The SF Giants are off to a disappointing 5-11 start to the season. There have been a few individual positives, but as a whole, the roster looks pretty flawed. Will they be able to dig themselves out of this hole before it is too late?
Can the SF Giants dig themselves out of this early-season funk?
In fairness, the Giants have not had a fully healthy roster yet. So, we do not know exactly what the lineup looks like with hitters like Michael Conforto, Mitch Haniger, and Joc Pederson batting in the middle of the lineup.
With that being said, do the Giants get a break for this? The front office invested heavily in injury risk and losing players to the injured list is a pretty big consequence of this strategy.
Perhaps, the one bright side of the season is the fact that the starting rotation has posted a 3.30 ERA, which ranks as the fifth-best mark in baseball. Generally speaking, teams with strong rotations tend to be in the playoff mix by the end of the year. There are always exceptions to this, but that is a general observation.
So, let's put this out there. The Giants are not going to finish the year with a .312 winning percentage. That would equate to about 51 wins and they are certainly better than that.
It may not feel like that at the moment. The Giants have lost four of the first five series to start the season. This includes disappointing losses to the Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, and the Miami Marlins. While the Marlins have some intriguing pitching talent, the Royals and Tigers will not be anywhere close to the playoff picture.
The Giants failed to take advantage of some lighter opponents and this may come back to bite them. Unfortunately, the schedule gets very tough starting on Thursday. And, in the spirit of transparency, every opponent feels tough after a 5-11 start.
The Giants are slated to face the New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, Houston Astros, and Milwaukee Brewers over the next 16 games. Four of those five teams reached the playoffs in 2022 and all five have expectations of doing so this year. There is nothing more terrifying than seeing Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado on the schedule when you are struggling.
It is early, but this may very well be a key stretch in the season. The Giants have dug themselves a small hole, but that hole could be much larger by the second week of May. If they are going to begin to turn it around, they are going to need to do it against some quality teams.
They have some components of a good roster such as a quality starting rotation and a lineup that has hit the third-most home runs with 26. These qualities should help them win against some good teams.
It might be hard to envision this given how they have played to far. So, the Giants are entering a weirdly critical stretch of baseball. The division cannot be won in April, but teams can definitely put themselves in a poor position by the end of the first month. For better or worse, the Giants will likely show us exactly who they are over the next two weeks.