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The Saratoga Falcon

Giants likely to rebound from disappointing 2011 season

Derek Sun
 
As Buster Posey was crushed at home plate, the Giants’ hopes of making the playoffs in 2011 were similarly bulldozed. With a lackluster offense, the Giants failed to score enough in the season and missed the playoffs after their Cinderella rise to the championship in 2010. 
Despite a disappointing finish in 2011, the Giants went into the off season ready to address their biggest weakness: their offense. In the 2010 postseason, they scored the most runs per game than any other team; however, in 2011, they ranked in the ten lowest offenses in the league.
In the offseason, the Giants rearmed their offense to deal some serious hurt on opposing pitchers. Major acquisitions include star outfielders Angel Pagan (.262 batting average , .694 On base plus slugging, 74 runs) from the Mets and Melky Cabrera (.305 BA, .809 OPS, 102 runs) from the Royals. 
Both are being capable of table setters, which find their way on base and manufacture runs with their base running abilities. Trading for Cabrera and Pagan were very good moves in that the Giants need real leadoff hitters. Last year, they failed to find a leadoff hitter who could consistently get on base. This year, they have two players who can do the job.
Rookies Brett Pill and Brandon Belt were solid in spring training as they hit .258 and .391 respectively. Pill is expected to break camp as a starter and compete with Belt and veteran Aubrey Huff at first base.
More surprising is shortstop Brandon Crawford, who hit a grand slam in his debut game but then failed to hit above the Mendoza Line (.200 BA) in the 2011 season. He has finally found his stroke and is now hitting the ball consistently. In spring training Crawford not only played Golden Glove defense but also hit an impressive .333.
On top of a power-packed lineup and improved defense, the Giants have bolstered their pitching game. The  pitching rotation headed by two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum (2.74 ERA) and Matt Cain (2.88 ERA) looks to solidify itself as one of the best rotations in the league.
 Young southpaw Madison Bumgarner came off a phenomenal 2011 season with a dazzling 3.21 ERA and looks just as promising this season. 
Journeyman Ryan Vogelsong had a breakout season after struggling for many seasons in the minors and small name teams including a small stint in Japan. After returning from Japan, Vogelsong has learned to tangle hitters, prompting him to be elected to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career.
Perhaps the greatest thing to look forward to is the return of Buster Posey. The once Rookie of the Year was sidelined during the 2011 season. Giants’ fans should look to Posey to bring back leadership to the team and bring a scrappy yet strong offense back to full strength.
Look for the dangerous Giants armed with more offense and the best rotation in the MLB to go deep into the postseason.
 
 
 
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