Early Worries

Almost three years ago to the day, I wrote up early season Worry Power Rankings. It's kind of funny to revisit them now -- half of the players on there had already passed "worry" on their way to "decay", and it's funny to think that there was a point when some of us were wondering if Barry Bonds was done. This year's WPR is filled with young-uns, award winners, veterans, and pandas. From "least worried about, but kind of worried" to "pretty danged worry about, even considering the small sample size of the season," here are the April Worry Power Rankings:

10. Buster Posey

If you haven't been paying attention, Posey is on fire. After seven games, he's hitting .462/.563/.885, with three homers and six walks in 26 at-bats. His inclusion on the Worry Power Rankings is twofold: 1. I'm worried that I won't get a chance to watch him in San Jose much longer, and 2. I'm worried that I'm just going to get more and more excited about Posey, and I'll start expecting too much. Remember those Craig Biggio comparisons? Those were cute. I don't want to get too crazy, so I'll just expect Johnny Bench with more offense and defense.

9. Tim Lincecum

This has been covered -- I'm not really worried -- but it's hard to SHUT UP THAT LITTLE NAGGING VOICE IN MY HEAD THAT'S CONTINUALLY SCREAMING, "WHAT IF? WHAT IF? WHAT IF?" I was told that Big Pharma's working on something for that. Hopefully the FDA will push it through before his next start.

8. Jonathan Sanchez

He's only had one start, and the first four innings were awesome, but I'm worried he'll be a career-long tease. Two innings of dominance, three innings without any control. Three dominant starts, two starts where he's knocked out before the third inning. Repeat for four years. See, Oliver Perez. It would probably be a little bit of a player development victory if Sanchez turns out as well as Perez, and that worries me too. I want more, dang it.

7. Emmanuel Burriss

I can't be too worried, as I didn't think he'd hit a lick. But I'm a little worried that the Giants aren't going to realize he needs more development time until, like, July.

6. Nate Schierholtz

These kinds of situations never end well. People are scouring the woods behind his house, printing up flyers, and trying to get information from anyone that's had contact with Schierholtz over the past two months, but I'm starting to lose hope. We might never see him again.

5. Barry Zito

He looked better in his first start. It worries me that this constitutes "better" because we're going to be watching this guy for a looooooong time.

4. Randy Johnson

Sometimes old dudes just lose it. Johnson's showed flashes of the high-strikeout, hard-to-hit pitcher we're all hoping will show up, but he isn't going to pitch until he's 60. At some point, he'll devolve into a hittable shell of his former self. I don't think we're seeing that right now...but I can't help but worry.

3. Edgar Renteria

When scouts guffawed and panned this signing, I thought it was overreaction. But I haven't seen Renteria do anything that's impressive. He hasn't had a single swing that's made me say, oooh, he just missed it or, ooooh, he'll catch up to that fastball eventually. Over the first week, he's been the most unremarkable player I've ever seen. He's not on a long-term deal, so it isn't the biggest concern facing the organization, but I'm worried that 600 at-bats of this will damage my psyche.

2. Travis Ishikawa

Last year at this time, Ishikawa was a prospect afterthought. He had a little promise back in the day, but he was as relevant as Tony Torcato. Now he's a starting first baseman, and he's struggling. A week's worth of at-bats are a pretty lame barometer, but I can't help but worry that last year's evaluation was more realistic.

1. Pablo Sandoval

This isn't a long-term worry. But everyone had the same concern with Sandoval: What happens when teams don't throw him strikes at all? The answer's been ugly so far. Now he'll probably go throw a Mike Benjamin-like hit streak to make me look stupid, and Sandoval will always probably be a streaky hitter just because batting average dependent players usually are. Still, it's just as likely that he'll have to work through this in Fresno. He's one of the reasons for watching the team, but I'm worried that 200 at-bats of .210 magic will lead to 400 at-bats for Juan Uribe.

Comment starter: Your worries. Your fears. Your darkest emotions. Let it out.

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