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Friday, September 29, 2017

Giants looking at major off-season overhaul

With the worst season San Francisco has endured in decades nearly over with, all the Giants and their fans can do is look into the future and hope like heck there are some answers out there this winter for some of the teams laundry list of problems.

If you've watched the club this season then you already know that you would be hardpressed to find any real positives that they'll be taking with them into the winter. Instead, we're looking at an offseason that should present many of changes, Including Possibly moving on from some guys who've been mainstays for the squad the last half decade or so and were Instrumental in their championship runs. First off, the Giants have three games on the schedule remaining and are sitting at 97 losses, so they are very well within distance of a 100-loss year which is about as bad as it gets. Then when you consider the team is coming off a nice little mini dynasty from 2010-16 in which they won 3 titles and made 4 playoff appearances, it makes the drastic fall-off of 2017 that much more astounding to a lot of people. However, if you watched this teams epic collapse in the 2nd half of 2016 and then their failure to really address all their needs over last winter, it really shouldn't come as that big of surprise.  

It certainly wasn't an earth-shattering surprise to me if you go back and read my posts from last winter, as I just couldn't figure out why they didn't add more bullpen depth, bring in a sure-fire everyday left fielder who can put the ball in the seats and just bring in more depth overall. And we saw all those areas haunt them early on as they got no production out of left field, terrible bench contributions and no real defined roles in the bullpen. Granted, their one signing from last winter, closer Mark Melancon never really looked healthy at all this year and was essentially a non-factor spending most of the year on the DL and finally a going under the knife in September. The hope is that by performing the surgery in-season, he'll be ready to rock when pitchers and catchers report to Scottsdale in February but he'll be entering his age-33 season and is anything but a guarantee to return to pre-'17 form. His recovery along with lefty relief ace Will Smith will be crucial to the bullpens rebound in 2018. 

I'm typing this on an IPad as my computer monitor has recently broken and my laptop got wet and died out, so I'm going to cut this one short. We'll be talking much more about what happened and what went wrong This summer, even if I have to keep posting shorter posts, they will appear more frequently. 

We'll asses some players who did OK, as nobody including Posey, BCraw, Belt or Pence really had memorable seasons. And also whether or not this can be a one off-season fix or if the Giants will be entering rebuild mode for the first time since Barry Bonds was on his way out. So despite the sad season and underwhelming performance from the orange and black, they've left us with no shortage of topics to disect over the next 4 months until spring training kicks off. 
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The Giants Baseball Blog
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

The return of Pablo a joke?

Well Giants fans, it's time to pull those Panda hats out of storage and dust them off, because the former fan favorite and club cornerstone is returning to the organization.

In a season where the Giants may very well lose 100 games after entering the year with legit playoff aspirations, you can bet that with the trade deadline just about a week out that changes should be on the horizon. On Saturday, the Giants made a move, but instead of dealing away one of their veterans, as many expect them to do, they brought back one of their former ones, finalizing a one-year deal with Pablo Sandoval on Saturday.

It's been a strange year for the San Francisco Giants, to say the least. They've fallen so far out of contention so early on in the season that it's now leaving them with months to experiment and try different things out for next year and beyond. Over the last few days, the bay area has been buzzing about the possible return of a former Giants' staple, Pablo Sandoval, who flamed out in Boston and was released by the Red Sox earlier in the week. With that being said, one may wonder how in the heck bringing back Pablo Sandoval fits any of that "rebuilding" philosophy, and that's a justified concern. However, if you take a look up and down this roster and see who the Giants are currently trotting out there on a daily basis, there aren't a whole bunch of prospects with potential big league futures being trotted out there, simply because most of them are banged up. Ideally, the Giants would like to give Ryder Jones and Christian Arroyo third base to fight over for these last 10+ weeks of the season, but neither players is healthy. In those guys' absence, and Eduardo Nunez being moved around the diamond, Connor Gillaspie has sort of taken over third for the time being and he certainly isn't a guy who the Giants are looking at long term there.

That doesn't mean that the Giants are banking on Pablo regaining his San Francisco magic and working his way back to big league club by August and solidifying his spot in the lineup again, but stranger things have happened, and in a lost season, why in the hell not roll the dice on a guy who's still just 30 years old and wanted to come back here? There has been a lot said about some of the harsh things Pablo had to say about some of his fellow teammates after he left the Giants for the Red Sox, but he didn't disrespect anybody and if Pablo comes back and hits .300 with power (I know, a huge, unlikely if), those hard feelings should disappear pretty quickly.

All in all, I don't expect anything to materialize from this deal. I think Pablo will eventually return to the big league club, whether in August or September, and be given a few shots to see if he sticks and could be in the plans for 2018, but I think Pablo's best days are long behind him. It's a good, fun story in a season that's been void of positives, so all will be watching, but I definitely would not bet for him to be part of the Giants future plans. But, again, numbers cannot be denied and if he earns himself another shot and cashes in, he very well could factor back into the teams outline for the future, especially if Arroyo and Jones cannot get on the field to make their case down the stretch. Sandoval won't be blocking any younger player from getting major league playing time (because there all hurt right now) and worst case scenario is he flames out and moves on by the end of year. And again, who knows, maybe they catch lightening in a bottle and Pablo's career rebounds after a return home?

I just see the "potential" positive outweighing the negatives with this signing and would like to see Pablo back on the roster sooner than later. Eduardo Nunez is likely going to be dealt in the next few days (hopefully) and that will open yet another spot on the Giants roster in which Pablo could be ticketed for. However, once Jones and/or Arroyo are ready to roll, Pablo's gotta take a back seat. The only way this works is if he's not taking at-bats away from younger, potential future players.
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The Giants Baseball Blog
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