A fact that gets lost in all the worthy reveling over the Giants World Series Championship is that this present team has not actually spent a lot of time together. Consider each position:
- 1B Huff: February 2010
- 2B Sanchez: July 2009
- SS Tejada/Fontenot: January 2011/August 2010 (respectively)
- 3B Sandoval: June 2008
- LF Burrell: May/June 2010
- CF Torres: January 2009 (didn’t become a regular until May 2010)
- RF Ross: August/September 2010
- C Posey: June 2010 (when he came up for good)
A couple of other factors to consider: Ross didn’t really become a regular until the end of the season/post-season last year. Fontenot was a bit player last year, much more integral this year. Sandoval, he of the great 2009, has had little time to be a part of this team due to injuries/ineffectiveness. Sanchez was hurt at the beginning of 2010 and it wasn’t really until mid 2010 that he established himself in the lineup.
Several pitchers have been around for a while, but Bumgarner is “new” and any bullpen is always changing, but Javier Lopez, Ramon Ramirez are also newer additions.
All of this to say: even though this team is the defending World Champions, it is not a team that has been together for a long time, and therefore in a strange way, the book is still open on just what kind of team it is.
I still feel like there is a lot of room to grow, especially for the offense (Sandoval’s return will be super important to that). A roster/team is always a moving target and in some kind of flux, but I think it is safe to make a couple of conclusions:
- This roster, as currently constructed, can win. It won the World Series last year and is hanging on to first place right now after SWEEPING THE DODGERS.
- This roster wins ugly. In popular parlance, torture! But, I think we have seen enough to assume that the way it is going to go with this team, is ugly wins. Two of my favorite Giants teams of yore are 1993 and 2003. Those teams won cleanly and efficiently. The mid-2010 to 2011 Giants are NOT those teams.
So, Giants fans, strap in and hang on, it’s not going to be pretty but it will produce victories.