There is reason to think that the San Francisco Giants will be better in 2023 than they were in 2022. After their offseason ended in disaster, things looked bleak, and for good reason. But detailed analysis from experts has given a deeper look into the picture, and the Giants appear to have a good chance, though none of this excuses the failures on the part of the front office.
The San Francisco Giants Will Be Better Than You Might Think
To summarize the quality of the Giants roster in one sentence, they are long on solid players but short on top-level talent. At first glance, this most likely looks like a significantly unpromising situation since the Giants certainly have not been perennial contenders recently, despite having some solid guys around.
However, it must be remembered that the Giants have had some notable hot streaks even in the years that didn’t end well. In 2022, for example, they were in a good position until the final two weeks leading up to the Trade Deadline. There are times when you can see tremendous potential.
But the Giants haven’t managed to maintain consistency. For one thing, the failure of the front office to add the most desirable players at the Trade Deadlines has cost them. Additionally, they have dropped multiple close games in late or extra innings that just should not have been lost.
In 2022, the Giants record was 81-81. The Philadelphia Phillies took the final NL Wild Card spot with an 87-75 season. If the Giants could have added just seven more wins, they would have been in the playoffs. And if a few little things had gone right, they might have done it.
The Giants will be better in 2023 if they can get a few things together. Below are three reasons to think it may happen.
1. Their Defense Appears to Be Better
While Maria Guardado still wonders whether the Giants did enough to upgrade their defense, and legitimately so, things should look at least somewhat better in both the infield and outfield. With David Villar replacing Evan Longoria at third base, and LaMonte Wade Jr. playing first, more balls will hopefully be kept in the infield. (Wade’s offense is another discussion, however)
Joc Pederson is likely to come out of the outfield and get more at-bats at DH, according to the aforementioned article. I can readily admit that this might be a better plan than putting catcher Joey Bart in the DH spot, as previously advocated.
The release of Yermin Mercedes may turn out to be a good thing. After all, with their previous defensive culpability, the Giants could hardly afford to keep an extra DH-type player on their team with there being only one DH spot. He could have been kept as a bench bat, but it’s not like Mercedes was great at the plate for the Giants in 2022.
2. Their Starting Rotation is Likely to Be Solid
While Alex Cobb’s 2022 season wasn’t the most impressive, it’s likely that he suffered significantly from tough luck. If he can bounce back in 2023, and if Ross Stripling and Logan Webb both perform according to their expectations, things may go very well. Ideally, they will have at least three above-average, quality pitchers in their rotation.
3. It’s Possible That They Will Have Learned Their Lesson About Trade Deadlines
The Giants should have made a push toward contention at the 2022 Trade Deadline. There is no escaping this fact. But, it would have been better to sell than to do almost nothing. While Darin Ruf for J.D. Davis was a good trade, it was about all they did. As things ended, they did not make the playoffs, and they did not end up with new significantly promising prospects either.
If they can hang on in 2023 through the end of July, there will be an opportunity to add to the roster. But we don’t want to see any more Scooter Gennetts, or other weak acquisitions that show compromise in the team’s purpose.
So if the Giants front office can grasp this reality, isn’t there a good chance that they will finish stronger?
The Giants will be better by at least a few games if nothing goes terribly wrong, such as Logan Webb needing Tommy John surgery or the entire starting lineup falling into an unexplainable, uncorrectable slump. But the question is whether they will be good enough to make the playoffs.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will almost certainly win the division, quite probably with another 100+ win season. If the Giants land a Wild Card spot, they will have them to deal with in the postseason unless another team can somehow eliminate them. That didn’t go well in 2021 when the Giants won 107 games, let alone a season where they likely will have barely squeezed in. The Giants can be extremely hot when at their best. They will have to find their clutch moment.
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