Happy New Year! The 2019 season is now officially upon us, with the Orange and Black taking their talents to Oracle South to begin the campaign.
The Giants have much to prove, with the hefty payroll of a playoff team and former All-Stars all over the diamond. Opening Days in the past have brought excitement, with the 2017 team sporting a shiny (although soon to be very, very broken) new closer in Mark Melancon and the 2018 team attempting to create the best 2013 MLB team. However this opening day had a very different feel, with new President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi adding and later DFA’ing too many players to remember, essentially trying to find the lottery ticket that was waiting to be scratched. Spring Training was hectic, with players being shuttled from different teams to have a cup of coffee in Scottsdale and then jettisoned without really getting a look (Matt Joyce, a player who had a few at bats for the Giants in the Spring, hit a pinch-hit, two run homer for the Braves yesterday…).
Regardless, the Giants played a REAL game yesterday, in which the outcome was so, so predictable. In what was commonplace last season, Eric Lauer, who was a cool 0.8 WAR (FanGraphs) last season, made himself look like Jacob DeGrom against the feckless Giants lineup, which included the Major League debuts for two of the three starting outfielders. The result was a familiar 2-0 loss. After watching the Giants continue to, well, stink, there are a few key takeaways that can be carried through the rest of the season. After all, Opening Day is the best measure of success!