Well, the break is here, and we've got 49 wins!!! We've got 2 of the best starting pitchers in the NL , one of the best bullpens in the game, and a baseball-clubbing Panda manning third base! But now I think it's time for the brass to make some tough decisions.
First off, there's the trade situation. Everyone knows what our biggest need is: Johnny Cleanup Hitter. Problem is, he's not available right now. We've heard small talk of Dye, Victor Martinez, Uggla and Holliday. But it doesn't appear to me that any of those 4 will be suiting up for us this season. Rod Brooks is on the radio right now talking about a Sanchez for Holliday deal, but I don't really see that happening either.
Right now, the only rumors I'm seeing are the scenarios with the Pirates. But I'll say this: If our only trade partner is Pittsburgh, I'm hanging up the phone. I really like Juan Uribe... the dude can play ball, and he hasn't disappointed in his starting role. I think he's a find candidate to man second base in the second half. I know Freddy Sanchez hits for average, but so is Juan right now, and lately he's been absolutely clubbing the ball. He's also much cheaper than Sanchez. As for Zach Duke, I don't think I really need to adress him. A good rookie season is all he's got on his resume. Yes, his numbers are good this year, but I ultimately see him putting up Barry Zito (Post-Oakland) numbers for most of his career. I wouldn't trade any prospect of even moderate value for him.
I know there are plenty of people who think we need to make a move in order to make some noise, but I just don't see anything out there right now that would really strengthen this team... now if a guy like Holliday REALLY becomes available in the next couple weeks, then maybe we get in there and see if we can't put something together. But I (like most of you) am not trading MadBum, Posey or Angel V. If I'm Sabean, I'm really promoting the names of guys like Thomas Neal, Brandon Crawford, Scott Barnes, and Henry Sosa. All very talented players.
Now, for the players who currently wear the orange and black. We start the second half on a 10-game road trip that could really set things up for the deadline. Big Unit is down for a while, but we've still got Timmy and Matty. But we've also got a kid with only 3 starts under his belt (Sadowski), Mr. Up and Down (Zito), and a very inconsistent pitcher coming off a no-hitter (Sanchez).
How the latter three hold up will decide a lot of things. All three of them may very well crap out... leaving us in BIG trouble. If Sadowski falters, we can possibly plug in Joe Martinez, but are there really any other good options available right now to start? Yes, but we won't see them. I doubt Kevin Pucetas will see the bigs this season, and that's on team management for not placing him on the 40-man before the season. Guess he's not as valuable as Brian Bocock????
Currently, we've also got 6 outfielders on the roster, and one of them has to go. If I'm in charge, it's Freddy. I know we'd probably lose him if he went on waivers, but at this point I can live with that. We know Bowker can destroy AAA pitching, and although he looked very bad in his first few games up this season, his bat did start to come alive yesterday. I think he needs to stay on the roster, and split time with Nate. They both can help the offense, as can Andres Torres. Rowand and Winn beat their bodies up on a nightly basis, and will need some days off in the second half. With those 5 guys, every combination we throw out there should be competetive. I just don't see a spot for Fred in the mix. Very tough decision for management to make on this one, though.
Do I believe the team we have right now can stay in contention? Yes. They have proven they can be competetive with the just about every team in the NL. Our biggest competition is within our own division, and the games with LA and Colorado will probably decide the outcome of the season. But I like this team, and I think they can keep a level head throughout the second half. With Tim and Matt pitching the way they are, and Pablo literally getting better every night, things could really be looking up. Hope everyone enjoys the break, and here's to a successful second half. Go Giants, and BEAT LA!