The San Francisco Giants 2013 Player Roster: State Of The Union
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Monday December 24, 2012
Kyle Holland (MLB Reports Intern): Follow @TheKHolland13
There’s no question that the San Francisco Giants have been one of the best teams in the MLB in recent years. This includes 2 World Series championships in 2010 and 2012. Without an injury to Buster Posey in 2011, we could be talking about a three-peat right now. 2012 was without a doubt the greater year between 2010 and 2012 making sure they would have a spot in October baseball. In 2010, they cut it close by not clinching the NL West until Game 162. This year, they wasted no time at all as they took out the Dodgers by clinching the Division on September 2nd. When they were in the playoffs, they won won 6 straight elimination games during the NLDS and NLCS, versus the Reds and Cardinals respectively, erasing 2-0 and 3-1 deficits. The Giants then swept Detroit on their way to their second World Series ring in 3 Years.
Now the question all Giants fans are asking: What is needed for the Giants to have the possibility to repeat in 2013?
So far the Giants have done a lot this winter. That all but means you’ll see a different 9 guys on the field opening day. Right now it looks like it may be the same 9 that started game 4 of the World Series. The Giants haven’t really made any changes so far. They have resigned their 2 Major Free Agents, Marco Scutaro and Angel Pagan. They even resigned their major pitching Free Agent, Jeremy Affeldt. Their projected 25 Man Roster is going to be a tough one to take down in the NL West. Even with he Dodgers looking to eclipse the 250 Million Dollar Mark in Payroll, the Giants should still make a push for the Division in 2013
First, let’s look at their starting pitching. It’s not going to change much besides the order. You can expect Matt Cain to be taking the bump when the Giants open up on the road against the Dodgers on April 1st. Cain was their ace in 2012. He led the team in Wins (16) ERA (2.79) and SO (193). He also got the W in-Game #5 of the NLDS, Game 7 of the NLCS, and he started Game 4 of the World Series. His most memorable moment of the 2012 season was a Perfect Game against the Houston Astros on June 14.
The rest of the rotation is going to consist of Madison Bumgarner, Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong, and Tim Lincecum. The order is still up in the air. Bumgarner had a great summer in 2012. He finished 16-11, better than his 13-13 record in 2011, where he finished 11th in the Cy Young voting. His 3.37 ERA was slightly worse than 2011 and he finished both years with identical Ks (191). You could possibly see him second behind Cain in the rotation. Next is Barry Zito, who was back to his old winning ways in 2012. After struggling for many seasons, plus not even making the 2010 playoff roster, he went 15-8 with a 4.15 ERA. His 15-8 record is his best since he went 16-10 in 2008. Ryan Vogelsong followed up his breakout year in 2011, by going 14-9 with a 3.37 ERA. You will probably see him in the 3 or 4 spot in the rotation. Possibly rounding off the rotation is Tim Lincecum. As weird as this sounds, it just makes sense. Bochy didn’t even have him in the starting rotation in the playoffs. He went 10-15 with his ERA above 5. Coming out of the pen in the playoffs though looked like Bochy’s best move of the season. He went 1-0 making appearances in 5 games out of the pen. His ERA was 0.28. The only game he started he got lit up only pitching 4.2 Innings allowing 4 runs gathering the loss. If he can get back to shape in 2013, the Giants’ pitching rotation will be unstoppable.
Next is the bullpen. Their closer situation looked to be bleak, after one of the best in the league ( Brian Wilson) went down with an injury requiring Tommy John surgery 8 games into the season. it didn’t seem the bullpen would be as good as they are known to be.
Even with Wilson out, the team had 53 saves. The whole bullpen looks like it will be back in 2013. They resigned Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla for Three-Year deals, as their primary setup men. Casilla has experience closing, as he had his fair share of opportunities in 2012. He Saved 25 of those 53 saves. Their probable closer will also be returning in 2013. Sergio Romo had only 14 Saves during the regular season, but was lights out in the playoffs. He allowed only 4 total hits through 10.2 IP. He had 4 Saves in the Post Season, including 3 in the World Series. He’s likely to be closing full-time in 2013. Left-handed specialist Javier Lopez didn’t have his best year in 2012, but he’s likely to bounce back in 2013. If not, the Giants can look to Jose Mijares as their second Left-Hander out of the pen behind Affeldt. Finally George Kontos will likely be used more next season. He displayed his consistency in his first full year in the majors, so he may eventually pass Mijares coming out of the pen. If the Giants relievers can stay consistent like last year, they will be in for a good season from the bullpen.
Now the Giants lineup is going to change in the slightest, if even. The starting nine will likely be untouched.
In Left Field will be Gregor Blanco, turning 30 Years Old today. In his first full season in the Majors since 2008, he hit .244, not awful, but not good. What was really impressive last year was his fielding ability. This first showed when he made that perfect game-saving catch on June 14 to preserve Matt Cain’s perfect game. He committed only 2 errors all year, while playing all 3 outfield positions at some point or another. He also made some spectacular catches throughout playoffs. In Center Field is Angel Pagan. He hit .288 including a league leading 15 Triples. He did prove he has range and a glove last year only committing 5 errors in 151 Games in Center Field. This includes a game saving catch in-Game #5 of the NLDS. Rounding off the outfield in Right is mid-season acquisition Hunter Pence. The former Phillies and Astro, was a big part of leading the Giants to the World Series. He hit only .253 but fits in perfectly in the 5 spot behind Posey. He smacked 45 RBI in his 59 Games with San Francisco. The Giants also resigned former Giant Andres Torres recently. He is going to be able to back up any one of those 3 outfielders.
Their infield is not going to change in the least either. Resigning Scutaro was huge for the Giants. The rest of the infield is very young, all under 27 except for 37 Year Old Second Baseman. He brings experience to the group. Even with not much experience, the infield is one of the best around.
Too many words describe the backstop, Buster Posey. You only need one acronym though. MVP. At only 25 Years Old, he has Two World Series rings and an NL MVP, while he has really only played one full year. This past season he hit .336 with 24 HRs. He won the Silver Slugger and his Batting Average was even better than Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera. He is without-a-doubt going to be a superstar one day and he is still going to be a huge contributor for the Giants next year.
At First Base is 24 Year Old Brandon Belt. At 6’4’’ 220 LBS, he is sure intimidating at the plate. He hit .275 for the year, which is pretty good for someone his age and MLB experience . His height helped him out at First Base , in only committing 8 errors and finishing with a .992 Fld%. The Giants are going to rely on him as their everyday First Baseman. He can also play the outfield positions when needed with Posey rotating to First Base, in order to save wear and tear on the young Catchers body. Across the diamond is Kung-Fu Panda (Pablo Sandoval). He hit .283 with a career low 12 HRs, although he was injured for a good part of the season. The man cracked 3 HRs in Game #1 of the World Series en route to the sweep and he took home World Series MVP for his efforts. Sandoval did say he is going to try to lose weight again this winter so that .283 Average could easily become .290-.300. Sandoval has much more experience than a lot of other 26 Year Olds, because he was signed in 2003 at just 17 Years Old. The corner infielders for the Giants are going to come into factor a lot next year not just in the field, but at the plate too.
The middle infield is going to be a very important part for the Giants next year. Brandon Crawford at Shortstop, and Marco Scutaro at Second. First, Crawford. In his first full year in the majors he did not disappoint. He hit an acceptable .248 for the year. His fielding wasn’t very consistent in the first half of the season, but really cleaned it up after the All-Star break. He finished with 18 Errors, with a good amount of those coming in the first half. On the other side of second base is 37 Year Old Marco Scutaro. Since going to San Francisco, he basically raked. He hit .362 in his 61 games with the Giants which is absurd. He was definitely the playoff hero as he hit .500 in the NLCS, with a .533 OBP. He also only struck out 3 times in 63 Post Season AB, to show his unbelievable skill of making contact. He was the NLCS MVP. He even got the game winning hit in-Game #4 of the World Series, after singling home Ryan Theriot in the 10th. Scutaro parlayed his great year with the Giants into a 3 YR/20 Million Dollar Contract this offseason. If he can post his usually numbers this season, than he and Brandon Crawford are going to create a stellar middle infield in the field and lineup.
The Giants have all the assets to repeat in 2013. The probability of this happen isn’t very good at all, but it can definitely happen for the first repeating team since the 1998-2000 Yankees won 3 Titles in a row. With the entire 2012 team returning, all they need to do is patch up some situations.
In 2013, they are going to have a full-time closer. It will most likely be Romo, but if not they have other options. This is something to look forward to for a Giants fan because there won’t be any doubt who is going into pitch the 9th and if he’ll be able to close it or not.
This year they also won’t have to deal with someone getting suspended like Melky Cabrera. When the NL Batting Champ (before withdrawing his own name) was no longer there, they were forced to start Blanco for the rest of the season. This turned out to be great, but there had to be some uncertainty at first. They (hopefully) won’t have to deal with any of those uncertainties next year.
If all goes well next year, the Giants aren’t going to disappoint their fans. This team does have a tough challenge going up against the Dodgers, however the Giants’ pitching staff is one of the best in all of baseball, yet the Dodgers may hold a slight edge on them for the Starting Pitching Rotation and Offensive Lineup. Still the Dodgers were expected to do bigger things in 2012 and the Giants spoiled that. Who’s to say they won’t do it again! For a team that didn’t use to be known for their hitting, it has come along great in the last few seasons. You can no longer say they only rely on pitching. With their staff and lineup, they may be accepting rings again on opening day of 2014.
(*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com*)
Welcome to our newest Baseball Intern: Kyle Holland:
Kyle is a life long baseball fan outside of Boston. He is a sophomore in high school has played baseball since he was 5. Although growing up in one of the best baseball towns in the major leagues, he has been a Giants fan since 2009. He credits his aunt with the Giants being his favorite team as she lives in San Francisco. Some of his favorite players include Buster Posey, Stephen Drew, Trevor Bauer, Stephen Strasburg, and minor leaguer Danny Hultzen. You can find Kyle on Twitter Follow @TheKHolland13.
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Posted on December 24, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2012 MVP, 2012 playoffs, 2012 world series, 2012-13 offseason, @TheKholland13 on twitter, andres torres, angel pagan, barry zito, brandon belt, brandon crawford, brian wilson, bruce bochy, buster posey, cy young, detroit tigers, George Kontos, Gregor Blanco, hunter pence, javier lopez, Jeremy Affeldt, Jose Mijares, los angeles dodgers, madison bumgarner, Marco scutaro, matt cain, melky cabrera, nl mvp, nl west, NL West division, pablo sandoval, phillies, Ryan Theriot, ryan vogelsong, san francisco giants, santiago casilla, sergio romo, tim lincecum. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.