Thursday, July 25, 2013

Where Have You Gone Angel Pagan?

CSN Bay Area


It's almost the end of July, which means, it's trading season. The San Francisco Giants are 46-55, which has them in 4th place right now. The Dodgers are currently on top of the West and the Giants sit 7.5 games behind them. 

The question on everyone's mind is, are the Giants buyers, or sellers? Every NL West team not named the Padres has led the division for a bit this season. No one is running away with it. Yes the Dodgers have been hot lately, and Arizona still has a solid club, but time has not run out, yet.

Do the Giants need to make a splashy trade to turn it around? Well, let's see what the needs of the club are first.

On May 25 Angel Pagan raced around the bases with his infamous inside the park walkoff HR. It's been 2 months now and that is where the season turned. Pagan was stable at the top of the lineup, and it gave the big boys a chance to drive in runs.

How has Pagan being out impacted the team? Here are some team numbers with, and without, Angel Pagan.

With Pagan: 27-22 (W-L) | 4.5 Runs/Gm | .329 OBP | .271 BA

Without Pagan: 19-33 | 3.4 R/Gm | .309 OBP | .256 BA

That's a full run per game difference. And it shows in the hitting numbers. Guys just aren't getting on base enough from the top of the lineup. Gregor Blanco has done an admirable job filling in, but he gets caught in a platoon some days and isn't always out there. 

I can't speculate on who the Giants may go get to fix this, or even if they will. But it sure seems like the offense could use a leadoff hitter again. We'll see if there is any movement over the next week.

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I'm just not sold on the idea that the Giants need another starter. It's the bullpen that needs the help. When Chad Gaudin slid into the starter role they lost their long man. After watching Petit the other day, they may have finally found the guy.

With a healthy Ryan Vogelsong back in the rotation, Barry Zito may be the odd man out. Chad Gaudin has pitched well enough to stay in the rotation, and Tim Lincecum has looked a lot better lately. Even in his last start he was getting bad swings on balls that weren't right over the plate. As evidenced a couple weeks ago, Lincecum can still be brilliant.

A trade similar to the ones that brought Ramon Ramirez and Javier Lopez in 2010 might be worth exploring. Yes the starting pitching has been shaky, but its the bullpen that could use a boost. 

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The next month the Giants play all their games outside of the NL West. So far this season that has not been a good thing. Against the West the Giants are 29-21, against everybody else they are 17-34. If the Giants are to be contenders in September, that has to change.

It's also about a month until I make my way to San Francisco for the first time, and personally, I cannot give up on this year's team before I go out there. Still looking to set up a meetup, details here

The Cubs are coming up next, can't wait to bring these memories back up during that series. Until next time folks, thanks for reading.

Eric Nathanson
@2outhits on Twitter




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