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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Time for Giants to shift gears

After getting swept by the Royals, the lowly Atlanta Braves and now losing the first two games to the Mets (in their own yard), the Giants are on an 0-7 run and now find themselves over 20 games below .500 as the mid-way point quickly approaches.

I think it's quite clear at this point that, even with a miracle of a second half turnaround, Madison Bumgarner coming back and Hunter Pence getting healthy, this team's playoff aspirations have long past and we're not even to July yet. I know, what a sad fall from a team that's been a perennial contender for the last 7 years and who brought home 3 championships during that span. However, at this point, the team has to start looking at 2018 and beyond, because whether we like to believe it or not, this isn't going to be an easy fix by any means. The second half is going to be a huge showcase for two Giants' veterans that likely don't have a trade market and the team will be returning to starting positions again in 2018 and those two guys are Denard Span and Hunter Pence. Both have vastly underachieved this season and neither stood out in '16 either as both seem to spend as much time on the field than off. Since they aren't going anywhere until after next season, the Giants have to find a way to ensure these guys stay healthy entering next season. Whether that's start cutting down on both players playing time, something I've seen Boch do with Pence a lot more this season (I'm sure his hamstring has a lot to do with that though).

As for the pitchers, the only guys outside of MadBum you plan on having around next season are Matt Moore and Jeff Samrdzija, the ladder of which has been considered by many the Giants best pitcher in MadBum's absence, despite is abysmal W/L record. In the bullpen, it's Mark Melancon and Hunter Strickland guaranteed to return. Cody Gearin is finally putting together a nice season, and could be a potential long-relief candidate next year and Josh Osich seems to get opportunity after opportunity so he may be in the mix too. Possibly Derrick Law if he gets his stuff together in AAA and returns back in his '16 form. But outside of Law, Melancon and George Kontos, I don't see anyone really guaranteed a spot in the Giants '18 bullpen as that's an are they failed to fully address over the winter and they better make sure not to repeat the mistake.

So, there you have the key players who we know will likely be around for next year, aside from the group listed above though, the Giants should start shopping every single player they can get a return for. I'd even add Span into that mix. I still am holding out hope that Pence will get healthy and come back big in second half and go strong into his contract year next season. He's the type I'd hardly expect to retire after next season and will work his tail off to make it as good a season as possible so I definitely don't wanna write him off just yet. As far as Johnny Cueto, Eduardo Nunez, Aaron Hill, Matt Cain (though highly doubt anyone would bite on him), even Law, Kontos and Moore, I would be seeing what you could possibly get in return for these guys. I mean, I know guys like Hill, Cain and Kontos wouldn't garner any notable package, the Giants have no need for them at this point. Nunez, Cueto and if they decieded to let him go, Matt Moore, would be the big fish in the Giants' trade pool. More so, your looking at teams that would look to land Nunez, and certainly Cueto.

Both make since for a lot of reason for a contending team. Both's deals are done after the season (well, Cueto has an opt-out that Jon Heyman now expects he'll exercise), and both can be impact type players for a team needing a shot in the arm. Nunez has shown the ability to be a prolific base stealing artist who also hits for decent pop and a nice average. Not  to mention, the guy can play all over the infield, as well as left field, and I'd imagine right field, in a pinch. He's the definition of a super utility guy, but can give a contender in a need a starting caliber player at all the aforementioned positions, including being a plus offensive shortstop and second basemen. Cueto, while not having his best half thus far, is coming off an ace-like season and would have all the incentive in the world to finish strong with a contender and he's someone who could net the Giants an opposing team's top prospect so I'd definitely keep an eye on that and keep rooting for Cueto just a little extra right now cause each time he throws well, his stock rises.

Also, by dealing some of these guys, it would give them an opportunity to move to give some of the young players who are beating down the door in AAA a chance to get some real big league time rather than just the last few weeks of the season. It would allow them to bring up Christian Arroyo and/or Ryder Jones to see if one of those two are ready to take over third base in '18 or if the Giants are going to have to go shopping. We've started to see Austin Slater really shine after being given the key's to left field and both Jones and, as we've seen at times, Arroyo have the type of talent to follow in his footsteps and possibly be even better. Then on the pitching half, Kyle Crick is another intriguing kid I'd like to see take the ball every fifth day in what is becoming an experimental season. While Tyler Beede hasn't had the season the Giants were hoping for in Sacramento thus far, I wouldn't mind seeing him being given more than a handful of starts before this season is over to see how far off he is from becoming a contributing factor on the Giants' staff.

Not only would getting rid of some of the players who don't fit into the Giants' long-term plans and save some money at the same time, more importantly, it would give the Giants younger players a prolonged tryout to show whether or not they have a spot with this team in the near future and, as I mentioned, the Giants have a few different players in their system that fit that category.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 1:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This has been a weird season. Seems like its just been a blur of the same thing everyday. It's so weird not seeing Bumgarner out there and seeing everyone just suck so bad. Like the Bandons are each doing terrible this year, but i hope they dont get traded. Only guy thats really doing good is Posey. Maybe someone will take Span with his hot streak he's been on. I want to see some young players too might as well since they aren't going to make the playoffs this year anyway. But are they going to have to full on rebuild or can they make another run at it next year is what I really wanna know.

  • At 3:33 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Posey is having a very good year, best since his 2012 MVP season. Hopefully the top of the order behind Span can heat it up and provide him with more RBI opps in the 2nd half because they haven't been consistent. But I'd say Slater is having a solid year too, despite him only being here for less than a month.

    As far as whether or not they can turn this around in one offseason, in this day in age, absolutely. They have a lot of guys having down years and some injury ridden years. I think if they can get and stay healthy over the second half it will give them a better idea of what exactly they need to address this offseason and if they can meet all their needs in that time span. That's why Slater needs to be getting as many AB's as possible and they need to figure out the future at third base. Whether that's dealing Nunez away and playing Hwang, Jones and Arroyo, or sticking with Nunez and planning on re-signing him or going after a Mike Moustakas or Todd Frazier in the offseason.

  • At 9:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Get rid of the two Brandons! But if you kept ONE it should be BELT. Crawford is a mess this season, strikes out most of the time. He acts as though he has trouble judging what it is that has been pitched across the plate. Then in today's game he saw the ball coming way over his head and the fielders were approaching the ball and he takes off running as fast as he can to catch what wasn't his in the first place, and sticks up arm up under the ball and it comes down and missed. I get so agrevated at him!! Makes a lot of errors on grounders too.

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