Sunday, May 19, 2024

Late Night Smack


Here's a fact about the 2024 Giants; they've played 47 games, and only three players on this team have played 45 or more. Matt Chapman, Thairo Estrada and LaMonte Wade Jr. Which is very nice for those three, especially Wade, who missed a ton of time a few years ago. But considering that Michael Conforto, Mike Yastrzemski, Patrick Bailey and Jorge Soler have already missed time, and the guy who was supposed to be the big rookie savior, Jung-Hoo Lee, will be missing the rest of the damned season, it's pretty damning. 

And the worrying part is that this isn't even the first time they've lost Patrick Bailey, Michael Conforto and Mike Yastrzemski for a decent amount of the year. Yaz will just get injured, I think they're used to that. Conforto missed a lot of last year. So this all happening again, especially when the Giants have a better, more built up team, isn't great. 

But the good thing about having these guys injured two years in a row is that the second time around, the Giants actually have some contingency plans.

One of those plans is LaMonte Wade Jr., who's become even more beloved this year after getting off to a .315 start. Wade is notorious for having even more of an edge during night games in SF, hence the nickname Late Night LaMonte. A rare player for the guys on the east coast that stay up til like 2 AM. The fans have been absolutely loving Wade's stuff this year, as he's got a .465 OBP and an .881 OPS. Dude's smacking the ball like crazy, and before you look at his stats and say 'hey, there's actually not all that much  there in the hits and RBI columns', that's cause he's walked 30 times. People are getting really scared of facing LaMonte Wade Jr. Not like Soto or Ohtani walk numbers, but close.

Some of these other contingency plans have made their way up to the majors and made a case for staying. Luis Matos had a quieter rookie season last year, but just in this Rockies series alone he's had 11 RBIs and 6 hits. He's played 7 games this season and he already has 17 RBIs. Wade has played in 45 and he only has 14. But Matos hasn't been walked yet though. And, weirdly, he hasn't struck out yet either. Heliot Ramos is another backup plan that's paid off, he's hitting .297 with 7 RBIs in 10 games. Marco Luciano's up again and is already hitting .333 in 3 games. It's wild to see what can be done when this team actually has depth.

The pitching has been luckier thankfully, as only Keaton Winn and Blake Snell have gotten hurt, and Snell will be back soon enough [he's rehabbing in the minors]. Webb, Harrison and Hicks have all been fantastic, and Mason Black is at the very least acclimating to major league pitching. Plus the bullpen's come into its own and have turned into a very nice, compact unit. 

The Giants, despite a third place spot, have improved mightily since figuring out which pieces can work, even in replacement roles. Hopefully this is a formula that aids them as the season goes on, as 2nd place in this division is still a relatively open race.

Coming Tonight: A closer with no earned he's gotta be doing SOMETHING right, right?

No comments:

Post a Comment