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Giants’ Brian Sabean Has Options As Trade Deadline Looms

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Saturday, July.27, 2013

Tim Lincecum is not having the best season pitching for the Giants. However he did throw a no-hitter a couple of weeks ago against the San Diego Padres. The next start that followed he got hit hard. He has a 4.77 ERA in in 120 innings pitched while giving up 13 HRs and striking out 127 batters. The strike out number looks good, but having a WHIP of 1.37 does not. The opposition has a .253 batting average against him this season, with right-handers hitting .262. The opposing teams love to hit with runners in scoring position facing him, as they a .297 average in this situation.

Tim Lincecum is not having the best season pitching for the Giants. However he did throw a no-hitter a couple of weeks ago against the San Diego Padres. The next start that followed he got hit hard. He has a 4.73 ERA in 120 innings pitched while giving up 13 HRs and striking out 127 batters. The strike out number looks good, but having a WHIP of 1.37 does not. The opposition has a .253 batting average against him this season, with right-handers hitting .262. The opposing teams love to hit with runners in scoring position facing him, as they a .297 average in this situation. That average increases up to .302 with runners in scoring position and two outs. The Giants could use him as a reliever, if his struggles continue this season.

By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner)

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

 

Matt Cain is struggling this season to say the least. He has games where he can be most dominant pitcher in baseball, then other games where he struggles to make it through five innings. He has a 4.79 ERA in 124 innings pitched while giving up 16 HRs. He is holding opposing batters to just a .225 average, with right-handers just managing to hit .234. If he can pitch as he has in the past, the Giants have a chance of making the postseason.

Matt Cain is struggling this season to say the least. He has games where he can be most dominant pitcher in baseball, then other games where he struggles to make it through five innings. He has a 4.79 ERA in 124 innings pitched while giving up 16 HRs. He is holding opposing batters to just a .225 average, with right-handers just managing to hit .234. If he can pitch as he has in the past, the Giants have a chance of making the postseason.

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.

Hunter Pence is having a solid season on offense for the Giants with a .277/.319/.777 triple-slash in 440 at-bats along with 14 HRs and 51 RBIs. He has also swiped 14 bases and has yet to be thrown out. He does a good job of handling right-handed pitchers with a .261 average. He crushed southpaws with a .327 average in 98 at-bats. He is decent with runners in scoring position, as indicated by his .250 average and an OPS of .735.  He improves slightly with runners in scoring position and two outs with a .269 average and a .845 OPS.

Hunter Pence is having a solid season on offense for the Giants with a .277/.319/.777 triple-slash in 440 at-bats along with 14 HRs and 51 RBIs. He has also swiped 14 bases and has yet to be thrown out. He does a good job of handling right-handed pitchers with a .261 average. He crushes southpaws with a .327 average in 98 at-bats. He is decent with runners in scoring position, as indicated by his .250 average and an OPS of .735. He improves slightly with runners in scoring position and two outs with a .269 average and a .845 OPS. He also plays great defense in the outfield.

*** 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.  

Chris is very active on Twitter and especially during the baseball season chatting with other Diamondbacks fans. Be sure to follow him and talk about the great game of baseball. Chris is addicted to writing baseball. 

Check out his work for rantsports.com here, for baseballhotcorner.com here, for venom strikes here and if you can believe it – fanrag.com here

a  chris lacey 2

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About aelacey

I blog about baseball for various websites including RantSports, venom Strikes, & MLBReports.

Posted on July 27, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Giants’ Brian Sabean Has Options As Trade Deadline Looms.

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