San Francisco Giants: Joe Panik and the Curse of the Second Baseman
With reports indicating that Joe Panik, second baseman of the San Francisco Giants, is being actively shopped, let’s examine how the position of second base seems to be cursed for the Giants.
Don’t get me wrong, the San Francisco Giants have had some very good second basemen in this past decade. We’ll all have a special place in our hearts for Freddy Sanchez and Marco Scutaro, two guys who played a huge role in two different championship runs.
But you can’t talk about their playoff heroics without talking about what followed. In June of 2011, Freddy Sanchez dislocated his shoulder diving for a ground ball and had to have season-ending surgery.
He began 2012 on the DL and was later shelved due to recurring back problems. This opened the door for Ryan Theriot to shine at second. However, the giants decided they’d be better served with someone else which is why they traded for Marco Scutaro at the deadline.
Scutaro tore it up, batting .362 and driving in 44 runs in just 61 games. Not even a borderline dirty slide from Matt Holliday in the NLCS could slow him down as he took home NLC MVP honors.
Oh yeah, and he also drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th against the Tigers in Game 4 of the World Series that year. And if you felt bad for Ryan Theriot earlier, don’t worry because he was the guy Scutaro drove in!
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After a hot start to 2013 which landed him in the All Star Game, he met the same fate as Freddy Sanchez with back problems sidelining him into retirement.
That brings us to Joe Panik. After his 2014 playoff excellence, I feared he may meet the same fate as Sanchez and Scutaro. But then it struck me, Panik was still young(only 25 at the time). He would be much more durable than Sanchez and Scutaro who were in their 30s when injuries derailed them.
Despite some solid production since then, Panik has just been the victim of bad luck when it comes to injuries. He’s been banged up and recently when he’s been on the field he has not met expectations.
This makes it understandable why the Giants are still trying to trade him. I think the Giants believe Joe still has something left in the tank, but they want to see if any other teams agree and are willing to give up a pretty penny to find out.
I don’t think Joe will be traded this offseason. Much like Bumgarner, if he puts up solid numbers and shows signs of his former self in the first half, a team that is weak at second base could be willing to give up something valuable in return for his services.
Only time will tell, but it appears that the Curse of the Second Baseman may have gotten Joe Panik just as it did Sanchez and Scutaro. Let’s hope that’s not the case.