Giants Need to Make Changes With Pitching
Their pitching has been an issue all season long, and we've talked about it here in nearly every post over the last 6 weeks, and the fact that they haven't made any significant changes yet surprises me a bit. We all knew that once Vogey went down at the end of May, it would force Chad Gaudin into the starting rotation (where he's been remarkable so far), and would cause a ripple effect in the bullpen by result. Now we're seeing more of George Kontos where we were seeing Gaudin and Santiago Casilla late in ballgames and he's getting exposed. The lefties have been on point, and Sergio Romo continues to get the job done, but the Giants bullpen needs to add some stability. Luckily, Kontos was optioned back to Fresno after the game, but it wasn't in exchange for the guy I was hoping. I've been asking for a Heath Hembree call-up for the better part of a month now, but the Giants appear intent on letting him get more seasoning in Fresno. At this point, I don't see why they won't just give him a try, especially since all their other right-handed options are failing so badly. With the starting pitching struggling like it has, the Giants need their bullpen to be a strength, and right now, it isn't.
Offensively, things might start to get a little slim as well, as Pablo Sandoval joined Angel Pagan on the 15-day DL earlier this week. And if you saw Tuesday night's game in Pittsburgh, then you probably cringed when Marco Scutaro took that Tony Watson fastball off the left hand and exit the game immediately. X-Rays were negative but he was diagnosed with 'mallet hand', an injury that could take up to two months to heal properly. He is saying he'd like to try and play through the injury, but he may be joining Pagan and Panda sooner than later. All the sudden, the Giants are without their 1-3 hitters, and unless guys like Andres Torres, Tony Abreu and Joaquin Arias start really stepping up, then this offense is bound to take a dip. On the positive side, hopefully they'll be getting Pagan and Sandoval back when each are eligible to return from the DL. Bochy said it may be another week or so before before Pagan's return, and Pablo is expected to be activated when he's eligible to return on June 24th. The key though will be Scutaro, who led the team with a .332 batting average and will cause a huge void at the top of the order for an extended period of time if he indeed has to go on the shelf.
We all knew the Giants would be scouring the trade market for pitchers over the next 6 weeks, but they may be forced to look for an infielder no as well if Scutaro is going to be out until August. Either way, the next few weeks will be a key stretch for the Giants, who are barely staying afloat over .500, and seem to be taking on more water by the day.