Giants season preview


Madison Bumgarner fires a pitch during the 2016 NLDS

Disappointment, the only memory that remains for Giants fans across the Bay Area. Last season marked the first even numbered year they did not bring home a World Series championship since 2008.

However, the Giants did make an appearance in the October, beating the New York Mets in the Wild Card game. Their playoff run didn’t last long as they were stunned in the NLDS by the Chicago Cubs, who went on to win their first World Series in 108 years.

With arguably the best starting rotation in the MLB, the Giants hope to pose an even bigger threat of a World Series run.

Leading the rotation are aces Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto, followed by veteran pitcher Jeff Samardzija, young prospect Matt Moore in the fourth spot, and whatever’s left of Matt Cain after battling a series of injuries since the 2015 season.

To accompany their starting rotation, the Giants went all in on finding an elite closer, a large hole in last year’s team. Matt Melancon, who has a 1.80 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and just 42 unintentional walks in 290 innings over the course of the last four seasons should solidify the ninth inning this year for the Giants.

However, the Giants are relying on young relievers to be able to give Melancon the ball. The rest of the bullpen should mainly feature outings by left Will Smith, young righty Derek Law, and hard-throwing Hunter Strickland.

The Giants contain relatively the same infield with Eduardo Nunez at third, Brandon Crawford at shortstop, Joe Panik at second, and Brandon Belt at first.

Panik looked good last year but struggled staying on the field late in the year with a serious concussion.

Crawford and Belt are both entering their primes and after career-high seasons last year, both look to have the same amount of production this season.

The Giants acquired Nunez right around the trade deadline last season, and for the short 50 games he was with the them, Nunez provided an increased production at third, replacing Matt Duffy at the hot corner.

The outfield holds the weakest spot for the Giants. With Denard Span and Hunter Pence struggling to stay healthy and reaching the end of their careers, the Giants have little replacement for them in center or right.

Also, there is a fat question mark sitting in left field. By selling out to restock their bullpen, the Giants left little space to add to their desert of an outfield. They’ll look to an “outfield-by-committee” system with young players like Mac Williamson, Jarrett Parker, and Gorkys Hernandez.

Overall, the Giants have the tools to make a dent in the postseason this year and hope to bring home a World Series to the Bay.

The only question is, how large of an impact will the Giants’ lack of depth have on their 2017 season?