By John Shea @real_johnshea on June 24, 2014
The San Francisco Giants are considered one of the best teams in baseball as the 2014 MLB season reaches the midway point. Although the Giants have scuffled as of late, they remain four games ahead of the rival Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. San Francisco is a well-rounded ball club, but recent injuries have disabled its ability to sustain consistency, prompting GM Brian Sabean to enter the trade market in order to improve its chances.
The bounty of rumors bubbling to the surface around MLB frequently involve top-tier pitchers who can help propel contenders to the Fall Classic. Chicago Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija is no exception. The hard-knock loser has been linked to the Giants by Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports. San Francisco could be in need of another starter because of Cain's inconsistency. The 10-year veteran is just 1-6 with a 4.82 ERA in 71.0 innings across 12 starts.
There isn't an MLB team more familiar with the dangers of taking foul tips off the mask than the Giants. Current Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was forced to retire as a result of taking numerous blows to the head while with San Francisco. The Giants will protect their franchise player at all costs. Posey will eventually make the switch to first base, a transition that could happen sooner rather than later.
The average fan might think of web gems and run-preventing defense when hearing the name "Brandon Crawford." The fourth-year player is beginning to change that perception in 2014. Crawford is probably never going to be a .260-plus hitter, but the dude can flat-out rake. More than 11 percent of his at-bats result in extra bases. He's on pace to break the single-season triples record in the SF era (15) and could drive in more than 75 runs.
The Giants' leadoff hitter is the definitive key to their success. San Francisco plummeted out of contention when Pagan suffered a season-crippling hamstring injury that eventually required surgery in 2013, and has been mediocre at best without him in the lineup this season. San Francisco owns a 60.3 win percentage in games where Pagan makes at least one plate appearance in 2014, whereas it's just 7-6 in games that he doesn't play.
The 2012 NLCS MVP hasn't seen the field in 2014, and likely won't have a major impact on the Giants' potential run at a third World Series title in five seasons. Scutaro remains in relentless pursuit to get healthy enough to play, but Giants executives have already ruled him out as being an everyday player upon return. Sabean and co. are hopeful that rookie Joe Panik is the answer, but a possible trade for Mets infielder David Murphy is rumored.
September 3, 2015 by Miguel Martinez
The Cubs have fallen back down to Earth after an amazing August but the current slump is not as bad as it seems. Read More
September 2, 2015 by jerryburnes
The Minnesota Twins need to call up top prospect Jose Berrios to help a dismal bullpen. Find out why, here. Read More
September 2, 2015 by Nick Vorholt
Here are the four call-ups and one returning player who will help the Angels chase the Rangers for the wild card spot. Read More
September 2, 2015 by Dave Holcomb
Johnny Cueto hasn't pitched well in his last three starts, so is it time for the Kansas City Royals to grow concerned about its ace? Find out, here. Read More
The Pittsburgh Pirates have dominated play outside the NL Central this season, but their weak division play could hurt them down the stretch. Read More
September 2, 2015 by Mike Gibson
The Philadelphia Phillies should start taking some pointers from the New York Mets going forward, and the first step should be to retain interim manager Pete Mackanin. Read More
September 2, 2015 by Carter Roane
The Boston Red Sox have an amazing outfield defensively, but which positions will each of them play? Read More
The Los Angeles Dodgers have five players who can help them win the National West, and here are there names. Read More