Don’t expect the Giants to make any big splashes in the free-agent market this year. They’re very limited on what they can do and who they can pursue, with the Zito contract, and attempts to sign both Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum to new deals. That means no Prince Fielder for the City by the Bay.
Instead, the Giants are getting two of their most important pieces back: Second baseman Freddy Sanchez, and 2010 Rookie of the Year, catcher Buster Posey. Both were sidelined by injury early on in the season, leading to the Giants having the lowest scoring offense in the National League.
A quote I read on Twitter: “Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey, and Freddy Sanchez all win the Injured Gold Gloves for 2011”. Ain’t that the truth! The numbers that Pablo Sandoval put up while playing only two-thirds of a season were tremendous. Hopefully he will be able to replicate those numbers while staying healthy the entire season.
Bruce Bochy informed the press on Monday that Buster Posey will not be playing catcher every day in 2012. They hope to give him some rest off the injured ankle, while still keeping his bat in the lineup, by placing him at first base some of the time. During the 2010 season, Posey batted .305 with 18 homeruns. The Giants desperately need him, batting either third or fourth.
It was an even bigger blow when they lost Freddy Sanchez soon after Posey. He batted a solid .292 in 2010, and it was impossible to replace his spot in the lineup. Keppinger was solid batting in the number two hole, and playing second base for Sanchez, but his numbers didn’t replicate Freddy’s dynamic ones.
What the San Francisco Giants need most in 2012 is the 2010 version of Aubrey Huff. The 2010 MVP candidate dropped his batting average by 36 points, and hit 14 fewer homeruns. The insurmountable number of times he grounded out to the right side of the infield led to him barely playing during the month of September.
The San Francisco Giants playoff hopes won’t be solved by bringing in a big name hitter. But rather they will be living on a prayer… That the training staff won’t be too high in demand this next season.