Look, we all know how the 2010 baseball season ended. The less that is said about it, the better. On to 2011. Here is the first of four offseason reviews, one for each team in the division. We start with the San Francisco Giants.
|San Francisco Giants|
||World Series champs|
|2011 at Dodger Stadium:
||Mar 31-Apr 3, May 18-19, Sep 20-22
|2011 Dodgers at SF:||Apr 11-13, Jul 18-20, Sep 9-11|
|SB Nation blog:||McCovey Chronicles|
1) How good is the Giants' pitching staff?
Very good, as in not quite Phillies good (though ask the Giants, and they will happily point to the postseason scoreboard in that regard, against both the Phillies in the NLCS and Cliff Lee in the World Series), but at or near the top of the league. The Giants boast a top four in their starting rotation all on the right side of 30, and it's hard to find a better lead to the rotation than Tim Lincecum. Don't forget the bullpen either; over the final 31 games of last season, the Giants gave up a total of 64 runs, just 2.06 runs per game.
2) Will the Giants' starting pitchers stay healthy this year?
The pitching staff was healthy last year, with four pitchers getting 33 starts each, and 20-year old Madison Bumgarner started 18 games with the Giants after 14 starts at Triple A Fresno. Can they get 150 starts out of their top five starters again in 2011? A fun note: the Giants had 95 quality starts last season; while collectively older, the quintet of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly, and Jon Garland combined for 103 quality starts in 2010.
3) Was Pat Burrell the signing of the offseason?
Manny Ramirez seems like he can do some damage for Tampa Bay, especially at designated hitter, for $2 million, which probably makes him the favorite, but Burrell's one year, $1 million deal looks like it could be a steal. Burrell flamed out spectacularly in Tampa Bay in 2009 and the beginning of 2010, but hit 18 home runs in 96 games for the Giants after they scooped him off the scrap heap. During that same span, for reference, Matt Kemp hit 17 home runs and Andre Ethier hit 12 for the Dodgers. Burrell has put up these wOBAs during his last five seasons in the National League: .384, .381, .391, .374, and .371.
4) Is the Panda an endangered species?
Pablo Sandoval burst onto the scene in 2009, hitting .330/.387/.556 with 25 home runs, a lovable (well as lovable as any Giant can be, of course) free-swinging hitting machine. Last year, he slumped to 13 home runs, hitting .268/.323/.409. Part of the slump was BABIP driven, as his batting average on balls in play fell from .350 to .291. The 2011 Bill James Handbook projects Sandoval to hit .308/.363/.492 in 2011, which would give the Giants a solid middle of the order hitter.
5) If Brian Wilson wasn't a dirty Giant, we would really like him, right?
|Giants Contracts Signed This Winter|
|Pos||Player||Type||Total Contract||2011 Salary|
|1B||Aubrey Huff||FA||2 years, $22 million (+ option)||$10,000,000|
|SS||Miguel Tejada||FA||1 year, $6.5 million||$6,500,000|
|OF||Pat Burrell||FA||1 year, $1 million||$1,000,000|
|OF||Cody Ross||Arb||1 year, $6.3 million||$6,300,000|
|SP||Jonathan Sanchez||Arb||1 year, $3.7 million||$3,700,000|
|RP||Javier Lopez||Arb||1 year, $2.375 million||$2,375,000|
|OF||Andres Torres||Arb||1 year, $2.2 million||$2,200,000|
|RP||Ramon Ramirez||Arb||1 year, $1.65 million||$1,650,000|
|RP||Santiago Casilla||Arb||1 year, $1.3 million||$1,300,000|
|2B/SS||Mike Fontenot||Arb||1 year, $1.05 million||$1,050,000|
The Giants also re-signed Guillermo Mota, who logged 54 innings for them last season, to a minor-league contract. Among the other non-roster invitees for the Giants are Jeff Suppan, who signed a minor league deal that will pay him $1 million in the majors.
Here are players who ended the season on the Giants' 40-man roster who are no longer around.
|Giants Free Agents Lost|
|OF||Jose Guillen||still out there|
|*Minor league deal|
The main loss here was Uribe, now a Dodger, who started 96 games at shortstop, 22 games at second base, and 21 games at third base for San Francisco last season.
Here's my guess as to the Giants' 25-man roster, give or take a few bench players and/or relievers:
|2011 Giants Under Contract|
|Pos||Player||2011 Age*||2011 Salary|
|C||Buster Posey||24||team control|
|3B||Pablo Sandoval||24||team control|
|OF||Nate Schierholtz||27||team control|
|1B||Travis Ishikawa||27||team control|
|C||Eli Whiteside||31||team control|
|SP||Madison Bumgarner||21||team control|
|RHP||Sergio Romo||28||team control|
|Totals (18 players)
|*Age as of June 30, 2011|