MLB Preview #2: SF Giants
For the past 3 even years, the San Francisco Giants have won the World Series. 2010, 2012, and 2014? Can they continue the pattern? Are they good enough? Do they have the talent?
Well, I’d be scared to put my credibility on the line and say no, because the past 3 times they won the World Series, most did not see them as a real threat. Seriously though, this year, I don’t think anyone could question that they have the necessary tools.
Right off the bat, the obvious meal ticket has to be the pitching rotation. Each starter in the 5 man rotation, could be an ace on other teams. In fact, at one point all players were aces. Starting right off the bat with Madison Bumgarner.
Madison Bumgarner, is still only 26 years old, and is already a World Series hero. Who could forget how he shut down Kansas City Royals in 2014? Whether it was out of the bullpen, or from the rotation. Without Bumgarner, we would probably be talking about how the Giants could win their first World Series since 2012. He proved his greatness even more so last season going 18-9 with a 2.93 ERA, and 234 strikeouts in 218.1 innings.
Right behind him is Johnny Cueto, who’s going to be around a while, as he just signed a 6 year, $130 million deal. This could be a great value for the Giants, as Cueto is better then what he showed last season going 11-13 with a 3.44 ERA, and that might’ve effected his value in his contract year. It wasn’t that long ago, in 2014 when he went 20-9 with a 2.25 ERA.
Is it possible that Cueto is just a National league picture by nature? He just did not seem to find his mojo with Kansas City. So, if we get 2014 Cueto behind Bumgarner, then good luck to any team with a 4 game series with them.
4 games you say? Yes. 4 games. Because behind those two are Jeff Samardzija, Matt Cain and Jake Peavy. Jeff Samardzija’s win loss record, does not reflect the talented pitcher he is. He may not be elite as Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto, and he doesn’t have too. He should have some solid run support, we’ll get to that later on.
Jake Peavy is a former CY Young in 2007. Was once an elite pitcher, before he was haunted by injuries at one point. Afterwards he didn’t seem the same. Many believed his baseball career was over.
He had a bit of a resurrection in 2013. He went 12-5 with a 4.17 ERA. In 2014, for the Boston Red Sox he went 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA. Once again, it seemed like Peavy was done. Then mysteriously, when he was traded to the Giants midseason, he would go 6-4 with a 2.17 ERA. He followed that up last season going 8-6, if he can have a positive win loss record, he could be vital for the Giants at the end of the rotation.
Then you have Matt Cain, who’s had issues, be it health or not since 2012, when he went 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA. Since, then he has gone 12-21 in 3 seasons. However, if Cain can have somewhat of a comeback season, being the number 5 starter, that may be just enough to get the Giants all the way.
We haven’t mentioned the offense yet, there is such a mix of A+ potential players. Brandon Crawford at shortstop, Brandon Belt at first, and Joe Panik at second base. Then you have Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and offseason pick up Denard Span. While, the line up may not be box office, when you combine that offense with the pitching rotation, the Giants ARE a threat.
The only concerns would be, that Johnny Cueto does duplicate his number from last season, Samardjiza is not able to convert, Peavy’s demons come back, and Matt Cain continues his woes. So, yeah. Essentially the Giants season, is held in their pitching rotation
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