SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: (88-74 THIRD PLACE, NL WEST in 2009)
Last season, the San Francisco Giants put together their first winning season since 2004, posting an 88-74 record. Unfortunately for them, that was only good enough for third in the suddenly deep National League West.
With the reigning back-to-back Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum heading the front of a very deep rotation, the Giants could be poised to challenge the Dodgers and Rockies atop the West.
The emergence of the “Kung Fu Panda,” Pablo Sandoval made the Giants more than just a one trick pony. Sandoval hit .330 with 25 HR and 90 RBI to finally put a bat in a lineup that has needed one for a very long time. Former Philadelphia fan favorite Aaron Rowand helped contribute to the lineup, but has failed to show the offensive prowess that earned him his big deal in San Francisco.
Matt Cain provides a solid number two that could anchor many staffs in MLB. Coming off a 14-8 season with a 2.89 ERA, imagine if he continues to improve? Behind Cain are Barry Zito, off a rebound season of his own, Jonathan Sanchez, who threw a no-hitter last year, and newly acquired Todd Wellemeyer.
If Zito continues his comeback, the Giants have a top four that goes further than almost anybody in the National League, our Phillies included.
The signing of Mark DeRosa should add a little more pop to SF’s improving lineup as well as some depth as there isn’t a position that he can’t field.
There are a lot of ifs that come with the Giants, including closer Brian Wilson, but what it really comes down to is – they’ll go as far as Lincecum, Cain and Sandoval can take them.