Saturday, February 16, 2008

San Francisco Giants Preview

2007 Season Finish: 71-91, Last Place in NL West

Key Acquisitions: Aaron Rowand
Key Losses: Barry Bonds, Pedro Feliz, Ryan Klesko

Probable Opening Day Lineup
1) Dave Roberts- LF
2) Kevin Frandsen- 3B
3) Randy Winn- RF
4) Bengie Molina- C
5) Aaron Rowand- CF
6) Ray Durham- 2B
7) Dan Ortmeier- 1B
8) Omar Vizquel- SS
9) Pitcher

Lineup Grade: F....You will very seldom see me give out a failing grade in these previews, but the fact is, this is probably the worst lineup in all of baseball. The Barry Bonds show is gone and so is any resemblance of power in this lineup. It's a pretty disgusting mix of babies and dinosaurs. The best hitter on the Giants is Aaron Rowand by a landslide. This guy was the 5th or 6th best hitter on Philadelphia last year. Rowand should have a solid season, but he's really the only bright spot. Winn is the best of a bunch of worn down vets that include Durham, Vizquel, Molina, and Roberts and the other members of the lineup have no more than 2 years of Major League experience. I can't even talk about this anymore, it makes me sick.

Probable Rotation
1) Matt Cain
2) Barry Zito
3) Tim Lincecum
4) Noah Lowry
5) Kevin Correia
Closer) Brian Wilson

Rotation Grade: B...It's a good thing this rotation is solid, because otherwise there'd really be no reason for anyone to go to AT&T Park. Zito was massively overpaid last year and the Giants are already regretting their investment in him. He can still pitch at a mediocre rate, so right now it's not a total waste, but two years from now this is going to start looking like the Rockies signing of Mike Hampton a couple of years ago. Cain ran into some tough luck in the first half of last year starting 2-9, but put together a nice run after the all-star break and finished at 7-16 (still good for the second most losses in the NL). He still didn't get any run support, but he was able to shut down opposing offenses enough to where he could pull out close wins. It appears that he will be able to carry some momentum in 2008 and he'll need to for the Giants to not embarrass themselves. We can't forget about young Timmy Lincecum. One of the most hyped pitching prospects in baseball last year had an up and down 2007. The kid looks no older than 18, but he showed maturity in many games and it's evident that he has a nasty array of pitches in his arsenal. If he can control his wicked fastball, he could be in for a breakout year.

2008 Season Outlook
Not only will the Giants most likely finish in the cellar of the National League West Division, they should contend for one of the worst records in baseball. Management in San Francisco left the cupboard completely bare and it looks like this team is going to suck large amounts of nuts for the next couple of years. Without Barry Bonds home run chase, there's really no reason to watch this team at all. The above average pitching staff should be able to carry this team to many wins, but without any legit hitters, it's going to be a long season by the bay.
Predicted Finish: 62-100, Last Place in NL West

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