San Francisco Giants — can the pattern be continued?

Student thoughts on the Giants path to defend their championship

It’s an early morning during the month of March, and the dirt of the infield is being watered and prepared for practice. Fans line up waiting for players to come out of the clubhouse to snatch a new autograph.

This is all taking place in Scottsdale, Arizona, where the reigning champs are preparing for the 2015 season.

Last year, the San Francisco Giants had another successful season by winning their third world series in the past five years. After winning last year’s world series, people soon started to see a pattern develop.

“The past five years, the Giants only won in even years and the next season they didn’t make the playoffs. Hopefully they can change the pattern this year,” said junior Tyler Brandenburg.

According to Fangraphs website, the Giants are projected to win 82 games in 2015, which has them in second place behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West standings.

“Hopefully they can change the pattern and have a good season this year,” said junior Isabelle De Wood.

So how can the Giants change that pattern? The Giants were looking to make a splash in the off season by trying to re-sign Pablo Sandoval and acquire all star Jon Lester along with Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas.

In the end, the Giants were not able to re-sign Sandoval and were runner-up in getting Lester and Tomas.

“I wish Sandoval would’ve stayed. He helped the Giants win a lot of games and became a fan favorite,” said senior Sara Cardona.

Instead, the Giants made sure to re-sign key players Sergio Romo, Jake Peavy and Juan Gutierrez. The Giants also added depth to their outfield by signing Norichika Aoki from the Kansas City Royals and replaced Sandoval by trading for Casey McGehee from the Florida Marlins.

“It was disappointing that they couldn’t re-sign Sandoval, but they were able to get McGehee who will help the offense and they also resigned key players who have helped the team the past couple of years,” said Brandenburg.

Minus Sandoval, the team will have many familiar faces. The outfield will include Angel Pagan in center field, Hunter Pence in right field and newly acquired outfielder Aoki in left field.

In the infield, they will have McGehee at third, Brandon Crawford at shortstop,  Joe Panik at second, Brandon Belt at first and Buster Posey behind the dish.

The pitching staff will include Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Tim Hudson and Jake Peavy. Ryan Vogelsong and Tim Lincecum will battle for the last spot in the pitching rotation.

The Giants made history with three World Series wins in 2010, 2012, and 2014.
Clarence Cromwell
The Giants made history with three World Series wins in 2010, 2012, and 2014.

With these familiar faces, students know what the Giants are capable of, but it’s whether or not the team can stay healthy.

“The Giants have always had great players, it’s whether they can stay healthy or not. If they can stay healthy, they can have another successful year,” said sophomore Vinny Bologna.

Last year, the Giants missed a couple players throughout the year. Cain was sidelined by a elbow injury for most of the season and was not able to pitch during the postseason.

Pagan played for most of the season, but didn’t play in the postseason. The team was affected by this because they were 53-66 when he was out of the lineup versus a 163-124 record when he was in the lineup over the past three seasons.

“Pagan has always had an impact on the team since he came here. The Giants obviously struggle when he isn’t in the lineup,” said Brandenburg.

Students also think that certain players will have to step it up if the Giants want to defend their title.

“I think Lincecum needs to get back to his Cy Young days if the Giants want a shot to win another world series,” said sophomore Brandon Burkholder.

If the Giants can stay healthy and some of the players can step it up, the Giants will have a shot to break the pattern and hopefully make the playoffs.