MLB Team-By-Team Previews 2009: San Francisco Giants

MLB Team-By-Team Previews 2009: Can The Giants Lineup Support Their Outstanding Pitching Staff Enough To Win?

3/20/09 in MLB   |   Michael_G   |   38428 respect

Higher expectations are in store for the San Francisco Giants in 2009. With the addition of Randy Johnson the Giants now boast the best rotation in the National League and perhaps the best in the majors. After a 2008 that saw the Giants finish in 4th place with a 72-90 record in an already weak NL West division, the 2009 Giants are poised to move up the ranks. With the young guns Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Jonathan Sanchez mixed with the veterans Randy Johnson and Barry Zito, the Giants should be in most games they play this year. The offense will have to be better for the Giants as they were ranked 29th in hitting and hit a paltry 94 homeruns which was dead last in the Majors, 17 behind the Minnesota Twins. 

Key Losses:
SS Omar Vizquel (to TEX)
P Kevin Correia (to SD)
P Brad Hennessey (to BAL)
P Tyler Walker (to SEA)
OF Dave Roberts (free agent)

Key Additions:
P Randy Johnson
SS Edgar Renteria
P Jeremy Affeldt
P Bobby Howry
INF Juan Uribe

Projected Lineup:
RF. Randy Winn
SS. Edgar Renteria
LF. Fred Lewis
C. Bengie Molina
3B. Pablo Sandoval
CF. Aaron Rowand
1B. Travis Ishikawa/ John Bowker
2B. Emmanuel Burriss

Projected Rotation:
Tim "The Freak" Lincecum
Matt "Raising" Cain
Randy "The Big Unit" Johnson
Jonathan "Filthy" Sanchez"
Barry Zito

CL. Brian Wilson

Strengths:
Pitching, pitching and more pitching. The Giants boast the baseball’s most dynamic arm in righty Tim Lincecum. The diminutive righty won the Cy Young last year after winning 18 games, posting a 2.62 ERA, having a 1.17 WHIP, and striking out a whopping 265 batters. Matt Cain proves to be a capable two or three starter, and was a tough luck pitcher last year. Equipped with great stuff, Cain struck out 186 batters, posted a 3.76 ERA, but he won only 8 games due to lack of run support. If Randy Johnson stays health and Barry Zito starts earning the 126 million dollars the Giants are paying him look out NL. Then there's Jonathan Sanchez, Sanchez had a solid 2008 season, and it’s always good when you average 8.94 K/9.

Weaknesses:
Offense, or lack there of. The Giants just did not hit 2008. With the departure of Barry Bonds the offense went south right out of the gate. Although they made a bid for Manny Ramirez he was to expensive. A big bat in the middle of this lineup is the difference between a first and second place finish.  They need to improve in every statistical category here to compete in the N.L.

Players to watch:

Pablo Sandoval
This kid can flat out hit and is great defensively. In his short stint at the end of last season he tore up N.L pitching with hitting .345, he is currently tearing up Spring Training hitting over .400. A definite Rookie of the Year candidate.

Tim Lincecum
No explanation needed here.

Edgar Renteria
Renteria replaces Omar Vizquel at shortstop and should provide an offensive spark. He's a career .290 hitter in 13 seasons, and has always been better in the NL. He hit .332 for the Braves in nearly 500 at bats in 2007.

Projected Finish:
In an already weak N.L West division and an improved ball club the Giants could very well grab a second place finish here. It will be a 3 team race with L.A and Arizona,.Colorado followed by San Diego in 4th and 5th.
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3/21/09   |   vikingsnation

my only advice is listen to bonds......don't do drugs

3/21/09   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

(Edited by ML31)

As much as I love this team, I don't think it is realistic to expect more than 10 more wins than last year.  The starting pitchers are very good.  But while Wilson is adequate as a closer, he is far from a "lights out" kind of guy like Rod Beck was in his day.  And the front end of the pen is the weak link.

The big key here I think is Sandoval.  He might be good enough to hit 4th in this lineup and move Benji out of clean up to a more Molina friendly spot in the order.  They could compete IF Renteria can keep up the good play.  IF Ishikawa or Bowker comes through.  And IF the new arms in the pen can hold the leads this line up can scrounge up.  If all that happens, they could win the west.  But...  That's a whole lotta if's.

One good thing...  Come late July and they look to have a decent shot, I would expect Sabean to pull off a trade for a bat to help. 

PS...  Those who were wishing for Manny...  They should thank the baseball gods he didn't end up in SF.  He would not have turned this team into a contender.  Better to wait and see if they have the beginnings of a contender and make a deal mid season than to make yet another shaky albatross of a signing now.

3/21/09   |   BluDevil   |   618 respect

I like the Giants to win the west, pitcing is outstanding and if Zito can even halfway live up to his contract they'll be really tough to beat. As far as the offense goes, slightly better O than last year will be good enough to win the division with the pitching they have.

But if you need more offense... Bonds is out there just waiting for the Giants to sign him!

3/20/09   |   radiowave000   |   145 respect

And I could have guessed you are a big SF Giant Homer by looking at yours....grow up

3/20/09   |   bayareabeast21   |   350 respect

radiowave000 wrote:
Their offense won't hit that great and their pitching won't be as great as people think  3rd place calls

 And what do you know... Its a Dallas Cowboys fan!  

I could have just read your crap without looking at your picture and I could have guessed that.

3/20/09   |   radiowave000   |   145 respect

Their offense won't hit that great and their pitching won't be as great as people think  3rd place calls

3/20/09   |   Michael_G   |   38428 respect

bayareabeast21 wrote:
 Im expecting the offense to be much improved over last years offense. Sandoval has a chance to be the ROY.

With that filthy pitching staff, we're not gonna have to score much to win. Even a half run improvement per game over last years team could be enough to win that division.

(BrIan Wilson btw, you still got that 1997 game stuck in your head when Johnson went yard in the bottom of the 13th)

 Oops, your right, I'll fix it

3/20/09   |   bayareabeast21   |   350 respect

 Im expecting the offense to be much improved over last years offense. Sandoval has a chance to be the ROY.

With that filthy pitching staff, we're not gonna have to score much to win. Even a half run improvement per game over last years team could be enough to win that division.

(BrIan Wilson btw, you still got that 1997 game stuck in your head when Johnson went yard in the bottom of the 13th)