The Giants made another trade for another so-so outfielder last night. Welcome to the Bay Area Angel Pagan (one of the greatest names of all time). Some thoughts…
1) We will miss Andres Torres. Pagan and Torres are essentially the same player (Pagan brings more bat, Torres is superior with the glove), but Pagan is younger so that makes sense. However, Pagan did not help the Giants win a World Series. Even though it was pretty clear the carriage had turned back into a pumpkin, Torres’ one magical year will always be remembered by Giants’ fans.
2) I want the Giants to trade for Jed Lowrie. It could still happen. But, I just don’t know why we need another outfielder. Unless that outfielder is Carlos Beltran. A good trade, but not the one I wanted. This team still needs to get stronger in the middle of the infield.
3) Grant, at McCovey, nails the true fear at the heart of this trade: what now for Brandon Belt? If everyone is healthy there is not enough room for Huff/Belt/Pagan/Cabrera/Schierholtz/Pill/plus Posey at first from time to time. It is easy to envision a situation where Belt gets the shaft and either rots on the bench or jumps up and down from Fresno. Dude needs to play everyday in the Majors. Make that happen!
4) It sure sounds like this is it. So, your 2012 SF Giants:
- Angel Pagan CF
- Freddy Sanchez 2B
- Buster Posey C
- Pablo Sandoval 3B
- Aubrey Huff/Brandon Belt 1B
- Melky Cabrera LF
- Nate Schierholtz RF
- Brandon Crawford SS
Is that going to be good enough?
6-2 W @ SD; 6-1 W @ SD; 11-3 L @ SD; 4-3 W @ SD
Short week due to the All-Star Break…four games against the Padres turned out to not be so bad (even with Zito laying an egg on Saturday). Couple of games that could have ended in typical Padre disaster turned out ok, thanks to Aubrey Huff and a suicide squeeze. This team comes out of the gate, post-break proving that walking the razor’s edge is just how it’s going to be in 2011.
Hitter of the Week:
Once again, props to Panda and Nate the Great for being lights in the midst of so much darkness. Hitter of the short week honors, though, go to Andres Torres who is showing signs of coming around. Over the last two weeks he is hitting .333 with 7 runs scored and 4 stolen bases. I’ve said this before, but the Giants can make any number of huge trades but an offensive resurgence has to begin with some players they already have getting it together and none of those players is more important as Torres. If he keeps this up the Giants have a pretty decent outfield (defensively as well as offensively) with Cody Ross, Nate, and Andres. It would also mean focusing on the middle infield in the trade market. Stay hot Andres!
Pitcher of the Week:
Madison Bumgarner. His line on Thursday wasn’t dominant (6 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 4 K), but it was really good and a big second half from MadBum will go a long way to not only helping the Giants win this division but solidify the rotation for the postseason as well. It’s pretty clear that now is the time for Madison to establish himself as the no-doubt #3 in the Giants rotation.
The Giants enter an interesting stretch. 3 with the Dodgers (where they catch Billingsly and Kershaw, never an easy task), then lots of contenders: Brewers, Phillies, Reds, D-Backs, Phillies again, and the Pirates. All but six of those games are at home, which is extremely helpful. Nonetheless, this is an important time of the season. The Giants have the potential to put some distance between them and the rest of the division and it would be great to see them do it, although it would be entirely out of character with how they do everything else. For the time being, though, BEAT LA!
4-1 (22-17, 1.5 game lead)
1-0 W vs. Ari; 4-3 W vs. Ariz; 3-2 W vs. Ari; 11-4 L @Chi; 3-0 W @Chi; PPD @Chi
The close wins just keep on rolling. Another big series against the Rockies to start off the new week…it’s only two games but if the Giants take both Colorado is a .500 team and the Giants have a 3.5 game lead. Not dominant or conclusive in any way, but it would make the Giants 7-1 against the Rockies this season. That would be great. On to the awards…
Hitter of the Week:
Welcome back Andres Torres! His arrival didn’t turn the Giants in to an offensive juggernaut overnight, but he sure does bring energy and hope that things will turn around. 7 for 15, 3 runs, 2 rbi, 1 sb, and the feeling the Giants have a real leadoff hitter. One of the subplots of the 2011 season is: will Torres be able to repeat his performance from last year? It seems entirely possible from what we’ve seen so far, he just needs to stay healthy and in the lineup!
Pitcher of the Week:
Tim Lincecum. He will throw a no-hitter one of these days. How about tonight! He sure did make the Diamondbacks look foolish last Tuesday. This might be the shortest write-up ever but what else is there to say about Timmy? (Kudos to Ryan Vogelsong for gutting it out on Saturday night in nasty conditions).
We would love to see the Giant take both of these games in Colorado, but a split is great too. Two in Coors, two in Dodgerland, then finally home for the A’s. Go Giants!