Monday, November 1, 2010

Quick Hits on the San Francisco Giants

1. World Series Champs. Boom. They'll take a ton of confidence into 2011 to do it again.

2. If they are to compete to repeat in 2011, their pitching staff will anchor their success. That was the case throughout the regular season, and throughout the playoffs. Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain will be the 1-2 punch for the team. Madison Bumgarner continues to grow, with a sharp World Series performance under his belt. He's only 21, but the team has a world of belief that he'll be around for a long time. Jonathan Sanchez, put on the backburner because of a mediocre World Series performance, will hopefully continue to grow. He needs to work on his command, avoiding games of 5+ walks. He has nasty stuff to get strikeouts every night. Finally, Barry Zito, San Francisco's $126 million dollar man, will be back. They obviously cannot trade him. They would like to get confidence instilled in him again, take pressure off him to be a main component, and let him quietly do his work.

3. Which Giants "misfits" will return? Cody Ross, Pat Burrell and Jose Guillen all are question marks. In my opinion, bring back Ross, and leave the other two. Burrell's atrocious World Series performance (see 0-13, 11 Ks), may lead the team to believe he's running out of gas. They may not want to risk that happening again late in 2011. An outfield of Cody Ross, Andres Torres and Aaron Rowand/Nate Schierholtz is forseeable. Perhaps Travis Ishikawa will start at first and Aubrey Huff will see time in the outfield. Its safe to assume Uribe and Freddy Sanchez will anchor the middle of the infield. Pablo Sandoval may get another shot to reclaim his shot at 3B. World Series MVP Edgar Rentaria hinted at both retiring and not retiring, leaving all sorts of uncertainty with him in 2011. Buster Posey will, of course, start at catcher. Eli Whiteside may depart in search of more full-time duties. Free agency is certainly unpredictable, there is no saying what sort of misfits or strong players may join the club.

4. Brian Wilson will again be the man in the Giants' bullpen. I forsee most of those guys returning. Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt are critical lefties in relief. Sergio Romo has a bright future, as do Santiago Casilla and Ramon Ramirez. Guillermo Mota is a question mark.

5. Pitchers and catchers report in 13 weeks!

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