Well, that’s how these things go sometimes. After going 20-8 and in the month of July, the Giants have struggled in August. The team’s current W/L record in August of 9-10 actually downplays just how bad things have looked in the last few series. Errors, poor pitching, and vintage bad hitting have all combined to put a sizable dent in the Giants quest to reach the playoffs.
The bad news: Each day the Giants struggle to play solid baseball, the NL West looks less and less winnable. The Giants currently sit 6 games out of 1st place in the West. And while the team has struggled to win recent games, the Padres have not, going 13-7 in August. Tim Lincecum is still searching for his mojo. His BABIP is nearly 30 points above his career average and it’s possible that he’s getting dunked and dinked more than usual, but the Giants need their ace to pitch a couple of solid games in order to get some sort of balance back. Jose Guillen looks absolutely statue-esque in the outfield and I really, really dislike the outfield defense when Rowand is in CF and Burrell and Guillen are in the corners.
The good news: The wild card. Holy god, the wild card. I will cling onto the wild card until reality forces me to loosen my grip. Did you know the Giants are only 2 games out of the wild card? Ignore the fact that they’ll have to leap over the 2 teams they just played so miserably against — St. Louis and Philadelphia — to win the blasted thing. Yes, the wild card is good. It is great. Where the heck where you in 1993?
The Giants head home to play a 3 game series against the NL Central leading Cincinnati Reds. A tough assignment for any team. The Reds can hit (2nd in the NL in team wOBA, .337) and they’ve been on a roll so far in August (13 wins, 5 losses). I would try and make a bold prediction that the Giants need to sweep this series, but really, the Giants just need to start winning games. Please win, Giants.
In an effort to field a team composed solely of outfielders, the Giants have been awarded OF Cody Ross from the Florida Marlins in a waiver claim. A corresponding roster move will need to be made.
The Giants will wait until Monday to announce a corresponding roster move to clear room for Ross, 29, whom they claimed last Friday. San Francisco will be responsible for approximately $1.1 million of Ross’ remaining 2010 salary of $4.45 million.
The 29-year-old Ross is a career .340 wOBA batter and he’s been an average defender in CF over his career. That makes him an above average defender in the corners. I like the pick-up but it’s unlikely the Giants will start him in RF over Guillen. Ross is both a better baserunner and defender when compared to Guillen. He’s also been a much better hitter over the past 2 years than Guillen. Ross will present an interesting question to the Giants. The team is surely better with Ross manning RF, but will the Giants play him as a starter? I wouldn’t hold your breath, but if the Giants are serious about the playoffs, playing Ross over Guillen is the right thing to do. The Marlins get to shed some salary and make room for uber-prospect, Cameron Maybin. The Giants will retain control of Ross for the 2011 season if they wish to do so. Ross will be arbitration eligible again next year. He’s earning $4.45M this year after winning his arbitration hearing with Florida. His current salary will make him an expensive bench player, but he’s decent insurance in a corner OF spot and if Rowand truly sees a reduction in his role as a player going forward, he could get a crack at starting.
I’m ready for this.
Make it so, Sabes.
Update: Baggs tweets that the Giants have DFA’d 2B Matt Downs in order to make room on the 40-man for Ross.