Saturday, June 2, 2012

The New Giants Outfield and Other Thoughts

Thoughts on the season so far for the San Francisco Giants....
  • I cannot say enough about how the Giants struck gold with their new outfield (Melky, Pagan, and Blanco). Let's start with the star in left field, Melky Cabrera. Melky Cabrera is the hottest hitter in the NL, with 51 hits in May, tying the Giants record for hits in a month that Randy Winn set back when he was a big part of the team. Melky has totally revitalized the lineup. The Giants' 3-4-5 spot with Cabrera, Buster Posey, and Angel Pagan, actually strikes fear into opposing pitchers' hearts. Cabrera has also instantly become a fan favorite. The Melk Men who roam AT&T Park are awesome and nearly every fan loves to watch Melky swing the bat.
  • Moving to center field, Angel Pagan has also stolen the hearts of Giants' fans. With his excellent defense and consistency behind the plate, he has been a constant presence on the field and in the batter's box. After moving out of the leadoff spot to make room for Gregor Blanco, he has added another layer of solidity behind Buster Posey as the #5 hitter in the lineup to create a great 3-4-5 punch. He has also set a record of his own, with a 25-game home hitting streak, a Giants record.
  • And finally, the third member of the trio: Gregor Blanco. Blanco stole the leadoff spot from Pagan (not an easy feat, seeing as how Pagan was swinging the bat) and has been extremely consistent in his OBP, which sits at .397, second on the team after Melky, of course. Blanco has also done a good job patrolling the spacious pastures of right field in AT&T Park, which is not at all easy. For the money that he's being paid, Blanco has more than delivered. 
  • In addition to these three, there have been many other strong performers that have broken out for the Giants this year.
  • Joaquin Arias has filled in admirably for Pablo Sandoval after the Conor Gillaspie experiment proved that Gillaspie isn't ready for the majors quite yet. Arias is batting .234, but more importantly, he's fielding with only 3 errors, compared to Sandoval's 5.
  • Speaking of errors, Brandon Crawford has way too many, with 10. Yes, shortstops do get many balls hit to them, but their job is to field them cleanly. There have been some games where Crawford's fielding has been awful. This kid was billed as a fielding whiz when he was brought up last year, but he doesn't field especially well in my opinion, nor does he hit with consistency. He will have to establish his importance to the team soon or he will soon be replaced by one of the infielders in the Giants system. The only reason he's still here is because the Giants have no other SSs in their farm system who are major league-ready yet, but they will be in a couple of years.
  • I didn't think I'd be saying this, but I'm glad Theriot is back. The Giants missed him. Meanwhile, no word on Freddy Sanchez, except for the fact that he appeared on a Giants commercial last week for a Giants hat giveaway on June 10th.
  • As for the carousel at 1st base, someone will have to win it soon. To be honest, I wouldn't mind if Hector Sanchez got more starts at catcher just so Posey could play first. Then we'd get good production out of our catcher and 1st baseman. The problem with that is of course that Posey's defense at first is pretty poor.
  • Finally, the pitching has been much better. Lincecum actually had a good start, Bumgarner is great as usual, so is Cain, Zito has been a surprise, and Vogie is having another 2010, which is to say he's been great!
So there you have it. My thoughts on basically everybody on the Giants, except for the bench.

The Giants are only 4 games out of 1st. They have been playing captivating baseball, and they should be able to milk this recipe to another World Series win if they keep playing like they are now.

Go Giants!

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