San Francisco Giants: 3 reasons fans shouldn’t lose hope on a playoff bid

By Matthew Connolly
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Jul 11, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (16) and second baseman Joe Panik (12) celebrate after scoring on a triple by third baseman Matt Duffy (not pictured) in the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Help is on the way

Last week, the Giants got a shot in the arm in the form of power-hitting outfielder Marlon Byrd. Mike Leake, Byrd’s ex-Reds teammate, also made a successful return to San Francisco’s rotation, giving up just one hit in six innings (though that hit was a home run).

Looking ahead, Angel Pagan should be coming off the DL before month’s end, and Joe Panik shouldn’t be too far behind him. Hunter Pence will take a little longer, but Bruce Bochy was optimistic about the right fielder’s chances of being activated after the 15-day minimum—so, in early September.

It’s hard to say what Pagan can offer the team down the stretch, but Panik and Pence will be a huge boon to the lineup in the season’s final weeks.

There’s also an outside chance the Giants pull a deal before the August trade window closes. Of the players who have officially cleared waivers, Mariners outfielder Austin Jackson would make the most sense—particularly if Bochy is wrong about Pence’s prognosis.

Next: On to reason No. 2