It’s hard to imagine things going any worse than they did this past week for our Giants. Last Monday we said that it was hard to evaluate this team for a variety of reasons: it was only 2 weeks in, they’d played the same teams over and over, and they had not won a Madison Bumgarner start.
Well, a week later: they still haven’t won a Madison Bumgarner start and they won’t for a while.
The supposed strength of the team, the starting pitching, has been terrible, worst in the majors (and that’s with 4 very good starts from MadBum).
They can’t hit, and the recent trend of no homers continues.
They can’t field.
The bullpen has been fine, but shaky.
Bruce Bochy’s been getting heart procedures done, various guys are hurt, and did I mention Madison Bumgarner?
The pertinent numbers from Andrew Baggarly:
“the early returns aren’t good. They are 6-13, which matches their worst start through 19 games in modern franchise history. Taken together with their miserable second half last year, they are 36-55 since the All-Star break. And that projects to a 64-98 season.”
Which brings me to the point I want to make: this is a tired team.
That was the word that kept coming up again and again last year, and it continues to hold true this year.
It’s hard to look energetic when you are losing (even young teams look tired when they are losing). And it’s hard to look energetic when you are constantly behind (as the Giants have consistently been).
A couple good starts, a couple leads, a couple wins in a row and maybe the temperature changes, but this is a team that looks tired.
So, do they tank? Would you give away 2017 for more energy to be infused to the organization. Baggs thinks it would be a good idea. Brisbee is more pragmatic and suggests it won’t happen based on similar seasons of the past.
I’m of the opinion that it’s still too early to make that call. This is a proud team and proud players and they will rebound a bit.
But, it is time to start really paying attention to some key guys at the lower levels.
Much has been made about Christian Arroyo’s hot start at Sacramento. Barring a disaster he will be your 2018 opening day third baseman.
Tyler Beede seems primed to make a dozen or so starts at the major league level this year, especially if they shut down Bumgarner for the season.
Those are no-doubters in terms of guys we’ll see this year, and who are critical to the future. However, if things continue to go poorly, I’m all for shutting down Denard Span, any LF place holders, and Matt Cain in order to get a look at:
- 1B/OF Travis Shaw (some who actually hits for power!)
- Austin Slater (CF)
- Mac Williamson (I know, I know, most Giants’ fans have moved on, but I still want to see him get 2-3 months of playing everyday in the big leagues)
- Beede/Ty Blach
- And, of course, Christian Arroyo
Grab bag of random thoughts:
- I’m really surprised at how bad Gorkys Hernandez has looked so far. He’s been bad in every phase of the game, but especially defense, which was supposed to be his calling card. He looked so good last year when he came up late in the season, I can’t figure out what happened there, but he’s got to go.
- I cannot believe that Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore are actually this bad. They’ve run into a little bit of bad luck in terms of where they’ve had to pitch so far, but these are guys who should be good no matter what park they are in. I expect both of them to turn it around.
- Bochy got close to the lineup I was hoping/expecting, but didn’t go all the way. I wonder if we might see it this week?
- The Giants at least are home for a week, but they get another full slate of divisional games. This feels like make or break, even though it is still early.
**NOTE: Christian Arroyo was called up about an hour after this post was first published.