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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Giants looking for 'relief' before Aug. 1st deadline

We're almost there guys, and although the Giants have stayed quiet on the trade front up till now, I believe strongly they will get involved at some point in the next week as they try and upgrade at least their bullpen before the new August 1st trade deadline.

First off, the Giants have been a bit of a mess since resuming play after the All-Star break, still seeking their first victory after being swept in San Diego by the Padres, which hopefully is not a foresight of things to come in the second half because that was a brutal three-game set. They then took it on the chin in Boston for two and lost the first couple at Yankee Stadium this weekend. All those injuries before the break, of which the Giants were doing a miraculous job finding in-house options to step up, are starting to catch up with team. They're hoping Hunter Pence and Joe Panik aren't too far off, as Pence has started his rehab in Sacramento with the River Cats, but still doesn't have a set return date (my guess would be next weekend assuming he doesn't suffer any set-back). Panik's situation is a bit more tricky as he really has been expected to appear in a River Cats game by now and still just hasn't fully shaken the concussion symptoms quite yet. He's the one you worry about just because that can be an issue that can come back later too and bite him. Just remember all the problems it gave Belt back in 2014. Finally, the third injured Giants' starting position player, Matt Duffy, who's been out since mid-June with an Achilles tendon injury is scheduled to get his rehab started within the next week.

Position players haven't really been on the Giants' radar because they are expecting those three key missing cogs back in the next couple weeks. Also, quite frankly, guys who've stepped in for them have done an awesome job and have not only kept the team afloat but gave it some more energy and kept it as strong a powerhouse as it's been all season. However, things have definitely changed since the All-Star break as the bats have really cooled off. They've scored 21 runs in 7 games since the break, but 13 of those runs came in two games. So essentially they had six games since the break where they've scored a total of 8 runs. I don't care if you have MadBum and Cueto going for you, if your scoring a run a game your not gonna win a lot of ballgames.

The replacements have been admirable, especially Ramiro Pena, Mac Williamson (for his D and his timely big fly's), Jarrett Parker and even getting a few big hits from Conor Gillaspie. However, the Giants need their A-players back and they need Duffy in particular to come back in 2015 form. It makes me wonder though whether the Giants should be looking at 3rd/2nd basemen. I mean, Pena has been nice, but do you really want him at third base if Matt Duffy is hitting .245 and slugging .300 come September? Or if Panik's concussion symptoms pop up again down the stretch? I don't think they need to look into dealing for an infielder before August 1st, but if they end up needing one for one of the reasons stated above, then I think that's some thing we could see happen through waivers.

With the positional players and bench seemingly worked out and hopefully will be coming together and at full strength in the next couple of weeks, the pitching staff in a whole other issue. I think everyone is pretty comfortable with the front-3, even though Jeff Samrdzija goes a little Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on occasion, but come a 7-game playoff series, ideally you'd like to have 4 startable arms and I'm not sure the Giants have that reliable 4th option. Right now it would be Jake Peavy and the guy has an ERA over 5 and has been one of the most hittable starters in 2016. However, Peavy has been better the last couple months too. Take away his terrible April and his numbers wouldn't be nearly as bad: 4-6, 4.21 ERA, 1.18 WHIP 61:23 K/BB ratio in  76 innings. Plus his ERA has been sub-4 the last two months. So he is getting slightly better and I think his improvement has allowed them to ease off a little on the SP hunt, however, they do view adding another starter higher up than adding a third basemen or utility infielder/outfielder.

So, that brings us to the bullpen, which is obviously far and away priority 1 and 1A. They need a good late reliever, at least. They really could use two, one lefty and one right-hander who can shut the door in the 9th if Casilla loses it down the stretch. There are a ton of names being thrown around out there from closers/set-up guys like Milwaukee's Jeremy Jeffres. NY's Aroldis Chapman, Oakland's Ryan Madson, AZ's Tyler Clippard and Tampa's Alex Colome. There are also late-lefties like Will Smith, Boone Logan and the perhaps the arm most linked to them over the last several weeks, Andrew Miller. I mean, of that group, the only closer I see as a clear upgrade over Casilla would be Chapman and Miller. Colome is also right there but this is his first year as a full-time closer and I don't know if he's ready to take the ball in a game 7 with it on the line. His numbers are even better than Chapman's though with that 1.59 ERA and 21/23 in save opps. Those both are better than Casilla and Colome is a guy who could be someone who could take on that role for years to come at age 28. However, Tampa knows this too and he's going to cost a pretty penny to obtain.

It's gonna be interesting to see what transpires in the next few days though. I'm still waiting for that one big move which will kind of get the dominoes rolling. If I had to bet on the Giants obtaining one of the guys linked to them, my  money would be on someone along the lines of a Will Smith and/or Tyler Clippard. I think they'd be OK with using Romo in closing situations if Casilla losses it down the stretch and I think they really just want some more quality depth in that pen anyway they can get it and Smith/Clippard will come cheaper than Miller/Colome.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 1:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow did they get lucky Saturday. I agree they are starting to get stretched to thin on their roster now and guys are getting tired. I think Pence and Panik should provide huge boost and that's another reason Id like to see them make a trade for a hitter just to get things moving. Maybe a platoon guy who can split time Duffy and Pagan in left or something like that, i don't know, but I know the lineup is running stagnant and thye need help fast!

  • At 11:51 PM, Anonymous Joey Ativavino said…

    Dude, if they could get Chapman and Tanaka that would be unfair. Like I don;t think anyone could compete with that in the playoffs with those 3 starters and those three releivers.. Like most here and on KNBR and all over the Giants universe are saying; the time is now and this team is good wit the chance to be great for another couple years after this. They shouldn't be worrying about 2020 right now as far as prospects. Trade em all if they have to and win 3 more tittles by then. Fuck it..(excuse the language) but for real.. -JA

  • At 11:58 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Chapman would be ideal in that he's a FA after the year and has been a monster this year and probably would thrive in AT&T. Problem is everyone wants him and most teams that do will be willing to part with more than the Giants can.

    This is why the Will Smiths or Ryan Madson's may be more realistic possibilities.

  • At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Can't wait to get Pence back! The lineup sure could use him. I'm sick of seeing Mac Williamson or Parker having to hit fifth. Granted the team has done pretty good with those guys, they're starting to get exposed now. Hope Pence comes back and stays for good and doesn't have that hammy nag him all year long. Duffy I feel just hasn't done much this year and um surprised there isn't talk of adding a third basemen?

    What about Evan Longoria? Give up Duffy and a couple of prospects? IMagine him behind Posey and in front of Pence and Belt! Would hate to give up the Duff Man though. They don't really need Longoria but even someone just to help out this year cuz I don't think Duffy is fully healthy and if he is that's sad cuz he doesn't even has his OPS over 7 and has 21 RBI in half a season. So Longoria would be wishful I know, but what about a 2-month hired gun to take pressure off Duffy and it may make him return to 2015 form...

    Maybe someone like Solarte from SD or Luis Valbuena or Lonie Chissenhill. All are playing better than Duffy this year and could give some good competition and depth at third.

  • At 12:49 AM, Blogger Kristopher Thuresson said…

    Interesting read, some really good thoughts here. Now that the giants haven't really made any moves for pitching I am very curious as to what lays ahead as far as trades go, maybe the ended up changing plans and will seek some offense, Jay Bruce perhaps?

  • At 9:36 PM, Blogger Alice Taylor said…

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