For the first series of the 2015 season the Diamondbacks will take on the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants.
Its a new season and here at VenomStrikes we are introducing a new series. Before each series we will ask a writer from the teams FanSided site about the team the Diamondbacks are playing.
For the Opening Series, I talked with Jacob Fagan of Around the Foghorn. I asked him six questions about the Giants.
Here are his responses:
1. How much better can Madison Bumgarner be and what is the expectation for him this season?
Jacob: After 270 innings in 2014, there’s some question whether he can maintain the level of success that he has had over his first five seasons of his career.
The expectation, unfortunately, is to carry the rotation. It’s him and then there’s six other potential starters who are far less capable and productive. Striking out on Jon Lester and James Shields hurt their chances of having a stable rotation.
2. Beyond Bumgarner, the rest of the Giants rotation is filled with question marks. What do you expect?
Matt Cain is reportedly having an MRI on his forearm, due to tightness, so his health is still question. Jake Peavy has already been scratched from his start Tuesday for Ryan Vogelsong after experiencing back tightness while also having a “dead arm” late in the Spring.
Then there’s Tim Hudson, who is turning 40 years old this year, making it difficult for him to have as productive of a season that he had in 2014.
Tim Lincecum, for some reason, is in the rotation and isn’t expected to do anything. A 4.00 ERA, 180 innings pitched would be acceptable, but I doubt he comes close. Yusmeiro Petit should be in the rotation and could be at some point in the season.
He was their second best pitcher last year and is expected to have similar results in 2015. The rotation as a whole is going to be weak and a problem the entire season
3. How important is Angel Pagan to your teams success?
Jacob: Angel Pagan is a health question and he is somewhat important to the Giants success. Even with four capable outfielders, including Hunter Pence, he is still decent starting center fielder that could add a couple wins offensively. But this season, he isn’t needed as much. I’m just hoping for 110 games slashing .270/.320/.390
4. What do you expect from newcomers Nori Aoki and Casey McGehee?
Nori Aoki will play everyday with Gregor Blanco as the fourth outfielder when Pence comes back. I expect Aoki to be a two-win player who slashes .280/.345/.360 with good base-running and defense in left field. Casey McGehee will not be close to Pablo Sandoval’s production, likely being a one to two win player if he stays healthy. He is a barely average defender and best case scenario slash .270/.330/.400 with 10 home runs. He is hopefully, like Aoki, a stop gap for better acquisitions in the offseason. Aoki is a more valuable left fielder than Michael Morse and McGehee is a downgrade from Sandoval.
5. Do you think Buster Posey can put up another MVP season?
I think Buster Posey can put up another MVP season. All the projections list him as a four to six win player. All that matters is his health. If he played 130 plus games he will get MVP consideration. My question is his power. The Giants don’t want him to slug .400, they want and need another .470 season.
6. Give me a prediction for the Giants season.
Jacob: I see them winning 80 games. I doubt the rotation holds up and the hitting is, at best, average. Players playing over their head could push them into the Wild Card chase, but I don’t see it happening. If Brandon Belt has a 2013 year, Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford, Aoki, Pence duplicate their 2014 seasons, then anything can happen.