Monday, April 1, 2024

Giant Justification


It's not often where a team can unceremoniously release a player they drafted #2 overall and primed to take the reins of the franchise and I can completely understand. But the San Francisco Giants are not where they were in 2020. Joey Bart could try and squeeze into the picture then, but now? Things are different. 

This past offseason, the Giants made some of the smartest moves of anyone. Bringing Jung-Ho Lee to America. Waiting til the moment was right to grab both Matt Chapman and Blake Snell. Flipping Mitch Haniger for Robbie Ray. Signing Jordan Hicks and insisting he start. All of these moves are working out at the moment; Chapman's off to a huge start at the plate, Lee's already providing heroic moments, Hicks had an excellent start in his first go, and both Snell and Ray will be along shortly.

Arguably, this wouldn't work if there wasn't a preexisting base on the team already. Mike Yastrzemski will be back from paternity leave eventually but Wilmer Flores, Michael Conforto, Kyle Harrison, Thairo Estrada and Patrick Bailey, aka the guy who rendered Joey Bart obsolete, are all picking up where last season left off and keeping the team strong. This is what the Rangers learned over time, how to build a base gradually rather than dump the contracts on and hope for success overnight.

The biggest piece of evidence in favor of the gradual build strategy in SF has been Logan Webb, who's gone from a lower-tier starting option to the staff ace within just a couple years. Webb was inches from a Cy Young last year, and this year he's still looking strong, durable and reliable. In his first start of the season, Webb went 6 innings, struck out 5 and only gave up 2 runs. It's the kind of 'best foot forward' the rotation is lucky to have, even if he's the only perennial starter not to have a win so far [I don't think Daulton Jeffries counts after what he came out with yesterday]. 

The thing is, as strong as Webb, Harrison and Hicks have looked so far, until Snell and eventually Ray get here, it's gonna really be up to the three of them to hold things down. They do have Keaton Winn, and are eventually thinking Alex Cobb will be back, but their depth options are chilling in Oakland and they have to hope people are ready. Winn will probably be serviceable at the back end but if their 5 guy is Jeffries, and if he keeps might be a long wait for Snell to finish late camp.

The Giants have a pretty well-rounded squad this year, and the contracts do help, but at the moment they're already looking at 2nd place if the Dodgers are gonna run this year, and they'll need to outdo both the Diamondbacks, who look good already, and the Padres, who they just split a series with. I do think the Giants have the team this year, and having Bob Melvin also helps tremendously, but they just need the luck. And hopefully they have some of that this year.

Coming Tomorrow- One of two guys this week to cause a bunch of people online to go 'omg stop what you're doing and sign this guy for as much money as he wants'

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