DUD MLB Preview: San Francisco Giants

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by Tommy Gimler

Four games into the 2012 season, and the San Francisco Giants’ best pitcher is…Barry Zito?

GM Brian Sabean dished out some serious coin to Matt Cain last week, making him the highest paid RHP in the game. But is he even the best RHP on his team? Over the past three seasons, Cain has started 99 games, going 39-30 with a 2.97 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 527 K’s, and a .223 BAA over 662 2/3 IP. Over the same stretch, Tim Lincecum has started 98 games, going 44-31 with a 2.87 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 712 K’s, and a .223 BAA over 654 2/3 IP and given up 10 less home runs.

Either way, the 2012 Giants pitching staff is once again going to be among the elite. Along with Lincecum, Cain, and Zito, Madison Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong round out the starting rotation. Bumgarner finished last season with 13 wins, 3.21 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 191 K’s in 204 2/3 IP, and he’s only the #3 starter.

Who in the hell is Ryan Vogelsong? After years of pure awfulness in Pittsburgh (I mean, he was absolute dog shit), Vogelsong traveled to Venezuela, Japan, and through the minor leagues trying to learn how to pitch. Out of nowhere, Vogelsong finished last season with 13 wins and a 2.71 ERA in almost 180 IP. Even more of a mystery is how much money he made last year. Google “Ryan Vogelsong 2011 salary,” and every site lists his salary was unknown or $0.

Over the last five seasons, Barry Zito has earned more than $1.86 million for each of his 43 victories. But if the 2012 season ended today, Zito would probably be the NL Cy Young award winner, and that would net him another $500 K. What a bargain.

Of the returning Giants relievers, only Brian Wilson finished with an ERA over 2.72. The Beard lost most of last September to injury but still finished with 36 saves. If sitting next to Brian Wilson on an American Airlines flight doesn’t make you nervous, a middle seat in the emergency exit row next to setup man Sergio Romo sure as hell will:

 

 

 

 

 

Frightening stuff, but the combination of starters, relievers, and facial hair give San Francisco the best pitching staff in baseball.

We haven’t talked about the Giants offense yet because they don’t have any. Last year’s squad finished 22nd in home runs, 28th in batting average, 29th in runs, and last in RBI. Only Pablo Sandoval had more than 14 home runs, and sadly, his 70 RBI were enough to lead the team. Bringing in Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan will ensure those numbers stay right where they are, but getting Buster Posey back behind the plate for a full season will definitely be a boost.

The DUD Says: Unless guys like Brandon Belt finally play to their potential, Brian Sabean will have to make a deal or two before the deadline if this team is going to make a postseason run. Their pitching is second to none, but Aubrey Huff is exactly who we thought he was. A load of games against the Padres and Rockies will help the cause, but it won’t matter if they don’t score any runs.

2012 record: 87-75 (2nd place, NL West)

Vegas Says: 87.5 wins (1st place, NL West)

Donnie Warts Says: What’s with that kid who won’t cut his hair? And the beards? Is there a lack of cutting utensils in San Francisco? 92 wins, bitch.

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