The San Francisco Giants bench is incredibly weak. That’s pretty obvious. The bench has been exposed even more as the season has gone on, especially with Angel Pagan’s injury, Brandon Belt being out for significant time and Marco Scutaro’s career almost being over. Can this bench be changed, and if not is this bench good enough to help the Giants in the playoffs if they get there?
Anytime Gregor Blanco, Joaquin Arias, Hector Sanchez and Juan Perez are on the team and playing a lot there’s a problem. Nothing personal against those guys, but they aren’t good enough to play significant time. Blanco is a fifth outfielder who’s being forced to play because there’s no better option. Perez shouldn’t be on the Giants’ roster as he’s not playing and when he does play he can’t hit breaking balls. Arias is one of the weakest hitters in the league as far as power, having only two extra base hits all season long. Finally, Sanchez is still a young catcher; but he looks like he’s getting worse instead of better which doesn’t bode well for the Giants as they have no other valuable option behind the plate.
Those four guys mentioned have a combined batting average of around .200. Blanco is the best at .233. Having a team with one guy batting under .200 at this point in the season is bad, but having a bench full of dead weight is even worse as the Giants will more than likely end up counting on these guys as the season goes on.
With the trade deadline coming up the Giants need to consider replacing guys on their bench with players who could potentially make a postseason impact. No, Dan Uggla is not the answer. If the Giants don’t do something about this bench they won’t make the postseason, as it’s possible Pagan won’t return this season, Scutaro looks finished and Joe Panik is a young rookie trying to learn at the big league level.
Getting the right guys on the bench is going to be difficult because the Giants seem to have more issues emerging every day that they need to address. Recently, Matt Cain went back on the disabled list with bone spurs in his elbow that should have been removed last year.
Comparing the Giants’ bench to some of the best teams in the Majors is almost painful. Not that those teams have great players coming off their bench, but compared to the Giants they look like All-Stars.
A simple comparison would be the Giants’ biggest rival, Los Angeles Dodgers. They have a solid five man outfield. Even though Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford and Scott Van Slyke rotate, it’s easy to see that any one of those guys playing sparingly would be a starter on the Giants team right now with Pagan injured. Not only would they be starters, but they’d be producing at a higher level than Blanco, Perez or even Tyler Colvin.
The infield is similar in terms of weak players. However, right now the combination of Justin Turner, Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe is more productive than the Giants’ 2nd, short and third base positions. Outside of the Dodgers there are other teams that have much more depth across the board than the Giants. Most of the teams the Giants are battling with for playoff position’s have deeper rosters, which means that if the Giants continue to suffer injuries to key players they will struggle to win consistently like they are now.
Lack of depth has always been one of the Giants’ major problems. It’s no different this year. Even in the years they’ve won the World Series they’ve taken fliers on guys who looked washed up and had them work out. They could be on their way to doing that again, or simply they could just be a team that doesn’t have the depth to survive major injury concerns for the rest of the season.