The San Francisco Giants are projected to lose 94 games in 2020. Is the team really going to be that bad or are the projections off base?
That stands as the worst record in the National League and is tied for the third-worst record in all of baseball.
Are the Giants really going to be that bad?
It is certainly possible.
Recently, the team made a handful of additions that conventional wisdom would lead us to believe will help them win a few more ball games in 2020.
Wilmer Flores provides a solid bat who can be used in a versatile role, and if Hunter Pence can match his production against lefties from last season he would be a great platoon option with Alex Dickerson in left field.
Then there is Pablo Sandoval, who may miss the first few weeks of the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, but showed last season that he can still be an asset offensively.
But even with those additions, the Giants still have an incredibly weak pitching staff that lacks a clear ace and an established closer. Unproven arms litter the bullpen, while the rotation will be a hodgepodge of veterans on one-year deals and young starters who are still trying to establish themselves at the MLB level.
The offense will be a problem no matter what. With an aging group of veterans on the decline and young guys like Mauricio Dubon and Mike Yastrzemski no guarantee to avoid a sophomore slump, scoring runs is bound to be an issue.
The question remains, will this team really lose 94 games?
We all know projections can be wrong, but 94 games would be just four fewer losses than the abysmal 2017 season when the team went 64-98.
The problem is that this team lacks a clear-cut strength.
Last season, we could at least point to the bullpen as a point of stability. This year, the offense looks weak, the rotation is unsettled, and the bullpen is a shell of what it was a year ago.
Things admittedly do not look great as they currently stand, and I don’t anticipate them looking any better once the regular season begins.
Still, I’m going to go out on a limb and say the projections wind up short-changing the Giants by two games and they finish with a 70-92 record in 2020.