The Giants got the band back together, probably paid too much to do so, but overall did well to keep the team very competitive without handicapping their future (i.e. Posey extension).
As we head into FanFest weekend, the reporting of pitchers and catchers, and Spring Training here’s a new set of questions to ponder, debate, and worry about.
1) If the key is pitching, what can we expect? Probably more of the same: really, really good pitching. But that’s a boring answer. There are a lot of questions here. Tim Lincecum: can he rebound? Will Matt Cain wear down? What’s up with Madison Bumgarner? Will Ryan Vogelsong keep it going or turn back into a pumpkin? Can Sergio Romo be the closer all season? Will the Giants bring back Brian Wilson in the end? Will Brett Bochy or Heath Hembree be the closer at the end of the season? Can Casilla, Affeldt, Lopez, and others continue to be awesome? And Barry Zito needs 200 innings to get an $18 million pay check…will the Giants let him get there?
2) Can the team stay healthy? In particular, it would be great to see Posey and Panda together for a full season. Is this that season?
3) Can the team score runs? One would think that Scutaro and Pagan will not play a whole season the way they did in the postseason. There will be a regression, but how much? Can Posey and Panda exceed expectations? Can Belt and Crawford continue to establish themselves as major league hitters? And, what up Hunter Pence? 2012 suck or 2007-2011 All-Star?
4) Can the Giants stay hungry? Two championships in three years is awesome. A third in four would make this team legendary. Will they stay motivated and eager to reach baseball immortality or will they descend into an abyss of individual greediness and self-focus?
5) What will happen in Left Field? We’ll take another post soon to ponder the rest of the division, but for now the most pressing question outside of short-haired Tim Lincecum is this: can Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres really hold down left field? Will the Giants need to make a trade? At what cost?
Answers coming soon.