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Projecting the rest of the 2018 Giants

Which projections did I not get to because I was lazy and handed a stack of papers to Bryan and said, “Here!” before jumping out of an open window? These ones.

Seattle Mariners v San Francisco Giants Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

It’s that time of year again, when I look at the calendar and realize I need to cram every remaining community projection into one post, even though nobody really cares about them or would miss them if they didn’t exist. But we can’t think about that now. We must think only of projections for the 2018 Giants.

Here are the players we got to:

Hrmm, six players total, one of whom is in the minors, with one projection written by the new guy. My worst effort yet. If this series wasn’t semi-retired before the changing of the guard, it sure should have been.

Still, I am addicted to closure, so we’ll have a lightning round. Here are super-important projections for the 2018 Giants:

Madison Bumgarner

If he were going to miss time with forearm tightness, I would have been less annoyed. That’s just a regular pitcher injury, no big deal. Instead, he has to get hurt on a freak play less than a year after getting hurt in a freak accident because he was acting like a ding-dong. The Giants had a razor-thin margin to make the postseason this year, and now they’re going to be without their best pitcher because of a spring training comebacker.

Maybe this is saving wear and tear on his arm. You ever think about that? This is good, actually.

My prediction presupposes that he’ll come back and be amazing for a couple of months, like C.C. Sabathia with the Brewers or Randy Johnson for the Astros. And then the Giants will miss the postseason by a single game, while we wonder what could have been if it weren’t for that stupid comebacker.

IP: 102

ERA: 2.33

BB: 18
K: 110
HR: 9
rWAR: 3.5

Stupid comebacker.

Jeff Samardzija

On the other hand, it’s not like Samardzija’s pectoral injury makes me feel better. It’s all crap. All of this. I hate baseball. I hate you. I hate baseball.

Anywho, I’ll give Samardzija some credit for the new-ish outfield and poor luck last year, and adjust accordingly. The Giants’ front three of the rotation was sure going to be awesome.

IP: 138
ERA: 3.95
BB: 22
K: 130
HR: 15
rWAR: 2.3

Chris Stratton

I don’t not believe! I understand that sexy spin rates don’t always translate into sexy ERAs, and while it’s kinda sorta neat that Stratton leads the league in anything, that doesn’t have to mean he’s still in the rotation by July.

Still, I don’t not believe:

IP: 167
ERA: 4.22
BB: 66
SO: 148
HR: 20
rWAR: 1.7

Ty Blach

Big Ty Blach fan over here. There’s nothing better than a lefty pitcher who fields his position well and annoys other fans when he shuts their team down. The Kirk Rueter era was beautiful, and I’m hoping it’s here again.

I’ll need to see more strikeouts, though.

IP: 135
ERA: 4.89
BB: 33
SO: 72
HR: 14
rWAR: 0.4

That would actually be a dramatic increase in strikeouts! Which is the problem. (The spring strikeouts were up, though, so I’ll be curiously optimistic on the inside. Prove me wrong, Ty. Prove me wrong.)

Mark Melancon

He is apparently broken again, and I’m in a bad mood, so:

IP: 44
ERA: 4.13
BB: 7
SO: 51
HR: 7
rWAR: 0.1

His FIP will be great, of course. But we don’t deserve nice things.

Brandon Crawford

Really, let’s just remember what a gift he is and always has been. He was supposed to be a Darwin Barney-type who couldn’t hit, and then he started hitting better than he did in the minors. I’m pretty sure he’s still that kind of hitter, even if he took a little step back last year.

PA: 578
AVG: .267
OBP: .332
SLG: .440
HR: 16
SB: 2
rWAR: 4.1
Slick-haired handsomeness: All of it.

Andrew McCutchen

Like I’m going to predict this guy to do poorly. He’s my favorite player! I’m in the tank! Completely impossible for me to be objective!

What we know is that McCutchen was pretty lousy in 2016, and that he started the 2017 season in a similar fashion. Then he RIPPED OPEN THE JAWS OF BASEBALL and hit for a 1.193 OPS in June and a 1.101 OPS in July. He was lousy in August again before being pretty danged good again in September.

I don’t know what this means when it comes to projecting him.

I just like projecting enjoyable players to have great seasons. Makes me feel warm inside. For once.

PA: 587
AVG: .299
OBP: .378
SLG: .483
HR: 19
SB: 15
rWAR: 4.5

Hunter Pence

Never bet against the drive and determination of Hunter Pence, a man who has probably beaten Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2. You have to respect that kind of effort.

He’s 35, though, and that’s the age when I started unironically grunting when I bent down to tie my shoes. There are a few stories of players who survived a mid-30s dip to come out the same player on the other side. There are thousands of stories of players who slid in their mid-30s and just kept sliding.

PA: 318
AVG: .251
OBP: .332
SLG: .377
HR: 8
SB: 5
rWAR: .7

Austin Jackson

I wanted him. I got him. Now he’s the starting center fielder, which might not be the greatest idea, but I still subscribe to the theory that Steven Duggar will be the starter before too long. Not because of anything Jackson will or won’t do, but because Duggar will be the breakout player, at least defensively, the Giants desperately needed last year.

Still, I’m a Jackson fan. He won’t be as magical as he was with the Indians last year, but he’ll be a net positive.

PA: 413
AVG: .278
OBP: .338
SLG: .371
HR: 7
SB: 5
rWAR: 1.0

Derek Holland

Still in the rotation by the All-Star break. Still doing wacky impressions to impress Amy G and the television-viewing audience. Not doing that great in general, but good enough.

IP: 139
ERA: 4.43
BB: 67
K: 120
HR: 14
rWAR: 0.6

Uh, now we need the lighting round for the lightning round:

  • Pablo Sandoval - Not bad!
  • Kelby Tomlinson - Not bad!
  • Gregor Blanco - Kind of bad, but we still love u, Gregor
  • Nick Hundley - Nick Hundley
  • Cory Gearrin - Not bad!
  • Josh Osich - Better!
  • Hunter Strickland - Better!
  • Sam Dyson - He has a nice cat, and my mother said that if you can’t say something nice ...
  • Tony Watson - Good
  • Will Smith - Good (when healthy)
  • Pierce Johnson - Still a full sentence
  • Gorkys Hernandez - Wait, he isn’t seriously still on the roster, is he? But, uh, I’ll go with “not bad!” just in case you’re not messing with me.

These have been your empirically correct 2018 projections. You can tell they’re good because they came from the man who predicted Madison Bumgarner would win the NL Cy Young this year.

You should probably gamble with these projections using real money, if we’re being honest.