​Now That Left Field Is Filled, The Giants Should…

Photo Courtesy of Steven Robles

Photo Courtesy of Steven Robles

Left Fielder, check. Complete the starting rotation, check. Re-sign Javier Lopez, check. Add depth to the outfield, infield and if possible the bullpen; check?

Here’s the deal, you can never have too many good players, and most championship teams have a strong bench with players who can come in for one at-bat, or one game, or one week; and even longer while still keeping production up.
The San Francisco Giants current 40 man roster has been filled in nicely with the late season signings and off-season moves such as signing former Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tim Hudson, keeping Hunter Pence and his scooter in San Francisco; and bringing back Tim Lincecum with his revamped pitching attack to cavernous AT&T Park.
But to me, something is missing. I look at the 40 man roster and I’m not all that thrilled with a few aspects of it. Let’s look at the outfield first. The aforementioned Pence is golden, I like Angel Pagan; and his absence last year showed just how important his bat is at the top of the lineup. Michael Morse will be the new left fielder, and his thump in the batting order will hopefully be felt early and often next season.
After these three starters, I feel as though there is a hole in terms of quality depth that can make a difference over the course of a week, or two if needed due to one of the regulars being injured.
Gregor Blanco has nice parts to his game- such as his speed and late game defense, and sometimes there’s some pop from his bat; but it’s just not someone to get excited about.
Roger Kieschnick is young and unproven, Gary Brown– even younger and more unproven, Juan Perez; average. Not much excitement after the starting three, and I have a feeling the overall play of the outfield will be the key to how well and how far the Giants go.
Switching to the infield, depth again seems to be a problem; quality depth I should say. The Brandon’s (Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford) can pick it with the best of them defensively, and hopefully their offense will continue to evolve and produce more consistently. I love Marco Scutaro, just a solid player who embodies a professionalism and veteran savvy.
Pablo Sandoval is in a make or break year if you think about it. Can he stay healthy? Can he keep his playing weight under control? Can he be a consistent threat in the middle of the lineup?
Tony AbreuJoaquin AriasNick Noonan– average. The other infielders on the 40 man roster are all unproven, young, and/or not ready for the big league contribution. As with the outfielders, the quality depth in the infield is a big question mark heading in to Spring Training.
The catching platoon with All-Everything Buster Posey and Hector Sanchez is solid, especially if Sanchez can stay healthy and get his power numbers up.
The starting pitching and bullpen are a good combination of veteran moxie, mixed in with young talent that is on the rise such as Heath HembreeJake Dunning, and Edwin Escobar to name a few.
I think Erik Cordier, who throws gas, and Yusmeiro Petit who excelled late last season will be dark-horse candidates that have the potential to make the pitching staff top-notch once again.
Ideally, there will be some mid-season acquisitions or pleasant surprises in spring training that can help the bullpen return to its dominant form exhibited in both of their championship seasons of 2010 and 2012.
The National League West will be a battle all season long. For the Giants to contend and be in the Hunt for October in 2014, thereare still some moves that should be made to shore up the overall team depth.
Hopefully General Manager Brian Sabean and Team President Larry Baer can work some more winter magic and add an infielder or two, as well as one more piece in the outfield. Should this happen, there’s a strong chance Giants fans will be filling the seats of AT&T Park for playoff baseball next season.
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~Amin Arikat
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  • Danny Griffy says:

    I think they STILL need a bat…and a left fielder !!!

  • inkira says:

    amazing, an interesting article. fine thoughts
    amin. and so insightful. they passed on franklin gutirez, who signed for 1 million, with his ten home runs in 141 p.a. but the idea of ichiro appeared again today. i also thought they might sign mark reynolds for first and third have you noticed how the contenders are signing two closers? might be a trend.

  • Amin Arikat says:

    Danny, a bat is definitely still in order, too many times last season the bats were quiet during prolonged stretches of games…
    I am keeping my hopes for another bat being brought in the mix before spring training…

  • Amin Arikat says:

    Thank you Inkira, I think Ichiro has seen his best days already, and with the amount of salary he would command it’s really not worth it for a player like him; plus the three starting outfield positions are filled and I doubt Ichiro would be open to coming off the bench.
    Mark Reynolds strikes out a lot, though his power would be nice; and I am all in favor of a closer…to be honest I think Romo might wear down in the closer role, and ideally another late inning stopper would really compliment the bullpen.

  • fast freddie says:

    I still have big trouble with the love affair the Giants brass have for Blanco….I would take Juan Perez over him in every aspect of their abilities. Blanco does not use his head when he is on base and at bat he swings for the fences, Granted he has a above average glove but two outstanding catches does not make you major league material and off the bench he is a total flop.

  • Amin Arikat says:

    I think with both Juan Perez and Gregor Blanco you are looking for a late game defensive replacement that can chase down a ball hit in the gap to save a run, and can start once a week and give the starting outfielders a rest.

    They are both definitely fourth outfielders who could be replaced by a free agent newcomer or spring training surprise this coming season.