The 2013 San Francisco Giants had a weird year coming off their World Championship which saw them go 76-86 and finish fourth in the NL West.
This season will be interesting for the Giants. They are a veteran team with much enough of the core remaining from the World Championship runs that if they were to make a run, it wouldn’t be completely shocking. At the same time, I look at this Giants roster and I just don’t get excited. That’s not different from how I felt writing the 2010 and 2012 season previews for the Giants.
Really, the Giants play a certain style of game out in that big park by the bay. It’s a slow paced game most nights. There are a lot of ugly wins. The Giants have built a quality organization of which the main cornerstones remain in-tact. They will be competitive, but they have a few blemishes we see that will keep them from making a serious run in 2014.
Major Off-season Moves:
Signed Tim Hudson to a 2-year, $23 million dollar contract
Signed Mike Morse to a 1-year, $6 million dollar contract
Signed Tyler Colvin
Signed Hunter Pence to a 5-year, $90 million dollar contract extension
Signed Tim Lincecum to a 2-year, $35 million dollar contract extension
Signed Javier Lopez to a 3-year, $13 million dollar extension
There’s nothing that overwhelms me here. I like Mike Morse more than a lot of the new-age sabermetrics crowd. But you have to wonder what kind of team the Giants were trying to scrape together here. Defense? Keep the core together? I look at the amount that Lincecum and Hudson signed for, and I say to myself the Giants could have landed a top-tier arm for this amount. At the end of the day, it’s kind of cool that Big-Time Timmy Jim is staying put in San Francisco. He’s an icon there, and the contract kind of signifies that the Giants got sentimental on us.
Click through the jump to learn the fates and facts of the 2014 Gigantes.
I loved how the Reds treated that big pitcher’s park in San Francisco like it was a little league homer park last night. The Reds got home runs from Shin-soo Choo, Devin Mesoraco, and Jay Bruce to pad an 11-0 win over the Giants, sending Tim Lincecum to the showers after 3 and 2/3 innings and getting into the Giants bullpen early the day before a doubleheader. It’s keys like that which should win you a series in baseball; and winning a series to start a West Coast trip is no small order.
Shane Robinson added three hits, and Todd Frazier had two including a bases clearing double in the first inning that put the Reds up 3-0. Robinson also made a terrific catch.
The Reds again find themselves with a chance to get things rolling – they’ve won three of four games since play resumed after the All-Star Break and are within 4 and 1/2 games of the Cardinals in the NL Central. But the 2013 Reds MO has been one of teasing so far. They win one, and then they come out flat. They look like they’re really going to get rolling and then they fail to keep their fans excited and momentum rolling. They haven’t had a true run this season where you could say they’re completely ‘hot’ to this point.
It would be just like the Reds after a big win last night in which they were firing on all cylinders (Bronson Arroyo threw a complete game shutout, so the pitching staff is rested coming into today) to come out and either split today after blowing a lead or somehow lose both.
IF the Reds can manage two wins today in two ballgames, that’s a big deal. Some of the great Reds teams of the past (1999 Reds, 2010 Reds) went into San Francisco and made it a rallying point of their West Coast trip. Today is a huge day in the constant pendulum swing that is the 2013 Cincinnati Reds season.
The San Francisco Giants caught lightning in a bottle for the second time in three years last season in winning the World Series. They parlayed a ragamuffin lineup and a makeshift pitching staff with a couple aging former stars into a title. They’ve been spoiled. There were about a four other teams last year that entered the postseason looking better on paper than the Giants.
And I’ll admit, I’ve got a little bit of a sore spot because they took the title that should have belonged to my Cincinnati Reds. At least, the NL title should have belonged to Cincinnati. We had them down two games to zero and heading back to Cincinnati for three. And then it all fell apart. Or it all came together if you’re looking at it from the San Francisco viewpoint.
They had a quiet, Giants-like offseason. They’ll be there all season long, pesky and ready to slip in and steal another title that should belong to another team and another fan base.
Major offseason moves:
Re-signed Angel Pagan to a 4-year, $40 million dollar contract
Re-signed Marco Scutaro to a 3-year, $20 million dollar contract
Re-signed Santiago Casilla to a 3-year, $15 million dollar contract
Re-signed Jeremy Affeldt to a 3-year, $18 million dollar contract
Really, the Giants offseason consisted of retention of the key components of their title run in 2012. There are few teams in baseball that underwent less change than the Giants this past offseason. This roster of familiar faces will remain competitive but will fail to capture another championship in 2013. No one can be that lucky.
I figure today since he’s going against my favorite team, he’s good for 8 innings, 12 K’s and of course the ‘W’ which is an ever overrated stat.
The Reds have been frustrating lately, hovering at 1 to 2 games over .500 for a few weeks now. It’s OK fellas, you can start winning anytime you’re ready. Leake vs. Lincecum in the Bay pretty much lets you know how this one is going to go; you don’t have to be Jimmy the Greek to predict the result of this titanic struggle.
Jason Heyward had a big, big weekend. After a day on Saturday in which he went 2 for 3 with two walks with Tim Lincecum on the bump, he had a big hand in getting the Braves the sweep on the road in San Francisco. Heyward hit a bomb that was well over 450 feet to give the Braves a 5-2 lead. He hit this off Jeremy Affeldt, a tough lefthander.
The Giants didn’t go down without a fight, scoring three runs in the bottom of the 7th inning to take a 6-5 lead. Like clockwork, Dan Uggla hit his 5th home run of the year to tie the game at 6-6 in the top of the 8th. The Braves waited out the Giants for a few more innings and in the top of the 10th inning they picked up three runs–two of the runs plated coming on a Nate Mclouth single.
The more I think about it, I see Jason Heyward as the next 50 home run guy in baseball. I know some might think I’m getting ahead of myself in saying that, but I think it’s coming. I think he’ll find his way to about 35 this season, and next year or the year after he’ll hit over 50 home runs.
Leading up to the start of the 2011 Regular Season, Diamond Hoggers will preview each of MLB’s 30 teams. Today’s preview features the San Francisco Giants. Stay tuned as Diamond Hoggers previews every team division by division until the start of the regular season. Continue reading →
We’re toying with some new formatting for our daily link dump. No guarantee that we stick with this, but seeing how it plays out as we head into a new season. But as standard with all ‘throwing it around’ posts on Diamond Hoggers, here were a few of the more interesting reads that we got to around the net today. After the jump that is. Continue reading →