Should the San Francisco Giants mess with team chemistry?

By Erik Catalan
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We’re just over a month away from the 2015 All-Star break, and the San Francisco Giants are only a game out of first place in the division and over game ahead in the NL wild card standings. More impressively, they’ve done this without two former All-Stars in their rotation for pretty much the entire season.

With the team playing well as a cohesive unit, it’s tough to think that the rotation could get a shake-up in the coming months.

The optimist in me feels like there’s nothing that can weaken the bond the core of this team has built over the last half-decade, but on the flip side, you can’t ignore what can happen when you mess with the chemistry of a team that is winning games.

Chris Heston made his mark on the history books as only the third Giants rookie to pitch a no-no on Tuesday, blanking the Mets through nine innings. Mike Krukow expounded to Murph and Mac this morning that the feat “justifies [Heston’s] career” and everything he’s accomplished up to this point.” Kruk was quick to point out, though, that when Peavy and Cain come back, he will likely find himself in the bullpen. 

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And just like that, reality set in. Immediately, I couldn’t help but think about what happened to the A’s last year when they removed Yoenis Cespedes from the equation, going all-in on starting pitching at the deadline. It’s no coincidence that they’ve continued to decline this year as a carry-over from their disappointing end to 2014.

Sure, losing a bat is different, but it stands to reason that breaking up a winning formula in the middle of a season can be catastrophic.

It happens repeatedly in team sports. It’s why the topic of chemistry is always discussed when every-game contributors return from injury. How do you effectively bring them back into the fold?  Team chemistry can be a delicate balance and should not be taken for granted.

Like the old adage goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I have faith in the Giants brass. They made the right (but tough) call in making Matt Duffy the everyday third basemen and I’m sure the wheels are already turning on how to handle the rotation.  I believe the correct decision will be made when that time comes, whether than means moving Heston to the bullpen or not.

For now, I’m going to continue to savor each victory and hope this team continues to build momentum as we move closer to the halfway point in the season.

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