What would it take for the Giants to get into the World Series next year?
Hey, don't get all judgmental on me for asking the question. Don't..HEY, I'M NOT HIGH. Or drunk. Even if I were drunk -- say, before noon from a delicious nine-year bourbon with caramel undertones and a hint of smoke, feeling guilty about drinking before noon on a weekday, but explaining it away with the "reward" defense, as in, I did well on my midterm today, so I deserve to sit furtively in the back of the train car clutching a bottle in a brown paper bag, though, at some subconscious level, I know that's just an excuse for doing the only thing I know that will help me think and write optimistic thoughts about the Giants -- it wouldn't change the validity of the question.
- Right now, the Giants have a rotation that is capable of getting them to the World Series. Josh Fogg wouldn't sniff the top four of this rotation, and I'd take Cain and Lincecum over every non-Francis in the Colorado rotation for sure, and probably over Francis too. I think the Giants have a more balanced rotation than Cleveland did, and the Indians were only one win from the Series. The Red Sox have a rotation that is pretty formidable; it would take either Cain or Lincecum to progress to a Josh Beckett-level next year to compare, and that is far from a given. Still, I think the Giants' rotation matches up well with most teams in baseball.
- I have no problem ignoring the bullpen question, as random arms emerge every season for whatever teams make the World Series. Other than Jonathan Pabelbon and maybe Brian Fuentes, name one reliever for either World Series team on whom you would have put $5 to have a quality season this year. Exactly. Brian Wilson is the next Manny Corpas, and whatever cadaver the Giants sign is the next Matt Herges. Maybe. Probably not. But stay with me, now....
- Considering the above two points, the Giants are about an average offense and a little luck away from contention.
I know the Giants are as close to an average offense as a complimentary bag of honey-roasted peanuts is to a 747. That minor detail has not gone unnoticed.
I know that any offseason acquisitions to improve the offense will come at the expense of this rotation that, as currently constructed, I claim matches up well with the rest of baseball. And that kind of invalidates the entire first point.
I'm just saying that if the Giants were magically bequeathed an average offense, it wouldn't be completely crazy to hope for them to be the Rockies of 2008. Not likely, but not completely crazy.
My definition of "magically bequeathed": Nate Schierholtz hits 30 homers, the Giants make a lopsided offseason trade, whatever free-agent mistake the Giants make has a career year, Kevin Frandsen exceeds expectations, Bengie Molina hits for even more power, and fifteen of the sixteen center fielders on the roster have fantastic seasons.
Not likely. Not even remotely likely. But not once-in-a-generation implausible.
Comment starter: Forgetting my definition of "magically bequeathed" and substituting your own, do you think the Giants could reach the World Series with the current roster + an average offense? Or would it take an above-average offense and the current pitching staff?