night, Toronto will roll into town, and the Giants have to get back on track and take advantage of the reeling Blue Jays.

One positive the Giants get to look forward to when their homestand gets underway will be the return of leadoff man Angel Pagan. The Giants speedy center fielder has been on the bench since May 25th due to a hamstring strain that narrowly missed landing him on the DL. It will be nice to get some semblance back at the top of the order and gets to return to face a pitcher he's had good success against in Josh Johnson (7-17 in career). Not that Torres and Blanco have been bad in Pagan's absence, but having both of those guys in the lineup together doesn't exactly give you a potent offense. Mix that in with the fact that Pablo Sandoval has been sidelined since late-May as well and it's made things even tougher on the Giants starting 8 to put runs on the board consistently. The ETA for a possible Sandoval sighting in the lineup card is still up in the air too, and although the Giants would like to give the big third basemen some time without needing to DL him, they're not a team in position to be playing shorthanded at the moment. If they did need to make a call-up to take Sandoval's spot, Adam Duval could be the first option, or of course, they could use that spot to bring up another arm to take Gaudin's spot in the bullpen (which will need to be done anyway assuming he becomes the fifth man).

With their spotty starting pitching, and nagging injuries in the lineup, a big reason why the Giants aren't sinking below .500 is because a few guys in particular have really stepped things up on the offensive end. It's really been much of the same recipe as last fall, with Marco Scutaro tearing the cover off the ball and Buster Posey's bat coming to life over the last few weeks. The difference maker though to me thus far has been Hunter Pence. He's been the first half MVP in my mind and my reasoning is pretty simple. He's been the most steady, consistent Giant since game one, hasn't taken a day off yet (which is bigger than it seems), and enters play Tuesday leading the team with 9 HR's, 16 2B's and 9 SB's to go along with his .292 average. As tough as it was to watch him at the plate at times last season, it's become a sheer joy to watch him this year, and he's certainly making a case to be kept around beyond this season, more so than any other pending free agent on the team. Brandon Crawford, of course, has clearly been the most improved through the first 1/3 of the season, and his clutch bat has helped out tremendously. I still think left field needs some work, but once this team gets healthy, their offense clearly has some potential.

I've also been hearing whispers regarding Tim Lincecum possibly being moved to the bullpen if things don't improve with him in his upcoming starts. The Giants are already trying to fill Ryan Vogelsong's spot for the time being, but Timmy's got to be feeling some pressure and I don't blame the Giants' brass one bit. It would likely be the beginning of the end of Lincecum's era in San Francisco, but if the Giants feel they can replace him with a better option and use him as a reliever like this did last postseason, then I'm all for it! Problem is, I don't see a better option at the moment, and unless a deal is made for another arm, I just don't see it happening anytime soon... Cool link here, by the way, if interested in what goes on behind the scenes with sports wagering.
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The Giants Baseball Blog
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2 Comments:

  • At 1:20 PM, Anonymous CAL82 said…

    I wish they would have started the year with Lincecum as the closer. I've been saying it since last season. Trading for another starter should be easy. Just an average starter can do what Lincecum is doing now. He's much more valuable in the pen. I don't care if it pisses him off.

     
  • At 11:40 PM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    Because there is no solution in house right now for a starter, Lincecum has to stay in the rotation. What has been scary is that Cain and Bumgarner have been pitching more like Lincecum in giving up the big innings, and without somebody to anchor the rotation, this team will continue to lose on the road. Agree that Pence and Crawford have been pleasant surprises for the offense, but the starting pitching is the biggest problem right now and unless they come around, the team will be lucky to be at .500.

     

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