I have thoughts about pitchers the Giants should sign. Secret and delirious thoughts. I have sleeper free agent picks and koans about David Price. But the offseason is dark and filled with rumors. And October is warm and filled with Cardinals and Dodgers. There's going to be so much time to go over which pitchers the Giants will finish second for.
Let's appreciate what little baseball we have left.
/Giants lose, 2-1
You know you'll miss it. And in the next three weeks, the Giants will put some pretty sad and hilarious lineups out there. My personal hope is for at least one Nick Noonan/Jackson Williams/Madison Bumgarner combination. That would mean the Giants got three starters out of the first round of just one draft. Amazing!
Bruce Bochy will use the low-leverage games to get his veterans some rest, give Joe Panik the rest of the season off, and possibly to check out some younger players. Of which, there sure aren't a lot on the roster. Still, he can experiment and do good things for the Giants with an eye on 2016.
You are Bruce Bochy. After you are finished making crank calls with your new Bruce Bochy voice, you have a lineup to fill out. Also, you're Bobby Evans's replacement as he hikes through Nepal or something. You can call anyone up you'd like to fill out that lineup. What would be the lineup that excites you the most in September?
1. Angel Pagan - CF
SURPRISE, SUCKERS. No, I think it's probably a good idea to see if the Giants have $11.25 million worth of dead money on their hands, or if Pagan can contribute if he's not asked to play every single freaking day. He's still leading the reverse-race to be the worst starter in San Francisco Giants history, but he's looked much better after returning from the DL.
Will the sproing in his step go away after another two or three grueling weeks? You'd better figure it out now.
2. Kelby Tomlinson - LF
Was pretty close to getting Mac Williamson up for a looksee, but this is the obvious next step for Tomlinson's career. He's a fair defensive second baseman, and that's being generous, but turning him into a seven-position wunderutility player makes him much more interesting as a future contributor. Start the painful learning curve now.
Maybe we'll get some GIFs out of it.
Never gets old.
3. Matt Duffy - 3B
4. Buster Posey - C
5. Brandon Belt - 1B
Because while rest is a fine goal, I don't hate myself. At least, not enough to want a lineup without any of these guys in it. Like, once is fine, for a gag. But all three of them have been reasons to watch Giants baseball this year, and a lot of the other reasons are broken.
6. Gregor Blanco/Marlon Byrd - RF
Blanco has played well enough this year that he might actually start in center field, rather than wait for another player to get hurt or run afoul with Major League Baseball. He can flip between left and right if you want to give Tomlinson some additional experience.
And Byrd has been just fine! Here are some at-bats against left-handers and only left-handers. What? No, that's been the plan all along. Yeah, nothing weird about this.
7. Ehire Adrianza - SS
I still believe ... in Adrianza's ability to be better than Joaquin Arias. He still looks lost at the plate (I'm not clarifying that pronoun), but Adrianza has enough defense to provide value as a backup shortstop. You wouldn't even notice him if Crawford weren't hurt and the Giants didn't have a weird, unfortunate bench for most of the season.
This assumes that Crawford is too hurt to play. If he's not, move him and this position up to the Duffy/Posey/Belt clump up there. Like fun do I want to watch a not-Crawford when there's an option of actual-Crawford.
8. Nick Noonan - 2B
Let Panik rest. It was fairly negligent to let him come back from the DL when he was less than 100 percent, but I didn't squawk because we got to watch him play baseball. He hit a dinger! But there was far, far, far more risk than reward.
Noonan is here because Tomlinson is in left and because I wouldn't want to mess with anyone like Austin Slater or Hunter Cole, just to get that new-prospect smell in my nostrils. New players are fun, but the Giants don't have another one who could play second without being rushed.
9. Clayton Blackburn - P
He's played in the AFL before. He doesn't need to go back. Give us a peek. A September without one interesting prospect is like an April without an inappropriately premature reaction to a single loss. If Blackburn is going to be the sixth/seventh starter on the bubble in 2016, like Chris Heston was this year, might as well give him a peek. Like Chris Heston last year. Symmetry!
It's pretty hard to field an interesting lineup when everyone's broken and the best prospects are in the low minors. That's my effort, but again, you're Bruce Bochy. You fill out your lineup however you want.