Do the San Francisco Giants Need to Make Moves to Contend?
The San Francisco Giants are banged up — I mean, like, really banged up. They have the misfortune of now fighting a two-front injury war: one in the rotation, and one in the lineup.
While Joe Panik, Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Mac Williamson, and Hunter Pence are all expected to be back at varying points within the next two months, that’s enough time to warrant the pondering of making moves in their absence.
Despite all of the injuries, the Giants find themselves in a favorable position, especially compared to last year. It never hurts to get better though, so should the Giants look for upgrades right now?
Let’s first examine the injuries in the rotation. In the absence of Bumgarner and Cueto, Derek Holland, Chris Stratton, and Ty Blach have all done reasonably well given the circumstances. Jeff Samardzija has been either hit or miss (no joke intended) since his return from the D.L. Andrew Suarez has looked promising thus far, but let’s keep in mind that he’s still a rookie so it would be foolish to proclaim his as the next Jonathan Sanchez (2010 version).
I could see the Giants going after a solid starter so they have a little more support in the rotation. Right now, they don’t have a healthy ace. They don’t have a guy that you trust to go out there and stop a losing streak or even get you seven solid innings.
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There have of course been some rumors linking Matt Harvey to the Giants which I would personally be opposed to, but if there’s someone else that they can get for a reasonable asking price that they feel could provide some sense of stability to the rotation then I think they should pull the trigger.
As for the injury to Joe Panik, I think that Kelby Tomlinson and Alen Hanson have done a very nice job filling in. Neither is the same defender or as skillful with the bat as Panik, but I trust them to hold down the fort and contribute a clutch hit or two in his absence.
Now onto the outfield injuries. The decision between Pence and Williamson would’ve been a good one to have, but fortunately for Bruce Bochy he didn’t have to make it thanks to them both getting hurt. Gregor Blanco and Gorkys Hernandez have gotten increased playing time in their absence and have done a solid job.
Both are above average defenders and can be dangerous on the base-paths. I like those two in left but if it becomes clear that they aren’t cutting it, then it would be more apt to call up Austin Slater, Chris Shaw, or Steven Duggar than to trade for someone.
In short, I think that the guys who are filling in right now are doing a good job, and honestly I’d be fine with the Giants letting these guys keep playing without making any moves until the big boys return. They’re already comfortable and a part of the clubhouse chemistry so it might be risky to toy with that.
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No matter what they do, I think we’d all appreciate it if the Giants got a little luckier with their injuries. Not that they’re the only ones hit by the injury bug, but it’d definitely be more reassuring to see their best players out there since they’ve shown such promise.