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San Francisco Giants: That Ominous Beginning to an Injury Filled Season

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 29: Pablo Sandoval #48 of the San Francisco Giants walks off the field holding the back of his leg after he injured it scoring from third base on a sacrifice fly from Steven Duggar #6 against the Milwaukee Brewers in the bottom of the fifth inning at AT&T Park on July 29, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 29: Pablo Sandoval #48 of the San Francisco Giants walks off the field holding the back of his leg after he injured it scoring from third base on a sacrifice fly from Steven Duggar #6 against the Milwaukee Brewers in the bottom of the fifth inning at AT&T Park on July 29, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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The San Francisco Giants season has come to a close, and they did not win 80 games. Despite the early season hype, this season feels like a disappointment.

Now, we are left trying to figure out what went wrong. The San Francisco Giants disappointing season is a result of many factors. Some of the factors include underwhelming performances, a thin farm system, and injuries.

We cannot blame the entire season on injuries; however, it has played a role.

For much of the first half of the season, we were waiting to see how the Giants would look at full strength. Although, it seemed that just as some players were on the verge of returning from injury, others would sustain injuries. It was like a revolving door.

When Jeff Samardzija was about to return from his pectoral, shoulder, home run-prone injury, Johnny Cueto went down with a malfunctioned elbow.

When Madison Bumgarner returned from knuckle injury, both Hunter Strickland and Evan Longoria celebrated by sustaining their own knuckle injuries. This was a bad year for the fifth metacarpal.

When Joe Panik returned from a thumb issue, the Giants experienced a fully healthy lineup for about two innings. At that point, Brandon Belt‘s appendix decided he wanted out of the lease.

Three examples are probably enough. There are plenty more, and that is just how the season played out. Several other Giants players including Mac Williamson, Alen Hanson, and Hunter Pence sustained major injuries too. But, three examples are enough.

Though, we should have known that is how this season would play out. We tried to ignore it, but we should have known.

The injuries began in Spring Training. These injuries were not spread evenly through Spring Training, rather, they all happened at once.

It was ironic and ominous. The San Francisco Giants had a veteran-heavy team, and did not sustain a significant injury until the end of Spring Training.

The lack of injuries was surprising. And, it was a topic of conversation by Duane Kuiper on KNBR a week before the season began. Sure, we were all holding our breath when Kuiper said this.

Then, it was like a waterfall of injuries. First, Jeff Samardzija experienced pectoral and shoulder soreness. His velocity had dipped for much of the spring. So, this injury was not surprising.

Then, Madison Bumgarner broke his fifth metacarpal in a freak, in-game accident. Whit Merrifield laced a ball right off of Bumgarner’s metacarpal.

Perhaps, this was payback by Merrifield. Bumgarner hit Merrifield with a pitch in Little League. Merrifield lived to tell about it, and finally got back at him.

In a matter of 1-2 days, the Giants lost 40 percent of their starting rotation. This was certainly not good news. The Giants rotation depth, at the time, was as deep as the shallow end of a wading pool.

Lastly, just as the season was getting underway, Mark Melancon could not fully recover from his offseason pronator surgery. This injury was not necessarily surprising, given the concern Melancon expressed in his own recovery from the surgery.

In a matter of days, the Giants lost two starting pitchers and their closer. The injuries started then, and never really stopped.

We should have taken this as a sign for the rest of the season. As one player returned from injury, another would go on the disabled list.

This trend was like clockwork. It was an ominous foreshadowing to the season. The Giants did well in not blaming the injuries early in the season.

Next. San Francisco Giants: How Will the Youngsters Fare in 2019?

However, as the injures piled up, it became difficult to ignore and overlook. The injury-riddled end to Spring Training bled into the regular season, and that was probably the first sign of trouble with this San Francisco Giants team.

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