If at least 2 of these 4 things happens and of course #5 happens then the Giants have an excellent shot of making the playoffs this year.
1. Our underperforming/overpaid veterens need to produce at the level that they once did. Aaron Rowand, might smell like 2007 when he hit 27 HRs had a .309 AVG and had an outstanding VORP of 51.1. But all the off-season biking in the world is not going to return him to that form, especially outside of the bandbox that is Citizens Bank Park. Lets aim for something realistic like…… trying not to chase sliders all the time. Renteria needs to silence the doubters. If he can return to his 2007 form at least from a VORP (value over replacement player) standpoint. In 2007 he was 46.5 VORP, last year he was 5.5. If it really was his injuries that slowed him last year, then he can return to at least to an above average SS option.
2. Will Schierholtz be the ONE Giants prospect that delivers? We don’t need more sub-par regulars to fill in the cracks around the cast of regulars that Sabean hand picked for the teams offense this year. The Giants need Schierholtz to deliver Winn-esque defense while fighting his way to a .350+ OBP and at least hit .280 with some power. The minor characters will be the ones who get us in the playoffs this year.
3. Bam Bam Meulens succeeds in his attempt to make everyone in the lineup take two pitches. On-Base Percentage should be the MOST stressed aspect of the game this year. If you can’t get a bunt down, if you can’t take a walk, they you need to sit a couple of games.
4. Our 4 and 5 starters deliver a 10+ win season each. I know it is a lot to ask of a 4 and 5 starter. But with the talent that we have on the pitching staff our 4 and 5 guys would be 2 and 3 guys elsewhere. While everyone expects Sanchez to deliver a stellar year, I would be happy if he got 12 wins and 15 or so quality outings. As for Madison Bumgarner, It seems like he could add another great southpaw to our staff. It will be sort of odd to have our front 2 pitchers throwing from the right side and our back three throwing from the left. But the important part is to see if Madbum can at least make it once through the league just being a surprise to everyone, maybe picking up 5 wins on the way, then change it all up when they figure him out, which hopefully can be good for another 5 wins. Otherwise I am more than willing to see Wellemeyer soak up 5 or so wins at some point.
5. Magic…. thats what we need. We need the same luck that we had last year when we won more games than we were suppose to. We need Huff to remove the bricks from his hands and play the 1 bag at least half as good as Ishikawa. We need Juan Uribe to come off the bench and comically swat home runs like he did last year. We need a full year from Mr Mole himself Freddie Sanchez. We need Sandoval to keep his jester hat on, while golfing any ball that comes within 5 feet of the strike zone. We need the same magic that happened last year in the bullpen to repeat (minus all that Merkin Valdez stuff). We need a couple hundred balls to bounce our way, and we need to pound the shit out of weak teams like the Padres who somehow destroyed us last year.