Miami Marlins Series Preview: Marlins Face Defending World Champs
By Ehsan Kassim
Apr 10, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Casey McGehee (14) follows through during the fifth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Ehsan Kassim: The Giants are off to a slow start. What are the chances they can turn things around and fix their season?
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Matt Connolly: I wouldn’t say this season is beyond repair, especially not this early.
Despite losing two of their front-end starters (Matt Cain, Jake Peavy) and arguably their most well-rounded offensive player (Hunter Pence), the Giants have managed to cobble together a near-.500 record. That says a lot about their will to win, especially considering they’ve only gotten consistent production at the top of the order.
The team’s biggest concern is the two NL West ball clubs in front of them in the standings: the Dodgers and the Padres. Both have a lot more talent on paper and could very well be ahead of San Francisco coming down the stretch.
EK: I’ve heard rumblings the Giants could be in on Cole Hamels—any truth to that? What does that say about the state of the pitching staff?
MC: Again, it’s early, so I wouldn’t look into that rumor too much.
Yes, the Giants did inquire about his availability in the offseason, but Hamels would come at a hefty price tag and I doubt the team would part with two top prospects given how depleted their farm system already is. However, if Peavy doesn’t regain his 2014 form (which I wouldn’t count in) and the team is on the fringe of contention around the deadline, I wouldn’t rule it out.
The staff isn’t nearly as stacked as it has been in recent years, but it remains a strength of the team when healthy.
EK: Obviously losing Pablo Sandoval over the offseason was a loss. How has the transition to former Marlin Casey McGehee been? Also, your thoughts on some of the comments from Panda from over the summer?
MC: The transition has not been a smooth one. And that’s putting it lightly.
This post I wrote a week ago in combination with the team potentially shopping for a new third baseman just a month into the season pretty much sum it up. I’ve never been a big man of Mr. McGehee’s game, to be honest, and while I want him to succeed given his Bay Area roots, I could see him losing his starting job before the All-Star break.
Sandoval’s comments were unnecessary, but I think it was more a slight to the organization than his former teammates. If the man wants to be salty, so be it.
EK: Which Giant has stood out for the team so far this season? Which Giant has been a disappointment?
MC: The biggest surprise has easily been rookie starting pitcher Chris Heston, a prospect no one thought too much of before he burst onto the scene this year. Until he got beat up by San Diego on Wednesday, he was arguably the top starter on a rotation that includes Madison Bumgarner. Brandon Crawford also gets a tip of the hat for his out-of-nowhere power surge (5 HR, near-.500 SLG), a great compliment to his gold-glove defense at short.
Despite being a bargain signing, McGehee has been the biggest bust.
Next: Pitching Matchups & Predictions