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Friday, August 01, 2014

Giants banking on Pagan, Belt

The Major League Baseball trade deadline came and passed Thursday afternoon, and although there were a flurry of moves in what was one of the busiest deadline day's in recent years, the Giants were one of the clubs that stayed quiet.

They did make the deal to bring in Jake Peavy just 5 days prior, so the sense of urgency to get something done wasn't there and apparently Brian Sabean didn't like any offers that were out there as he scoured for second basemen and outfield help. The Rays did end up dealing David Price, but there was no deal for Ben Zobrist, who was probably the most intriguing name linked to the Giants over the last week or so leading up to the deadline. The guy who I was monitoring as a plan B to Zobrist was Chicago's Emilio Bonafacio, but he was dealt to Atlanta for one of the Braves' lower level prospects instead. That being said, I'm not surprised at all the Giants ended up standing pat. I don't think they really loved any of the trade options out there, certainly not enough to part with someone like Kyle Crick or Andrew Sussac. Sabean apparently felt confident that Angel Pagan and Brandon Belt will both be back healthy and ready to contribute soon ( both expected back within the next 7 days) but I would have liked to get that one insurance guy like a Bonafacio for the bench.

The Giants' depth is sorely lacking, and if they suffer another injury in the outfield, or anywhere on the diamond for that matter, they're going to be in a tough spot yet again. It's not like this issue came out of nowhere either. I voiced my concerns over the lack of depth over the offseason as it crippled them last year and they failed to address it before the start of this season. I haven't done research on this particular area but I'd venture to guess that there aren't many (if any) teams has gotten worse production out of their bench than the Giants. It's made it so even when players do get back and healthy, it's going to be next to impossible for Boch to rest any of his prominent bats down the stretch.

Nevertheless, we'll have to hope that Jake Peavy is enough for now and if a second basemen becomes available in the next few weeks, maybe they'll be able to do something through waivers. The only good part about being behind the Dodgers in the standings for the time being is that they'd have first access to available players through waivers, meaning they cannot be blocked by LA. The Peavy deal is not looking too shabby now at all though, as Matt Cain is looking more and more likely to need surgery to repair some bone fragments that have been causing discomfort in his elbow. The good news is it's not Tommy John Surgery, which would likely shelve Cain for 12 months, but rather a lesser procedure that requires a 2-3 month recovery time. If he gets that done before the end of the season as expected, he should be good to go by Spring Training. So it appears like the Giants will need Peavy in that spot the rest of the way and probably in the playoff rotation as well should they make it. A free agent to be, Peavy knows a good final two months and helping push the Giants into postseason could put him back on the radar in terms of next winter's free agent starting pitching class and negate some of the lack of success he had in Boston. He wasn't bad in his Giants' debut Sunday with a quality 6 innings and really only had one inning in which he was in trouble. I think he's going to be sturdy down the stretch for this club and become another positive reclamation story as long as he gets some run support.

What the Giants are really banking on now is a strong return from Pagan and Belt, which if happens, will be like trading for two impact bats in a way. The Giants haven't had these guys in the lineup together since early May, at which time the Giants had the best record in baseball and really had none of the offensive problems they've been going through now. So long as both avoid setbacks, both should be back with the club by next weekend, and that's when the Giants can really start to analyze things and see if they need to make one or two final tinkers through waivers. Also, while they can't be blocked by the Dodgers in their current standing, they may find themselves in a situation where they need to claim a player in order to keep him from LA themselves. In 2010 they ended up with Cody Ross for exactly that reason, and look how well that worked out for them down the stretch. I would be surprised if the Giants don't do something through waivers between now and the end of August. I do think they're good enough to win the division with a healthy Belt and Pagan, but again, I have my concerns with their depth as well as their issues at second base. They shouldn't be complacent with their roster as is and should certainly be looking to upgrade in anyway possible.

Notes: The Giants have been busy with call-ups and send downs recently, as they try to search for in-house candidates to give this offense a shot in the arm. They released Dan Uggla Wednesday and brought up AA Richmond standout Matt Duffy to give him a try at second base. Andrew Sussac has taken over as Buster Posey's backup with Hector Sanchez out and they recalled Juan Perez to take Tyler Colvin's roster spot as Colvin was DFA'd Wednesday. You can see them trying to mix things up and just hope something clicks with somebody. I have to admit I was a tad surprised by the Uggla release, but his rope was going to be short all along and his 3-error game mixed with lackluster results at the plate closed the book on that experiment before it could really hurt them. Now, it looks like second base will belong to Panik and Duffy unless of course they get something done through waivers.
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2 Comments:

  • At 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So whats the order when those guys get back. Pagan is obviously leadoff but who hits second? Panik or Pence or Belt? I guess it'll be
    Pagan, Pence, Posey, Sandoval, Belt, Morse, Crawford, Panik. But then you have the back to back lefties at the bottom so maybe one of those two up in the second spot? Now they need to find a 2bmen who could hit second like a Scutaro 2.0 if you will. Bonafacio would have been just fine. Zoborist would be perfect, maybe they can get him through waivers. We can wish right!

     
  • At 11:17 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    I don't think the Giants are gonna make a significant move at this point. If they add anyone through waivers it'll be another Dan Uggla type dice roll. At least that's my best guess. I think they're gonna try and ride it out. This team just isn't looking that good right now and don't seem to be playing with any urgency. Maybe it'll come in September.

     

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