San Francisco Giants 2011—86-76 Key Additions---Javy Lopez, Melky Cabrera, Angel Pagan Key Losses-------Jonathan Sanchez, Carlos Beltran Lineup---I am still trying to figure out how a team like the Giants who have absolute horses at the top end of their rotation will not make a splash in free agency or the trade market to improve their offense. This is another year where they make minimal moves and hope they can pull together enough offense to win another title. I for one don’t agree with it. Yes they got Cabrera and Pagan to help in the outfield, but along with Nate Schierholtz that is just not a very good offensive outfield. I just don’t see where the production is going to come from these 3. In the infield, it is the same story. Yes Aubrey Huff is a nice player, and Pablo Sandoval has shown the ability to be a good hitter, but to rely on these 2 as your corner infielders is very shaky. Up the middle they are weak, with Freddy Sanchez another year older and Brandon Crawford a very light hitting shortstop. Yes getting Buster Posey back is a big step forward, but he is going to have a lot of pressure on him to carry this offense. Like I said, I just don’t understand how you continue to ignore help for your offense. Pitching---Let’s start with the loss of Jonathan Sanchez. Yes, it is never good to trade away starting pitching, but this team has more than enough to fight through that. Their top 3 may just be as good as anyone’s in the league. Tim Lincecum signed a 2 year extension and should be as solid as any pitcher out there. Matt Cain is pitching for a contract, and I fully expect him to have a big year. And Madison Bumgarner is 1 year older, and 1 year better. I think he will have a very good season. The back end of this rotation does not need to be great, just good enough. Can Ryan Vogelsong continue what he had last year? I have my doubts. And what can they expect to get out of Barry Zito? Like I said, they don’t need to be great, just good enough to save the pen and win a few games. As long as Brian Wilson stays healthy, I like this bullpen. Jeremy Affeldt has been lights on for a few years, and Javy Lopez gives them another solid arm. Add that up with a healthy Wilson, and a staff that should go deep into games, and this bullpen and staff in general should have no problem shutting down teams. But as I talked about earlier, how much will they have to shut down teams to win??? Outlook---Overall, I like the chances of this team again this year, but as I stated just can’t understand why you wouldn’t add offense. And a big question mark will hang over this team in what they are ultimately going to do with Matt Cain. With that being said, I do think the division is open for them to make another run, and when you have top end pitching like they have, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make a type of run they made a few years ago to the title.
read more: 2012 MLB Team Preview: San Francisco Giants