MLB: The Giants Are Free Faallinnn’

Back in our NL West preview, we predicted that the San Francisco Giants would contend for an NL Wild Card birth this season. Now, about five weeks into the season, that prediction is looking pretty shabby. Five weeks is a fairly small part of the season, but the Giants are digging themselves a mighty hole out west. They’re 12-23 as of this writing, a full 10 games back of the surprising first place Colorado Rockies, and they’re a horrifying 6-15 on the road.

So what’s causing all of this strife and struggle? Well, ole’ MadBum doing his best Metal Mulisha impression during the season and landing himself on the DL for an extended period of time sure didn’t help matters any. But that’s far from the only issue plaguing the Giants to this point. They’re hitting just .227¬†as a team, and while the Giants weren’t expected to be a team who lived on the long ball, their .340 slugging percentage is the lowest in all of MLB.

Bumgarner isn’t the only key Giants contributor that has found himself on the DL this year either. Denard Span, Brandon Crawford, Mark Melancon and others are either on the disabled list currently, or have spent time there already and the season is still young. All three of the above are expected back fairly soon and that should provide the Giants with a boost, but Span is 33 and in decline and the other outfielders manager Bruce Bochy has been able to employ have been awful. Span’s return is unlikely to do much to boost that group as a whole. Not enough to right the ship, anyway.

But it’s not JUST the injuries or JUST the offensive ineptitude either. The starting rotation, which should be the hallmark of this Giants squad, ranks 28th in MLB with a collective 5.01 ERA. Ouch. For a group that includes Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Cain, that just can’t happen if San Francisco is going to make any sort of run at a rebound.

With all of that being said, can the Giants rebound? Sure, but it doesn’t look promising. Bumgarner will return somewhere around mid-season if all goes well with his rehab, but he’s only one man who plays every five days. From this writer’s point of view, the Giants simply have too many holes to fill, and could be looking at just their second losing season since 2009.

 

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