Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/12/14
Coming into the season the San Francisco Giants bullpen was seen as one of the strengths of the team. It started off that way. However, during the Giants recent downhill tumble the bullpen has become not quite unreliable but certainly isn’t what it was the first two months of the season. What happened to the Giants bullpen? Also, what else is going on with the team as the trade deadline comes closer? Even with their struggles, the Giants are still 4th in baseball with an ERA of 2.90, but watching the bullpen during this recent stretch it’s obvious that they have faded. Two players who were so good for them over the first part of the season; Jean Machi and closer Sergio Romo have both fallen upon hard times and Giants Manager Bruce Bochy has taken them out of their former roles of eighth inning set-up man and closer. The struggles of Sergio Romo pictured and Jean Machi have left the Giants bullpen with some uncertainty. (Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group) ( Jim Gensheimer ) Machi for the longest time was an All-Star caliber pitcher as he had a 27 plus inning scoreless streak and had an ERA of under .35. However, he hasn’t been nearly as sharp recently. In his last 5 and 2/3 innings pitched he’s given up 6 earned runs and has seen his ERA rise to 1.66. Former closer Romo was money, up until about three weeks ago. In fact, going into the three game home series against the Colorado Rockies on June 13-15 he was 22/24 in save opportunities. He blew back to back saves in that series; the Giants lost both games. Since then he hasn’t been the same. With both him and Machi struggling it begs the question: will Brian Sabean make a trade at the deadline for a bullpen arm, or will he let those two work through their issues? Should GM Brian Sabean choose to bolster his bullpen there’s quite a few names that could potentially come available that could help the team.  Arms like Koji Uehara of the Boston Red Sox, Joaquin Benoit of the San Diego Padres and Joaquin Soria are probably the three most known arms. However, there’s more solid arms out there as well that the Giants haven’t been linked to yet. Even though the bullpen has recently become a little bit of an issue, the center-field position and possibly second base look to be even bigger issues. Ever since Angel Pagan went on the disabled list with an injured back the leadoff and center field spot has been a black hole. The Giants are forced to play fourth and fifth outfielders Gregor Blanco and Juan Perez more than they wanted to. Both of those guys have struggled to make an impact on the team. Giants All-Star Hunter Pence has done an admirable job batting leadoff, but in order for the Giants to make the playoffs they need to add an outfielder and a leadoff hitter, as Pagan’s return date is questionable and even when he returns, will he remain healthy? Adding another leadoff hitter and outfielder gives the Giants more depth, which is key to any team making a playoff run. Pagan has a bulging disk in his back and even though it’s been thought that he will return after the All-Star break, it’s not a certainty. Getting another leadoff hitter and center fielder can put Pence back in his normal role of a run producer as opposed to a table setter. The one leadoff hitter that has been linked to the Giants by CBS Sports Jon Heyman is Ben Revere. He said that the Giants could easily pursue him if Pagan’s status remains uncertain. Revere would be the perfect leadoff hitter in Pagans absence. He’s hitting 292 and has 26 stolen bases. He doesn’t walk a whole lot, but also doesn’t strike out. He understands that he’s fast and he puts the ball in play on the ground. He pretty much does what the Giants want Blanco to do. He’d also be an improvement over Blanco as he’s a better hitter and faster. That’d be the kind of leadoff hitter the Giants could easily go after. Marco Scutaro’s return could spark the Giants much like it did in 2012. However, it’s unknown how well he will actually produce considering that he’s 38 years old and coming off a back injury. Another position that is still dicey is second base. Rookie Joe Panik has done a great job filling in for Marco Scutaro, but he’s a rookie and has been inconsistent. However, good news is on the horizon as Scutaro has been activated and is scheduled to start Saturday vs Arizona. Whether he’ll be an everyday player or a utility man remains unknown, but if he can return and be a 270 clutch hitter and a mentor to Panik, who is the Giants second baseman of the future, than the Giants would be fine at that position. Even with Scutaro coming back, the Giants are testing the trade market. Ben Zobrist has been an interest to the Giants as they sent scouts down to Tampa to check him out. Zobrist has always been a solid player and he’s having another good year with 270 and 6 home runs. He’s certainly an intriguing option for the Giants. As is New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy. Murphy is batting 297 with 7 home runs and 37 RBI’S and is an All-Star. He’d be a great fit for the Giants as well. Even with the recent slide that the Giants have been on they are still tied for first place with the Los Angeles Dodgers. There’s a good chance that the Giants could be in first place or at the very minimum 2 games out going into the All-Star break, which wouldn’t be that bad considering everything that’s gone on. General Manager Brain Sabean has always been good at making the key moves for players who help the Giants make a playoff push. He certainly has alot of options out there to consider at the trade deadline. The post San Francisco Giants: Trade deadline thoughts appeared first on isportsweb.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Giants owner: McAdoo was not pressured to give up play-calling

Report: Ezekiel Elliott’s team, NFL have discussed settlement

Rick Pitino says he passed lie detector test, had no knowledge of Adidas scandal

Gordon Hayward's agent indicates he's likely out for the season

Masahiro Tanaka joins Yankees legends with dominant Game 5 start

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Willson Contreras admires his work after crushing 491-foot home run

Jeremy Lin to have knee injury evaluated amid ‘tremendous concern’

Bulls' Mirotic out 4-6 weeks, Portis suspended eight games

Gordon Hayward to undergo surgery Wednesday night

Jim Harbaugh defends quarterbacks from blame for Michigan’s struggles

Gronk: Patriots told not to discuss Super Bowl LI this week

NFL Week 7 Predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with newbies Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

Nikola Jokic: A throwback superstar for the modern era

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

Giants News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NFL Week 7 Predictions

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker