Friday, June 28, 2013

Assessing the Giants Weak Spots

The trade deadline is just 33 days away and the trade rumor machine is already heating up. The Giants as currently constructed are far from perfect and they could certainly use some help in getting better if they want to defend their title.

To help get an idea of where the Giants are at currently and where they could use help, over at Bay Area Sports Guy I took a look at where the Giants weak spots were and what the outlook looks like.

Offensive weak spots
The injury bug has not been kind, taking out Angel Pagan until at least mid-September, Pablo Sandoval for the last couple weeks, not to mention Marco Scutaro, Brandon Crawford and now Joaquin Arias. 
With all of the injuries, the Giants could use some depth — especially in the outfield with Pagan needing surgery on his hamstring, and possibly in the infield depending on the extent of Arias’ hamstring injury. But overall, things aren’t too bad. With 319 runs the Giants are the 5th highest scoring team in the National League and should be able to score enough as long as they don’t lose too many more players.
Starting Pitching weak spots:
This is the first season going back to 2006 that the Giants are not in the top third of NL teams in either starting pitcher ERA or FIP. That sustained run of excellence is impressive and perhaps we have grown spoiled expecting top flight starting pitching year after year. This year, things have fallen off a cliff.
Matt Cain is in the middle of the worst season of his career, Tim Lincecum has been better than last season but is still allowing earned runs at a rate 25% higher than league average, Barry Zito has been his normal self (with some horrible home/road splits), Ryan Vogelsong was a disaster in all but his last start before getting hurt, and Chad Gaudin filled in admirably before getting hurt himself and hitting the disabled list.
Relief Pitching weak spots:
At first glance the Giants’ bullpen doesn’t look so bad. They currently rank 5th in the NL in both ERA and FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) with marks of 3.14 and 3.47, respectively. Even looking at an individual level the only member of the bullpen with an ERA above 4.00 is George Kontos. 
On the surface everything looks good, but a deeper look shows that everything hasn’t been perfect this season.
Be sure to read them all.

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