The San Francisco Giants are back in Arizona for spring training, so I guess it’s time to start blogging about Giants baseball.
The 2018 season ended on a sour note, as for the first time since 2008 the Giants didn’t reach the postseason in an even-numbered season.
Their 73-89 final record looks uglier than 2018 season. It is largely a by-product of the late August decision that they would not contend for a postseason berth and threw in the towel after trading away Andrew McCutchen (previous to that move, Buster Posey decided to end his season by having surgery on his hip).
The Giants in 2018 were basically a .500 team all season through August, when they never deviated more than five games over or five games under .500. In September, they went 5-21.
The offseason has been more about departures – or impending departures – than additiions.
Gone are the likes of Gorkys Hernandez, Hunter Pence, Hunter Strickland, Gregor Blanco, Nick Hundley. Hardly all-stars.
Then came the announcement the manager Bruce Bochy would retire after the 2019 season – not terribly surprising as that’s when his contract expires.
So what kind of hand with Bochy be dealt for his final go-around with the Giants?
New team president Farhan Zaidi hasn’t exactly shook the world with moves this winter.
Offseason acquisitions have included ambidextrous reliever Pat Venditte, utility infielder Breyvic Valera, left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz and right-handed relievers Trevor Gott and Jake Barrett. The Giants also re-signed left-handed pitcher Derek Holland.
They’ve also bolstered their roster by signing veterans to minor-league deals. Battling for jobs this spring will be outfielders Cameron Maybin and Gerardo Parra, infielder Donovan Solano and catchers Rene Rivera, Cameron Rupp and Stephen Vogt.
So here is how the battle for the Giants’ Opening Day 25-man roster looks like right now.
LOCKS: LH Madison Bumgarner, RH Dereck Rodriguez, LH Derek Holland
HEALTH QUESTION: RH Jeff Samardzija (shoulder)
IN THE MIX: LH Drew Pomeranz (could start or be in pen), RH Chris Stratton, LH Andrew Suarez
LOCKS: RH Sam Dyson, RH Mark Melancon, RH Reyes Moronta, LH Will Smith, LH Tony Watson.
IN THE MIX: LH/RH Pat Venditte, Stratton, Pomeranz, LH Ty Blach, RH Jake Barrett, RH Ray Black, RH Trevor Gott, RH Jose Lopez
LOCK: Buster Posey
IN THE MIX: Aramis Garcia, Stephen Vogt, Rene Rivera, Cameron Rupp
LOCKS: Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford, Evan Longoria
IN THE MIX: Alen Hanson, Donovan Solano, Pablo Sandoval, Abiatal Avelino, Breyvic Valera
LOCK: Steven Duggar
IN THE MIX: Cameron Maybin, Gerardo Parra, Mac Williamson, Chris Shaw, Austin Slater