What Happened To The Champs?
So far after 35 games this season the San Francisco Giants sit 2nd in the division at 19-16, 0.5 GB of the leading Colorado Rockies. The only thing keeping them in the hunt is the recent poor play of the Rockies. Last year at this time they were leading the division with a neat and tidy 16-10 record. The only reason they are second though is because of how bad the other teams in the division are. The LA Dodgers sit behind the Giants, for now. With all the off field drama distracting the team from baseball, the Dodgers will be lucky to finish with a .500 team this year. Then there is Arizona at 15-19, who are capable of being an above .500 team. And taking up last place in the division, last in the NL and 2nd last in the league (just ahead of the Twin's and Astro's) sits the San Diego Padres, and the only thing that can save them is a miracle. Now remember this San Fran team is virtually unchanged from the team that won it all, they have successfully retained just about everyone but SS Edgar Renteria (who was the WS MVP).
So whats the problem? Well most fans would be quick to point out the injuries the Giants have sustained. While that may be part of the issue, it's a hard case to make with these 2011 Giants. To date the only pitchers on the 15 day DL are: Santiago Casilla (Inflamed right elbow) and Barry Zito (Right mid-foot sprain) both due back in mid to late May and the hitters: Mark DeRosa (3B) (Inflammation in left wrist) Placed on DL on April 27. was hitting .333 in 11 games before being injured has unknown return date. Andres Torres, (CF) due back early may (Strained left Achilles tendon) and the biggest cause for concern is Pablo Sandoval,(3B/1B) Due back in June (Broken hamate bone in right hand), and arguably the best hitter on the team was hitting .313 with 5 homers and 14 RBI's before getting injured. So lets look at the numbers and see if these guys really impact the line up enough to hurt the Giants.
On the offensive side, we already know that "Panda" being out is going to hurt. The young star has lost a considerable amount of weight, starting to play good defence and was swinging a hot stick. As mentioned above was hitting .313 (leading the team), with 5 homers, which lead the team and 14 RBI's (3rd on the team) in 24 games. So obviously him being out will slow the team down, but what about DeRosa and Torres. Torres, in his first 8 games of this season, he was hitting .286 with 0 HR, 0 RBI and 7 SO. I'll admit 8 games is no indication of how much he means to the team. In 2010, Andres hit .268 with,16 HR, 63 RBI with a 128 SO in 139 games. But where the Giants really miss him is in CF. He is flawless in the OF especially in CF. In 285 career games Torres has only made 3 errors, and never more than one a season, do the math and that's a career field percentage of .995%. As for DeRosa, well, he's supposed to make an impact. Last year he only played 26 games hitting .194 1 HR and 10 RBI and going back onto the DL for a recurring injury does not help (a torn tendon sheath). According to some sources the surgery he had before signing with the Giants was a complete failure. But there is some good news for the Giants. In the two season's before he was injured .268, with 44 HR and 165 RBI.Continued on the next page