After acquiring Evan Longoria and bringing back what they believed could be a top rotation in baseball, the San Francisco Giants were looking to be competitive in the NL West in 2018. Long story short, they failed. They finished 73-89 and 4th in their division. They finished 19 games under .500 away from AT&T (now Oracle) Park in 2018, and just 3 games over .500 at home, not a great recipe for success. At the end of the day, injuries really hurt the Giants in 2018. Longo missed 37 games with a fractured hand, Buster Posey missed 57 with a hip injury, and Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija COMBINED for just 31 starts. A team that was optimistic about being competitors in 2018 was quickly derailed by the injury bug leading to the question; what’s next for the San Francisco Giants?
The biggest storyline for the Giants in the offseason was the news of manager Bruce Bochy announcing that he will be retiring after the 2019 season. Bochy won 3 World Series in San Francisco in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Ideally, you would want your teams biggest offseason storyline to be a big free agent signing or a big trade, but the Giants had a very quiet offseason.
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) February 27, 2019
They were brought up in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes a few times and some people really thought he’d end up in the black and orange, but as we know, that didn’t happen. The Giants did re-sign Derek Holland and signed Drew Pomeranz to add depth to their staff, which they’ll need with Johnny Cueto recovering from Tommy John surgery.
The Giants head into 2019 with the hopes that they will get a full year of a healthy Buster Posey. The 6-time all-star only played 105 games last year after playing in at least 140 games the previous 6 years. In his 105 games, he only hit 5 home runs, a career low, but he was still able to hit .284 which is leaving the Giants and their fans hopeful that he can be productive even coming off of his hip surgery.
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 2, 2017
The Giants, outside of Buster Posey, have not had many “you can book them for x,y, and z” guys in their lineup over the past few years. You know Brandon Belt will hit 15-20 homers and Brandon Crawford will hit around .250 and play above average defense. One player the Giants fans should be excited to see in 2019 is Dereck Rodriguez. The 26-year-old righty posted a 2.81 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in his rookie campaign where he threw 118.1 innings over 21 games (19 starts). A 29-year-old Madison Bumgarner will be looking to get back to his all-star caliber form, and newly acquired Drew Pomeranz looks to rebound after a personally tough 2018 with the World Champion Boston Red Sox.
Andrew McCutchen just blasted one off Madison Bumgarner to what I think is Paradise Valley. Buster Posey pushes him out of the box after. pic.twitter.com/wB7rGjA1ef
— Katie Woo (@katiejwoo) February 20, 2018
Now, what should fans expect from the Giants in 2019? Playing in a division with the 2 time National League champion Dodgers, the Rockies who won over 90 games last year, The Diamondbacks who even after trading Paul Goldschmidt have a solid roster, and the Padres, who added some guy named Manny Machado this offseason. I fully expect this to be a 2 team race in the west, between the Dodgers and Rockies. The Giants, even with a healthy Posey and Bumgarner, do just not have the firepower to compete with those at the top of their division. I think that in his last season Bruce Bochy will pull some magic of his, and find a way to get his team to finish at .500, a tad above the Fangraphs projected 75 wins, but still not good enough to make the postseason.
I believe the San Francisco Giants team MVP in 2019 will be Buster Posey. I believe the future Hall-of-Famer will be able to come back strong from hip surgery, Not only will Posey add a quality bat into the lineup, but his ability to call a game from behind the plate, and the leadership he brings to the clubhouse will be essential to their season.
The team Cy Young award will go to sophomore Dereck Rodriguez. Coming off his strong rookie season, Rodriguez will be able to produce another successful season in a rotation with quite a few question marks.
Record Prediction: 81-81
Team MVP: Buster Posey