San Francisco Giants: Some on Twitter Say Giants Will Still Be Bad with Stanton
By Vince Cestone
The San Francisco Giants finished the 2017 season with a 64-98 record, 40 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers — and Twitter won’t let Giants fans forget that fact.
The Giants ended last season with multiple gaping holes to fill. Their whole outfield and third base situations were less than ideal, offensively and defensively.
The Giants ranked second-to-last in runs scored (639) and dead last in home runs (128).
Furthermore, just about every defensive metric ranked the Giants’ outfield defense as one of the worst in baseball, with aging players like Denard Span and Hunter Pence manning the vast spaces of AT&T Park.
Even their always-solid pitching failed them in 2017. The Giants ranked 16th in baseball with a 4.50 ERA, in part because of long-term injuries to top-tier starters Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto.
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And their $62 million closer, Mark Melancon, was out most of the season too.
It was ugly. It was bad. Fans were frustrated.
But the Giants insist they will be relentless to compete for a playoff spot in 2018.
With a seemingly aging team that has no power and shaky pitching, it may seem like a conundrum as to why the Giants are going after superstar Giancarlo Stanton, the 2017 MVP–and taking on over $200 million.
After all, can one star, even an MVP, turn a 64-win team into a 90-win team?
Baseball fans on Twitter don’t seem to think so (especially Dodgers and Cardinals fans):
But not everyone is as pessimistic:
And some Giants fans are even trying to recruit Stanton.
While baseball fans are probably right to say the Giants need more than Stanton to win in 2018, he would help jolt a lineup devoid of power. According to one projection from CBS SportsLine, Stanton would give the Giants 3.2 more wins than last year and increase their chance of making the playoffs from 8.8 percent to 15.9 percent. But CBS’s forecast for the Giants with Stanton is still only 78.5 wins.
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The Giants still would need to find a leadoff hitter and third baseman, shore up that bullpen, and get better production from their current players.
Brandon Belt, Cueto, Bumgarner, Joe Panik, Melancon, and Will Smith will all have to come back in 2018 healthy and ready to go.
And if Christian Arroyo is indeed part of the package to land Stanton, the Giants will have to get creative in trade or free agency to fill third base. No, Pablo Sandoval isn’t the answer.
Free-agent third baseman Mike Moustakas hit 38 home runs last year for the Kansas City Royals, just what the Giants need, but he won’t come cheap and the Giants would already be deep in the luxury tax if they got Stanton.
But Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle says otherwise about Arroyo being included in the deal.
And he had a great response to one tweeter who wasn’t so high on the Giants’ chances even with Stanton.
Although the Twitterverse is right in saying the Giants have glaring question marks even with Stanton, San Francisco may not be that far off. With a few bounce-back years and an infusion of energy from Stanton, who knows what could happen.
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It’s a tough situation.
Let’s just say I’m happy I’m not Bobby Evans.