In an interview today with KNBR’s Morning Show with Murph and Mac, SF Giants GM, Bobby Evans, claimed they “miscalculated” the left field situation.
The SF Giants actually won a series, against the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, they’re still in last place, and are sitting at 11-18. One thing they counted on, was left-field being a bit better. Before they started spring training, it seemed like Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker would be the guys. Then, non-roster invite, Chris Marrero came into the picture and mashed seven homers in the spring. It was an easy decision to add him to the roster, especially with Williamosn headed to the DL.
Slowly, the left field situation has devolved to where they have Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Belt taking games out there. The additions of Michael Morse, and Christian Arroyo have certainly helped make that happen, but clearly the Giants were expecting more, not just from left-field, but everyone else. Here is what Evans had to say about it in the interview with KNBR this morning:
"I think that overall I want to see the veterans of our lineup producing at a level that allows left field to evolve and hopefully get a Parker back eventually. But miscalculate is probably a fair assessment. I think that I was hoping our guys would do more around left field so that even if the left fielder is a player that’s going to struggle, that we would have enough offense everywhere else to cover for it.”"
It’s easy to deflect it on the core not producing enough runs. And frankly, Evans is somewhat right. If the Giants were performing (power wise) to what’s on the back of their baseball cards, left-field would be less of a cause for concern. However, left-field hasn’t been “miscalculated.” It’s been atrocious. That’s the issue.
Calling their valuation of the situation in left field a “miscalculation” is a significant understatement.
Looking back at years past….excluding this season as well, the San Francisco Giants were at least getting a batting average, and on base percentage that was within the top half of baseball over that span. In just 2017 alone, the Giants are second to last in batting average (.178) and dead last in on-base percentage. That’s a GIANT (ha) miscalculation.
The Giants have thrown out a whole lot of things at left field this season, and not really any of them have worked outside of Brandon Belt. He has the highest average of anyone who has played left field in a Giants. But, then you’re putting a gold-glove caliber first-baseman in the outfield. Not worth it, unless you have someone better to replace him at first. Michael Morse, for as much fun as he is, doesn’t qualify as “better.” So then next up is Nuñez who is hitting .214 while playing in left field. That’s the next best thing after Belt.
Calling their valuation of the situation in left field a “miscalculation” is a significant understatement. You know what is a miscalculation? Saying, “We didn’t think Steven Okert would be this good.” That’s an actual miscalculation. The left field situation being this bad is a complete lapse in judgement, and a significant mistake by the front office. Now, I know we haven’t even seen Williamson hit for the big league ball-club since spring training. And maybe when he’s ready, he finally fills the shoes as the prospect they expected him to be, and the whole left field situation completely disappears. That’s optimism- if we’ve learned anything from this season so far – that we shouldn’t have.
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If, or when it’s apparent that Williamson isn’t the answer in left field, Evans knows he needs to make some moves. In response to the question of whether or not they’d be buyers at the deadline this season, Evans’ response was this:
"“Yeah I mean no question. April’s behind us, we’ve got to focus on what’s ahead. We’ve got to get ourselves in a better position. We’ve got to fight our way to .500, that’s priority number one but you take that one game at a time. When you make adjustments to the roster, when you get guys healthy, you feel like you have a chance to improve yourself”"
There are sure to be plenty of names that surface as options, and here are a quick look at some that might likely be on the trade market as the season goes on, that have an impact bat:
Those eight are all possibilities to be put on the trade market. We’ll see what exactly happens as the market develops, but something quite simply has to be done, especially if Williamson isn’t the answer. They won’t come cheap, but you have to weigh that option.