Cactus League Spring Training Preview: San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants are no longer the hunted. A year removed from their World Series Championship and subsequent feature on HBO’s The Franchise, the Giants are flying a bit under the radar.

Last year was a mess of a season where the Giants held first place for much of the season, only to cough up the lead to the D’Backs down the stretch. Perhaps it was that hideous Brian Wilson beard, or his terrible Taco Bell, ESPN and PlayStation commercials. Maybe it was their appearance on the afore mentioned HBO show. It could have been the nightmare injury that occurred to Buster Posey. All of these could have played a factor, but at the end of the day, the problem was, the Giants couldn’t hit.

They lost tons of games 1-0, 2-1, 2-0, etc., so you can’t fault the pitching. Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelson and Madison Bumgarner did their parts. Wilson was ok, but nowhere near his 2010 dominance. Sergio Romo is a basket of nastiness. Expect the trend to continue.

So what did the Giants do about the offense? Essentially they cleaned house. Bye bye Beltran. C-ya C. Ross. Burrell, DeRosa, Keppinger, Torres, all gone.

Newbies Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera will provide much needed speed. The Milk Man (Cabrera) will give them some pop. Buster Posey will be back. Pablo Sandoval, aka Kung Fu Panda is the man. I like Brandon Belt a lot more than Aubrey Huff. Freddy Sanchez is okay at best and after that there looks to be a big drop off. So, it looks like the lack of offense trend will continue, too.

Expect much of the same as 2011. Dominant pitching. Spotty hitting. 2nd place in the NL West. The good news? Scottsdale Stadium is the best place to watch a Spring Training game. And I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance.

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