MLB

10 big, important questions for the Giants

Pagan school picture

1. How good has Angel Pagan been?

The power of the contract year has thus far proven to be VERY strong with the Giants’ new starting left fielder. According to Baseball-Reference, Pagan leads the team in WAR at 0.6. He finished at -1.9 last season.

2. Is Jeff Samardzija on the verge of becoming Jason Schmidt 2.0?

After watching him carve up the Rockies last night, one has to wonder whether Samardzija’s first start was merely average simply because he struggles in Milwaukee. I loved this passage from Alex Pavlovic’s game story:

“You throw a 96 mph cutter?” a reporter asked.

“Yeah,” Samardzija replied, smiling.

Surrendering two runs and six hits over eight innings at Coors is a pretty good sign that Samardzija is ready to put his disastrous 2015 behind him.

3. When are the Giants going to trade Andrew Susac?

Trevor Brown hit his second and third homers of the season last night, and afterward Bruce Bochy made it clear that Brown wasn’t handed a spot on the roster due to Susac’s injury situation.

“It came in as a competitive situation, but the way Brownie played this spring, he earned this,” Bochy said. “The best thing we thought, early on, was to get Andrew a chance to play. That was a pretty easy call, to be honest.

“This kid earned this spot on the club. He’s here to handle the staff, and the hitting is the icing on the cake.”

So it doesn’t sound like Susac, who has struggled with various ailments for a year-plus, is going to swoop in and take Brown’s job anytime soon simply because he was a second round draft pick and showed some promise in 2014. And with Brandon Belt signing a long-term extension, the only way Buster Posey is moving to another position is if Belt transitions to left field. Susac’s best hope for major league playing time now is either an injury to Posey or Brown, or a trade to a team that’s thin at catcher. If Susac plays well in Sacramento (he’s currently hitting .154 through four games) and the Giants need something at the deadline, they’d have to be more willing to part with Susac than someone like Christian Arroyo.

4. When will Hunter Strickland become the closer?

You know it’s coming. It’s not like Santiago Casilla has been awful, but he blew a save on Saturday (thanks in part to Kelby Tomlinson bobbling Adrian Gonzalez’s tailor-made double-play grounder). This is more about Strickland, however. He doesn’t have major league closing experience, but (1) he’s 27, so he’s not a kid, (2) he has closing experience in the minors, and (3) he was lights out this spring after a very strong 2015. Casilla and Sergio Romo are free agents after this season, too. If Casilla struggles, the Giants shouldn’t hesitate to make a change.

5. Will Denard Span take a walk this season?

Yes. He hasn’t walked yet this season, but he’s walked 8.6% of the time in his career. It’ll happen eventually.

6. Are “Buster Posey’s Best Friend” t-shirts for sale yet in the Dugout Store?

If they aren’t yet, they will be soon. Jon Miller may want a cut of the profits, though.

Happy Birthday to my Good Friend, @HunterPence

A photo posted by Buster Posey (@busterposey) on

7. How lucky are the Giants that Pablo Sandoval wanted out of town?

Luckier than ever. He lost his job in Spring Training, he’s 0-for-6 this season with four strikeouts, and Equipment Manager Mike Murphy has to be glad he didn’t have to deal with a situation like this.

And here I thought the most embarrassing accessory-related story about Sandoval was always going to be the time he threw his cup into the dugout and hit poor photographer Karl Mondon in the head.

8. When was the last time the Giants went 6-2 in their first eight games?

Why, that would be 2014. And the last time before that? Why, that would be 2010. (They started out 4-4 in 2012.)

9. Is this the most powerful Giants team of all-time?

OK, that’s obviously a silly question this early into the season, but they’re tied for the major league lead with 17 home runs, and they’ve gotten homers from 11 players. The franchise record for home runs in a season is 235 in 2001, the year Barry Bonds and Rich Aurilia combined for 110. That record is probably safe, although Brown is on pace for 60 so who knows.

10. The Giants couldn’t possibly wear blue on Father’s Day, could they?

Well, sort of. SportsLogos.net explains.

Father’s Day uniforms, like Mother’s Day will feature dark grey accents along with powder blue. Proceeds from sales of Father’s Day jerseys go towards the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Some exceptions to the template here as the Angels and the San Francisco Giants have opted against wearing blue as their primary colour, no official reason has been given but it should be noted that both of these teams consider the Los Angeles Dodgers to be their main rivals. Probably not a coincidence.

 

That hat and jersey combo is still pretty disgusting, though.

This year they also have Mother’s Day uniforms (pink), Memorial Day uniforms (camo hats and logos that are especially heinous), Fourth of July uniforms (stars on the caps and jerseys with a red/blue color scheme), and even yellow and brown All-Star uniforms (every team gets the Padres retro look). I’m kind of neutral on the Padres thing, even though it’s a little weird for other NL West teams to copy the Padres’ look when the Padres spent the ’80s copying the Giants’ look. (You can see all of the Giants specialty hats here, and every specialty uniform for each team here.)

You’d think they could just add a patch to the jerseys during each holiday, but apparently some people buy these things.

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