Originally written on SF Giants Nirvana  |  Last updated 5/14/12

When the Giants departed for Los Angeles, they were 14-14. After going 3-3 on this road trip, they’ve improved to…17-17. That’s .500 ball, a win for every loss. Have the Giants done anything to indicate that they’re anything more than a .500 team (particularly with Pablo Sandoval on the DL for another five weeks or so)?

If I was told before the season started that there would be a baseball team starting an infield of Hector Sanchez/Brett Pill/Charlie Culberson/Joaquin Arias/Brandon Crawford, I would have assumed that it was the Fresno Grizzlies. That’s the reasonable assumption. Each and every one of these guys could (or should) justifiably be in Triple-A right now.

That’s the sad state of the Giants right now:

  • Desperate for offense, they rushed a 22-year old catcher so they could get this kind of production out of him: .267/.274/.350
  • Joaquin Arias, who hit .232/.272/.353 in Triple-A last year, is now the starting third baseman
  • Brandon Crawford has done nothing with his glove to redeem his expectedly terrible hitting
  • Charlie Culberson, who couldn’t even manage a .300+ OBP in Double-A last season, will now presumably be seeing a lot of time at second base; for the record, I think his 7th-inning at-bat paints a pretty clear picture of what we’ll be seeing from him

And Brett Pill…well, I actually don’t mind Pill starting against left-handed pitchers all that much. So long as it isn’t a strict platoon with Brandon Belt. Plenty of southpaws (Joe Saunders included) are much more effective against left-handed hitters, and throwing Pill up there against a guy like Saunders isn’t such a big deal. Similarly, it’s not as though Belt should be sheltered against left-handed pitching. In fact, I think it’s crucial that he gets a steady diet of lefties. But the “Pill starting against left-handed pitchers” issue is merely masking all of the other glaring problems with this team.

In spite of it all, the Giants went 3-3. For all their obvious deficiencies, they’re .500 right now. I fear that’ll be the case all year long. Kept in contention by their pitching and few bright spots on offense, but held back from a postseason berth by the rest of the team. And with a second wild card spot, it won’t take much to reach that postseason berth. The Giants will act accordingly. That’s my biggest fear: that the Giants will jeopardize the long-term outlook of the team for the sake of mildly improving their odds this season.

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