Angel Pagan isn't encased in carbonite yet. He isn't zipping around with of those cast-unicycles, crutching his way from the bedroom to the restroom at 33 inches per hour. He's having tests done on his right knee. Let's save the panic for when he's too hurt to play but isn't on the disabled list. So, tomorrow.
The good news: Gregor Blanco, when defense is considered, is probably as good as Angel Pagan. Blanco is off to a poor start and Pagan was off to a great one, so it seems counterintuitive right now, but at best, Pagan is an average defender. Blanco is an above-average defender. Pagan is good for an OBP between .330 and .340 or so; so is Blanco. The difference in their extra-base hits is probably washed out by defense. The Giants missed Pagan tremendously last year, but they weren't worse off at the exact position he vacated, oddly enough.
The bad news: Everyone moves up a rung if Pagan has to miss some time. If Blanco takes over in center, the new fourth outfielder (Juan Perez) isn't as good as Blanco was. If Perez is the fourth outfielder, that means the new fifth outfielder isn't likely to be as good as the old one. It's not a big deal, but it all adds up.
The worse news: The only other outfielder on the 40-man roster is Gary Brown. So, uh, well…
The surprising news: Gary Brown is doing okay. Why, he's doing just fine.
Small samples. Smaaaaalllll samples. But check this out:
He's had only 15 plate appearances against lefties, too, if you were wondering. He isn't padding his numbers with his freaky platoon splits.
Small samples. Smmmmmaaammammaaalllll samples. But everything looks better. He's swinging at fewer pitches out of the zone. The Giants have been working with him, working really, really hard to turn him into a major leaguer. Maybe something clicked.
There is not one "dislike" on that video, according to YouTube. Probably worth watching the whole way through.
What I'm saying is this: If Blanco isn't that much of a downgrade, and if Juan Perez is a perfectly capable fourth outfielder, and if Gary Brown is suddenly not one of the worst hitters on any 40-man roster, the Giants shouldn't be completely devastated if Pagan is out for a while, even though they certainly were last year.
So let's all just hope that the prospect who stopped hitting in 2011 is suddenly okay, based on a sample of fewer than 100 at-bats.
On second, thought, pray for the Pagan. Let there be healthy parts in that knee. Let him give us at least one or two more healthy seasons. Though even if you're not sold on Brown yet, the bulk of the at-bats will still go to someone competent. The Giants are in a better place than most teams would be, at least.
I have a Marco Scutaro feeling about this one. Hope I'm wrong.