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2011 MLB Preview: Looking at Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants on Paper

Posted By Adrian Fedkiw On Mar 29 2011 @ 8:56 pm In San Francisco Giants | No Comments

World Champions! 

It only took the Giants 66 years to climb back to the top of the mountain, and it was the first World Series title in San Francisco.

And to those who say it was a fluke, it wasn’t.  In the year of the pitcher, the Giants proved that they had the best pitching staff in baseball. 

Bruce Bochy also proved that he’s one of the best managers in the game.  And lastly, while the lineup wasn’t the best, they proved that they could come up with the timely hitting needed to win ball games.

Now the question is, can they repeat?


  • C-  Buster Posey- 8.25 
  • 1B- Aubrey Huff- 7 
  • 2B- Freddy Sanchez- 7.25 
  • SS- Miguel Tejada- 7 
  • 3B- Pablo Sandoval- 7.25


Buster Posey (24) 406 AB .305 BA 58 R 18 HR 67 RBI 0 SB 

Posey’s just 24-years-old, but he plays like a 10-year veteran.  The sophomore slump has been discussed with last year’s Rookie of the Year, but I don’t see it.  He has a good sense of the strike zone and he’s solid at adjusting with two strikes.  He’s natural behind the plate and has good range.

Aubrey Huff (34) 569 AB .290 BA 100 R 26 HR 86 RBI 7 SB

Huff signed a two-year, $22 million extension to stay in San Francisco.  He is a very good fastball hitter, and likes the ball up and in.  He struggles with off-speed stuff.  In the field, he’s not the best.  He’s slow and limited with his range.  Left field is an option if the Giants want to call up Brandon Belt at any point during the season.

Freddy Sanchez (33) 431 AB .292 BA 55 R 7 HR 47 RBI 3 SB

Sanchez is a solid two-hole hitter.  He has a short stroke and consistently makes contact.  He goes with the pitch.  He’s smart in the field.  He doesn’t have great range, but he knows where to position himself. 

Miguel Tejada (36) 636 AB .269 BA 71 R 15 HR 71 RBI 2 SB

Tejada has an aggressive mentality at the plate, although his bat speed continues to decline.  The former AL MVP has lost range in the field, but he still possesses a strong throwing arm.

Pablo Sandoval (24) 563 AB .268 BA 61 R 13 HR 63 RBI 3 SB

  • Sandoval is aggressive with an ultra-quick bat.  After consecutive seasons of a .330 plus batting average, he saw a substantial dip.  He tended to get too pull-happy last season.  He needs to hit to play because he struggles in the field.



  • LF- Pat Burrell- 7 
  • CF- Andres Torres- 7 
  • RF- Cody Ross- 7


Pat Burrell (34) 373 AB .252 BA 50 R 20 HR 64 RBI 0 SB

Burrell has a long swing, and he looks for the ball down to pull it with power.  He’s not a great left fielder.  He doesn’t have good range, but he makes the plays he needs to.

Andres Torres (33) 507 AB .268 BA 84 R 16 HR 63 RBI 26 SB

Torres is a switch hitter, but is a better hitter from the left side.  His stroke is quicker.  He’s a Gold Glove-caliber center fielder, and he uses his great speed to his advantage.  He doesn’t have a great arm.

Cody Ross (30) 525 AB .269 BA 71 R 14 HR 65 RBI 9 SB

  • As witnessed in the NLCS, you don’t want to give Ross a fastball on the inner half of the plate.  The NLCS MVP was acquired off waivers in August from Florida.  The claim was originally made so the Padres wouldn’t get him. 



  • 1. Tim Lincecum- 9.5
  • 2. Matt Cain- 8
  • 3. Jonathan Sanchez- 7.25
  • 4. Madison Bumgarner- 7.5
  • 5. Barry Zito- 7


Tim Lincecum (26) 212 IP 16-10 3.43 ERA 1.27 WHIP 231 K

Lincecum had a down regular season for his standards after back-to-back NL Cy Young wins, but he was dynamite in the postseason.  He creates deception by his freaky delivery.  To go along with his fastball, Lincecum has a nice set of secondary pitches.  He has a changeup/splitter, a late-biting power slider and a curveball.  We’ll find out if the extra postseason innings affects him this upcoming season.

Matt Cain (26) 223 IP 13-11 3.14 ERA 1.08 WHIP 177 K

Cain is a workhorse.  He works his mid-90s fastball all over the strike zone.  To complement the fastball, he throws a hard, tilted slider, a big, tight curveball and a changeup. 

Jonathan Sanchez (28) 193 IP 13-9 3.07 ERA 1.23 WHIP 205 K

Sanchez is great when he’s in control, but tends to get wild when he’s fighting adversity.  His 96 walks led the NL.  He has a nice tail to his mid-90s fastball, and gets hitters to chase on his secondary pitches.  He has a late-breaking slider and a big, tilted curveball.

Madison Bumgarner (21) 111 IP 7-6 3.00 ERA 1.31 WHIP 86 K

Bumgarner is a modern-day, left-handed version of Walter Johnson in the way he slings the ball.  He gets really good movement on his fastball and cuts it in on righties.  His curveball never seems to stop spinning.   He’s got very good command for a 21-year old.

Barry Zito (32) 199 IP 9-14 4.15 ERA 1.34 WHIP 150 K

  • Zito started strong a year ago but struggled down the stretch, going 1-8 with a 6.66 ERA in his final 11 starts.  He’s a serviceable fifth starter, although his paycheck doesn’t say so.



  • RP- Sergio Romo- 7.25
  • RP- Santiago Casilla- 7
  • RP- Javier Lopez- 7.25
  • SU- Jeremy Affeldt- 7.25
  • CP- Brian Wilson- 9


Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez

The Giants have some variety in their middle relief.  Romo throws frisbees, Casilla throws gas and Lopez is a side-armer who neutralizes lefties.

Jeremy Affeldt (31) 50 IP 4-3 4 SV 4.14 ERA 1.60 WHIP 44 K

Affeldt had leg and side issues a year ago.  He’s strictly a fastball, curveball pitcher, but he’ll also mix in a slider and an occasional changeup. 

Brian Wilson (33) 75 IP 3-3 48 SV 1.81 ERA 1.18 WHIP 93 K

  • Wilson tied Rod Beck’s saves record with 48 last year.  He’s fearless and attacks batters with his overpowering high-90s fastball.  He complements the fastball with a cutter/slider that bites quick and late. 


Sizing up the Giants

Projected Lineup

    1. Andres Torres- 7
    2. Freddy Sanchez- 7.25
    3. Aubrey Huff- 7
    4. Buster Posey- 8.25
    5. Miguel Tejada- 7
    6. Cody Ross- 7 
    7. Pat Burrell- 7 
    8. Pablo Sandoval- 7.25


Projected Starting Rotation

  • 1. Tim Lincecum- 9.5
  • 2. Matt Cain- 8
  • 3. Jonathan Sanchez- 7.25
  • 4. Madison Bumgarner- 7.5
  • 5. Barry Zito- 7



  • RP- Sergio Romo- 7.25
  • RP- Santiago Casilla- 7
  • RP- Javier Lopez- 7.25
  • SU- Jeremy Affeldt- 7.25
  • CP- Brian Wilson- 9


Bench—Mark DeRosa, Aaron Rowand, Travis Ishikawa, Mike Fontenot, Nate Schierholtz, Eli Whiteside- 7.25

Manager—Bruce Bochy- 7.5


OF- 21

SP- 39.25

RP- 7.25

CP- 16.25

MISC- 14.75

Hitting- 57.75

Pitching- 62.5

TOTAL- 135

The lineup still isn’t the best, but Bruce Bochy is a magician when it comes to tinkering with the order and making double-switches.

The starting rotation remains one of the game’s elite. 

I don’t see why San Francisco can’t contend for another World Series crown.

Prediction- 93-69, first in NL West

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