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San Francisco Giants State Of The Union For 2016

With the club pretty much being set for players all around the Infield and Outfield, and now the Starting Staff, the Giants look poised to make another run at a World Series run for an even year this decade. 2016 will see several of its Bullpen members on the last year of their contracts.

With the club pretty much being set for players all around the Infield and Outfield, and now the Starting Staff, the Giants look poised to make another run at a World Series run for an even year this decade. 2016 will see several of its Bullpen members on the last year of their contracts.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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The only real need to upgrade could be at the Outfield level, with either a CF/LF.    Angel Pagan is also in the last year of his deal, so maybe signing a guy to man the position beyond this coming year would be an option.

The Starting Rotation will be a lot stronger in 2016 with the additions of Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija

You can say what you want about Cueto’s time in Kansas City not being as effective., but he has played most of his career in Cincinnati – and pitched extremely well at Great American Ball Park.

Funny enough his best years have also come in even years with finishing 4th in NL Cy Young Voting in 2012, and 2nd   in 2014, when he led the NL in Innings Pitched with 249.2 – and Strikeouts with 241 for the Reds.

Samardzija still has great stuff, and as a #3 Starter, you could see him bouncing back with a nice year in San Francisco.

Brandon Crawford also saw his offensive game around, with nailing 21 HRs and 84 RBI last year. His HRs led he NL, and his RBI, SLG and OPS all led the Majors (since Carlos Correa didn't qualify for the averages lead because of a June call up). The 5 year veteran capped off his season with a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger Award and signed a 6 YRs/$75 MIL extension.

Brandon Crawford also saw his offensive game around in 2015, with nailing 21 HRs and 84 RBI last year. His HRs led he NL, and his RBI, SLG and OPS all led the Majors (since Carlos Correa didn’t qualify for the averages lead because of a June call up). The 5 year veteran capped off his season with a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger Award and signed a 6 YRs/$75 MIL extension.

Pushing back Matt Cain to a #4 role, and having Jake Peavy and Chris Heston as the #5 and #6 guys completely bodes well for the Staff in 2016.

Madison Bumgarner is one of the three aces in the Division – with Clayton Kershaw holding the post for the LA Dodgers, and Zack Greinke now holding down the fort as the D’Backs main guy. 

That leaves Cueto and Samardzija with distinct advantages over the clubs #2 and #3 Pitchers.  This should mean a great record within the Division.

Speaking of the NL West, I believe the top 3 clubs will absolutely speedbag the Rockies and Padres all year long. Those clubs will probably trade away any Veteran or anyone not nailed down, and approach the 100 loss barrier each.

The Giants also have the best lineup 1 – 8 out of those 3 top clubs. 

There may not be a guy who hits 30+ HRs, or drives in 100 runs, but Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, Joe Panik. Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt and Angel Pagan all bring decent numbers to the party, with Matt Duffy also giving the club a decent season – taking over for the departed Pablo Sandoval.

San Francisco finished 1st in NL Batting Average and On Base Percentage in 2015, and was 4th in Slugging as well.  This is an extremely well balanced offense and a Veteran laden pitching staff that will secure wins.

Joe Panik and Matt Duffy have really stabilized the Infield in the last few years with youth after Marco Scutaro couldn’t keep healthy after his 2012 Post season run, and Sandoval having left after the 2014 Championship.

If you buy the theory that San Francisco will move Posey to First Base within a few years, than that would make Duffy, Crawford, Panik and Posey all being under team control until at least the 2021 season’s end.

Here is a major thought.  If Baltimore is out of contention to trade for Matt Wieters.  Between he and Posey they could manage at First Base and Backstopper, and this would free up Brandon Belt for LF duties.

The only lineup that may present a weakness is when Posey plays First Base and kicks Brandon Belt to LF, and then Andrew Susac or another backup Catcher has to hit.

Buster Posey just continues to be a masterful hitter at the Catchers position. A lifetime 3 slash of .310/.375/.484 and 3 Silver Sluggers out of the last 4 seasons. He also has appeared in at least 147 Games over the last four campaigns. How long will San Francisco have him as a Backstopper. There is no doubt the club presents its best chance to win when he is behind the plate, with Belt at 1B and a Left Fielder that has better numbers than what the Backup Catcher has had in San Francisco.

Buster Posey just continues to be a masterful hitter at the Catchers position. A lifetime 3 slash of .310/.375/.484 and 3 Silver Sluggers out of the last 4 seasons. He also has appeared in at least 147 Games over the last four campaigns. How long will San Francisco have him as a Backstopper? There is no doubt the club presents its best chance to win when he is behind the plate, with Belt at 1B and a Left Fielder that has better numbers than what the Backup Catcher has had in San Francisco.

Injuries played a massive factor in the team missing the 2015 playoffs.  Matt Cain and Hunter Pence both saw way too much time on the injury shelf.  

Tim Lincecum and Tim Hudson also saw time in the sick bay.  In all, the Giants had 14 players on the Disabled List, losing 961 Days and over $47.1 Mil of the payroll.

Hunter Pence being out for 112 Games of the year was probably the biggest loss the team suffered. This guy has been injury free for his career, having played no fewer than 154 contests each campaign since he became a full time player in 2009. You can count on Pence for 25+ HRs, around 90 RBI, 100 Runs scored and great defense out in RF. Pence will turn 33 in the 1st month of the season.

Hunter Pence being out for 112 Games of the year was probably the biggest loss the team suffered. This guy has been injury free for his career, having played no fewer than 154 contests each campaign since he became a full time player in 2009. You can count on Pence for 25+ HRs, around 90 RBI, 100 Runs scored and great defense out in RF. Pence will turn 33 in the 1st month of the season.

Angel Pagan has been a quality Centerfielder for the Giants during his tenure with them but one has to wonder if he has really begun to hit a wall at 34 years old?  He has missed 186 contests over the last 3 years.

Baseball Reference projects him to have just a .684 OPS in the coming year.  This can be withstood if the rest of the club remains healthy.

The team may be tempted to bring in another Outfielder that could play all 3 positions beyond the grass.  I present Austin Jackson and Will Venable as viable candidates to bring in as Free Agents.  Although they may be better off to do a midseason deal.

Perhaps a Jon Jay, Josh Reddick or Carlos Gomez might be available half way through the season to fill the role.  Sabean how shown a pedigree for making a nice deal near the Deadline whenever the club has been in contention over the last several years.

Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy know how to manipulate the rosters.  This team may continue to add a little bit here or there as the year wanes on.

The top 5 Bullpen guys all had ERA’s under 3 (Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo, Hunter Strickland, George Kontos and Javier Lopez.  The rest of the Relief Core has left the nest.  Guys like Jean Machi, Yusmeiro Petit and Jeremy Affeldt are no longer part of the Bullpen.

Josh Osich also looked great in his 35 games for the club out of his 28.2 IP. 

If fully healthy, the club could use Heston as the swingman, this team really just became stronger.

If Sabean were to add another Reliever to the mix, why not at least try to re-sign Lincecum for the role?  He was a major part of the 2012 Giants World Series run with his work from the Bullpen.

In fact, he only has given up 1 ER in 11.2 Innings for his post season career as a Reliever.  It takes two sides to negotiate this one though.  Lincecum may still feel he can Start in the Majors.

Bumgarner has thrown for over 200 Innings in the last 5 years, and has also seen his ERA under 3 for the last 3 campaigns. It is tough to believe the big Lefty will be entering just his age 26 year. He has compiled an 85 - 58 Record through his 1st 7 years, with a nifty 1.111 WHIP and 3.03 ERA. The man has also fanned 1034 batters over the last 5 seasons. The only thing missing from his mantle is a Cy Young Award win, having finished no higher than 4th having to contend with Kershaw, Greinke and Cueto in the last few years..

Bumgarner has thrown for over 200 Innings in the last 5 years, and has also seen his ERA under 3 for the last 3 campaigns. It is tough to believe the big Lefty will be entering just his age 26 year. He has compiled an 85 – 58 Record through his 1st 7 years, with a nifty 1.111 WHIP and 3.03 ERA. The man has also fanned 1034 batters over the last 5 seasons. The only thing missing from his mantle is a Cy Young Award win, having finished no higher than 4th having to contend with Kershaw, Greinke and Cueto in the last few years..

Cueto should see his arsenal of pitches work out well in San Francisco.  It was still a big risk to ink the guy to a 6 years contract.  There is no doubt he will help the Giants out.

These 3 guys should really take the pressure off what is already a great Bullpen.  Even with the Dodgers signing Scott Kazmir, they have way too many injury prone pitchers, and with 5 Lefties in the rotation seems kind of weird.

Oddsmakers will still have the Giants favored to win the Division today.  They should eclipse the 90 win mark and should have a chance to keep their even year magic going for one more playoff run next campaign.

Jeff Samardzija was tipping his pitches in US Cellular, and was getting lit up like a Christmas Tree for it. The Shark figured it out at the end. He through a one hit complete game shoutout - where he never walked a guy in his second to last start, and then lugged a quality start effort to end the year out. Samardzija is another guy who has a consecutive streak of 200+ Innings pitched. Mad Bum is at 5 years straight an Cueto is at 2 years. These three guys will really take the pressure of he Bullpen in games.year.

Jeff Samardzija was tipping his pitches last season, and was getting lit up like a Christmas Tree for it. The Shark figured it out at the end. He through a one hit complete game shoutout – where he never walked a guy in his second to last start, and then lugged a quality start effort to end the year out. Samardzija is another guy who has a consecutive streak of 200+ Innings pitched. Mad Bum is at 5 years straight and Cueto is at 2 years. These three guys will really take the pressure of the Bullpen in games this coming year.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A Big thanks goes out to our chief writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post.

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Posted on December 31, 2015, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on San Francisco Giants State Of The Union For 2016.

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