A month's worth of Joe Panik

Christian Petersen

The Giants are test-driving a new second baseman, but they probably have an idea of what they want to do already.

Joe Panik is here. He's on the case. He's arrived. He will save us. The Giants have a 1.000 winning percentage with him. All hail Joe Panik.

We should probably take a step back and be calm about this.


I thought he was supposed to be an average defender, at best. Yet this one play proves that wrong, and I'm going to watch it again.

Joe Panik Joe Panik Joe Panik Joe Panik Joe Panik Joe Panik Joe Panik Joe Panik Joe Panik Joe Panik Joe Panik Joe Panik Joe Panik Joe Panik Joe Panik Joe Panik Joe Panik Joe Panik

I don't see how this could go ...

The Giants had a great series against the Diamondbacks, taking two out of three. Frandsen was on base in every game. The organization desperately needs help from the farm to make it through the post-Barry era, and they could use a little help right now. It's a nice time to have a young player to hope for.

Oh, be quiet. Still, we're going to get to watch a young player over the next month who has a slight chance to be something. That's interesting. I'm all about interesting.

Except, here are the different scenarios:

  1. Panik keeps hitting, the Giants are satisfied at the trade deadline
  2. Panik struggles, the Giants look for a second baseman at the deadline

I suppose there's a third scenario in which Marco Scutaro returns, which would be like watching Atlantis rise again from the sea, the bones of its kings new-covered with flesh. But let's stick with those two for now. They make sense.

Except, here's what the Giants should (and probably will) do for the next month:

  1. Expect Joe Panik
  2. Expect Joe Panik

That is, they probably won't get fooled by a month's worth of numbers. Now, I know that a lot more goes into the Giants' evaluation of a player other than the numbers, but if Panik hits .330 over the next month, it will be nearly impossible to justify a move for a second baseman, even if it's a wacky, BABIP-aided .330. Likewise, if Panik hits .230 over the next month, the Giants might consider players like Gordon Beckham, who probably wouldn't be an upgrade on anything, even if Panik is hitting into hard luck.

This next month shouldn't mean everything. Obviously, the Giants are going to look at different things -- composure, how quickly he adjusts to major-league pitching -- but it's going to be far, far too easy to get sucked down whatever path Panik is going to lead us.

Here's how the Giants should make their decision:

Expect that. Well, expect more if you think Panik's on an upward trajectory, but be prepared to be okay with a .259/.313/.345 hitter at second. I can't decide on how happy I'd be with that. It would be perfectly fine, and certainly valuable, but I can't stop thinking about Chase Utley. So dreamy ...

The Giants, though, should have already come close to making their decision about second, and this next month shouldn't do too much to sway them either way. There's no way it won't sway everyone a little, but I'm just as scared of overreacting to a fast start as I am to overreacting to a bad one. This month probably shouldn't mean as much as it will for the Giants and Joe Panik.

I'm just hoping the Giants don't make a ... you know ... a move based on a decision arrived at after being agitated and worked up. One of those moves. Wish there were a less cumbersome name for it.

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