The San Francisco Giants’ roster has taken another hit after centerfielder Angel Pagan’s latest setback. Decimated by injuries, the defending World Series Champions will be without their starting outfielder for at least 10-12 weeks. Pagan could very easily miss the rest of the season.
The surgery will repair a tendon in his left hamstring and will be performed during the team’s three game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is a crucial blow to the Giants and will only add to the club’s season long hardships. Pagan had been hitting .262 with three home runs and 24 RBIs. These are far from stellar numbers, but he consistently provided good defense, superior range, and much needed speed. Pagan does misjudge the ball path on occasion and possess a very average arm; however, his hustle and clutch play will be sorely missed.
This news comes at the heels of another injury to a key Giants player. Fifth starter, Chad Gaudin, was officially put on the 15-day disabled list on Monday, June 26. The trainers are calling the injury a bruised elbow and predict that Gaudin should be ready to pitch by the time he is eligible to come off the disabled list.
Lefty Mike Kikham was recalled from Fresno and made his second major league start on Tuesday against the Dodgers. The rookie pitched decently until running into trouble in the sixth inning. After a double by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, shortstop Hanley Ramirez belted a line-drive home run just fair of the left field foul pole.
Giants skipper Bruce Bochy then decided to leave Kikham in to close out the inning. This proved costly as the youngster proceeded to give up singles to outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. The Dodgers would score one more run in the 6th on an error by relief pitcher Jake Dunning. This would prove to be the difference as the Giants eventually lost 5-6, putting them under .500 for the first time since opening day.
The Gaudin and Pagan injuries are substantial, positioning general manager Brian Sabean to make one or possibly two deals before the trade deadline. Andres Torres could fill in for the time being, thereby allowing Sabean to focus more on acquiring a starting pitcher.
The Giants are lucky, in a sense, because Torres and Gregor Blanco have the ability to play the entire outfield. Therefore, another option could be to look for a leftfielder regardless of defensive capability. The Giants offense is much improved, but could use even more pop. Sabean has two choices: have a lighting fast, defensive minded outfield featuring Blanco and Torres, or trade for a left fielder while rotating the two incumbents. Possible fits include Michael Morse and Josh Willingham. Morse is a pure bomber who isn’t capable of playing any defense. Willingham had an elite year in 2012, but has performed far below those standards this season. Both players need a change of scenery and San Francisco might just be the fix.
For the first time in years, the Giants are looking to trade for a starting pitcher. There has been more talk surrounding this position than anything regarding the outfield. The club has already been inquiring about Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins and Bud Norris of the Houston Astros. Both are inning eaters who fit the Giants current price range.