Giants’ Brian Sabean Has Options As Trade Deadline Looms
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Saturday, July.27, 2013
By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner) Follow @aecanada12
The defending World Series Champions San Francisco Giants are struggling this season and with the trade dealing approaching fast will they become buyers or sellers.
The good news for them is that they play in a very weak National League West Division. The current leader in the division, Los Angeles Dodgers a couple of weeks ago was 9 ½ games out of first, and now they are in first place.
Tim Lincecum 2010 Highlights – Parental Guidance Is Advised
The season is not lost for the Giants, but they need to start playing better baseball if they hope to defend their title. They are currently 10 games under .500 and eight games out of first place in the division.
Some of the issues that have plagued their season up to this point is with offense and their pitching. San Fran has the third-best average in the National League at .263, but the problem is that they have only scored 396 runs, which is only good for 10th overall in the NL.
They have players on their club that can be run producers, but it seems like everyone not named Buster Posey is having problems helping out the offense.
The other issue which is a cause for concern is the pitching, specifically the starting rotation. Their rotation is dead last in the NL with an ERA of 4.75 and they have allowed the most runs as well with teams scoring 332 runs against them.
This is a surprise considering that Giants have for the past couple of seasons were a team that had great starting pitching. They only have two starters in Chad Gaudin and Madison Bumgarner that each has an ERA under three.
The pitcher that was expected to anchor the rotation this season Matt Cain is having a season he would like to forget. He has thrown 124 innings and has surrendered 16 HRs to go along with a 4.79 ERA.
The opposition does not have a good batting average against with teams only hitting .225 against him, and right-handers just managing a .234 average.
He needs to work on being more effective with runners in scoring, as indicated by the opposition having a .261 average in this situation.
He looks good for a couple of starts and then reverts back to his performance from the beginning of the season. Cain is obviously a better pitcher than the numbers indicate, but he needs to figure out what’s wrong to pitch with more consistency.
Another pitcher that the San Francisco needs to perform better is Tim Lincecum, or as fans by the bay knows him by his moniker the “Freak”. He did throw a no-hitter two weeks ago against the San Diego Padres in which it took him 148 pitches to accomplish this.
That was great but in the next start following this, he got knocked around by the Cincinnati Reds where he gave up eight runs in less than four innings pitched.
We can’t expect him to not give up any hits each time he pitches because that would be unrealistic. There should be some middle ground where he can provide the Giants with an opportunity to win.
One reason for his struggles the past two seasons has to do with the diminished velocity from his fastball. The drop in velocity has also led to a lower strike out rate for him. He went from averaging 10.5 SO/9 in 2008 to 9.5 this season.
The decrease in one strike out may not seem like much, but his success as a starting pitcher depends on him being able to put the opposition away with a punch out.
Another option for the Giants is to use Lincecum as reliever. Giants Manager Bruce Bochy did this in the postseason last year and it worked out very well. He threw 4.2 innings in the World Series without giving up a run.
He is still a quality starting pitcher, but you have to wonder how long San Francisco will continue to have him pitch every five days if he still struggles.
The Giants do have to make a decision with the trade deadline only a couple of days away. They can either add some pieces in the hope that they make a strong push for the playoffs or sell off some pieces that can help out the club next season.
One player that most teams would love to have is the player that was just mentioned. He will be a free-agent at the end of the season, and it’s unknown if the Giants will resign him.
There are a couple of contending teams that need bullpen help, and Lincecum would be a great fit for them.
The Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers are two teams that need bullpen help, but would they be willing to pay the price to acquire him. The other question is does Timmy want to pitch out of the bullpen?
Another player that will be a free-agent at season’s end is outfielder Hunter Pence. Pence is having a solid season with a .277 average to go along with 14 HRs and 51 RBIs and 14 stolen bases.
There are also teams that need outfield help as well, and Pence would be a great addition to any contender with how he plays the game of baseball.
The price to acquire him would be high, and also would the Giants want to trade away one of their better offensive players.
Well it’s safe to say that Giants General Manager Brian Sabean has options and will weigh the negative and positives before deciding to pull the trigger on any deal.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***
A big thank-you goes out to our ”Lead Baseball Columnist and Minority Website Owner” Chris Lacey. Chris has been a fan of watching baseball since the age of 13. Now he does like all sports – but his favorites after baseball are hockey and basketball.
Chris is very good with computers and is a college graduate.
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Posted on July 27, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2012 world series, @aecanada12 on twitter, boston red sox, brian sabean, bruce bochy, buster posey, chad gaudin, cincinnati reds, detroit tigers, hunter pence, los angeles dodgers, madison bumgarner, matt cain, NL West division, san diego padres, san francisco giants, tim lincecum. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.