San Francisco Giants: What Should We Be Worried About in 2017?
Remember that disgrace of an inning that collectively sucked out all of our souls and made us question our undying faith in the baseball gods that had served us so well in the last five years (I think you know the inning)? What if that was how it was from now on? It’s unlikely, but isn’t it frightening to ponder? Let’s go into the all of the little things us spoiled fans are afraid will go wrong for the 2017 San Francisco Giants, shall we?
There are many things we can and should fear as San Francisco Giants fans. These include the health of Hunter Pence, the bridge to Mark Melancon, and the squabble for 5th starter. Of course, we could be afraid of everything, but going into the nightmares I have where Bobby Evans gets a bit too tipsy one night and agrees to send Joe Panik, Christian Arroyo and Tyler Beede to the Dodgers in exchange for Yasiel Puig and some really nicely aged Jack Daniels that Farhan Zaidi has would be too long. The most frightening part is that it is actually just really cheap Jose Cuervo that Zaidi put in a fancy bottle.
Anyway, let’s say that the Giants at least have the 9th inning figured out. Sure, Melancon will blow a few here and there but I am daring enough to go out on a limb. They will have less (you read that right) than 30 blown saves this year. However, the bridge to get to that 9th with a lead is still less than ideal. Yes, Law did look promising and Strickland was solid, but I’m not quite sold on Law. The arm fatigue last year isn’t something that should go unnoticed especially considering he’s had Tommy John.
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Their middle relief is also cause for concern with the likes of George Kontos, Steven Okert, and Will Smith Smith, etc. There will be many a time where a Giants starter doesn’t have his best stuff and has to grind out 5 innings. Then he’ll hand the egg and spoon to Kontos/Gearrin. Then they must hand it off to Law/Strickland who then must hand it off to Melancon. After seeing just about everyone drop the egg and in trying to pick it up tripping on their lace and snapping the spoon in half (not to mention Santiago Casilla getting disqualified for taking his blindfold off… cough cough, balkoff), it’s really difficult to just chalk it up to “bad luck”. One can only hope that was all it was.
Now onto some other concerns.
Pence’s health is a big issue. I really don’t think he will be able to go the whole year without a DL stint. It’s just inevitable at this point. I think we at times forget that Pence is a wild caveman beastly creature that plays the game like an orangutan that just drank a bottle of Coke from 1901. The man simply does not possess a second gear. Just look at that picture above. How did that play in 324 games straight? Bochy will make him take days off, but when he plays, he’s going to play the only way he knows how: hard. His body just can’t sustain playing that way anymore.
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Now onto the fifth starter. I am fairly confident that Matt Cain will get this spot. He would have to be simply awful during the spring while Ty Blach would have to be quite good. If Blach looks solid (similar stuff to what we saw from him last year) and Cain looks OK for current day Cain, I still think Cain gets the nod. Obviously this could change quite a bit throughout the season as I’m sure Blach will worm his way into the rotation one way or another.
I could go and address every thing that you could be worried about as a Giants fan. But then you’d go, “C’mon Nick, we can sit here and play ‘What If?’ all day. ” To which I would emphatically reply “Yes. ”
What if at the home opener, Tommy Lasodra kidnaps Buster Posey and threatens to make him do another Esurance ad campaign unless he becomes a Dodger immediately? What if during Pence’s first AB at AT&T, a mutated kale monster emerges from the garden in center field to exact its revenge upon him? Maybe the ghost of Armando Benitez will possess Melancon every time he takes the mound.
I could play all day. However, it feels weird coming into an odd year without a ring. It sort of feels like the baseball gods have cheated on us. We had a really nice thing going. Every other year we’d take a break, see other people.
But the next year we would always get back together and do those same fun things that we loved. They lead us on too, which made it hurt even more. It would’ve been so much easier if they didn’t tease us with stuff they knew we liked. Like sweeping arch rivals to end a season. Or dominant complete game wildcard shutouts. We’d all been there before. It felt cozy and nice. Then we got dumped for someone that they hadn’t given love to in a long time.
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I guess we’ll all try and see if this relationship we have with the baseball gods can work, but I can’t help but feel like they’ve moved on.