Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2014 Fantasy Outlooks: San Francisco Giants

  •  

The Giants fell hard after their 2012 World Series victory. Returning with a roster that changed little from their championship squad, the team went 76-86, tying for third place in the National League West.

Having become accustomed to owning one of the best pitching staffs in baseball, the Giants had to adapt to what was once a strength becoming a weakness in 2013. Matt Cain had a surprisingly poor first half, compiling a 5.06 ERA before rediscovering his control and runner-stranding ability. Ryan Vogelsong underperformed and missed time with a hand injury, and Barry Zito had possibly his most miserable season of his disappointing seven-year Giants career. Though Chad Gaudin and Yusmeiro Petit filled in admirably as substitute starters, the Giants' staff finished with the third-highest ERA in the National League. Only Madison Bumgarner and closer Sergio Romo stood out as a reliable arms over the course of the season.

2014 Fantasy Outlooks
A.L. East N.L. East
Orioles Braves
Red Sox Marlins
Yankees Mets
Rays Phillies
Blue Jays Nationals
A.L. Central N.L. Central
White Sox Cubs
Indians Reds
Tigers Brewers
Royals Pirates
Twins Cardinals
A.L. West N.L. West
Astros Diamondbacks
Angels Rockies
Athletics Dodgers
Mariners Padres
Rangers Giants

The offense gets its share of the blame, too. Buster Posey was bound to fall off his MVP pace from 2012, but few likely saw a near-halving of his home run-to-flyball ratio (from 17.8 to 9.4 percent) coming. Angel Pagan missed more than half the season due to hamstring surgery, leaving Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres to man two of the outfield spots for much of 2013. Not only did they fail to make up for Pagan's lost production, but neither one came close to replacing the departed Melky Cabrera. (In all fairness, Cabrera fell far short of the standard he set in 2011 and 2012 in his first season with the Blue Jays.)

The Giants apparently feel that the current cast is capable of contending again, as they made few offseason moves. Michael Morse was signed to provide the outfield production they missed by using Blanco and Torres frequently last season. Zito's tenure mercifully came to an end, and he has been replaced by free agent Tim Hudson, who will try to bounce back from a gruesome ankle injury. Otherwise, the team will count on Posey and Vogelsong to rebound, Bumgarner and Hunter Pence to remain consistent, Brandon Belt to build on his growth from the last two seasons, Tim Lincecum to continue the reversal of fortune he modestly began last year and for Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval to simply stay healthy.

There are a lot of "ifs" that will have to come true for the Giants to contend again, and that also means there are few players who are reliable enough to be trusted with an early-round pick in Fantasy. Posey, Pence and Bumgarner are the sole members of that brief list, though Cain will be a must-start option until he proves otherwise. Lincecum, Hudson, Romo, Belt, Sandoval, Morse and Pagan are all worth having in standard mixed leagues, particularly in Rotisserie formats.

Head-to-Head hero ... Hunter Pence, outfield

2014 projected lineup
Player Name Position
1. Angel Pagan CF
2. Marco Scutaro 2B
3. Brandon Belt 1B
4. Buster Posey C
5. Hunter Pence RF
6. Pablo Sandoval 3B
7. Michael Morse LF
8. Brandon Crawford SS
Bench Joaquin Arias 2B
Bench Gregor Blanco OF

Because Pence has a couple of fluky-looking .300-plus seasons on his resume, when I've discussed him during draft prep season in the past, it's been to warn of bust potential. Now that he is two years removed from a .314 campaign, expectations for Pence have receded, and he could be underrated now, at least in Head-to-Head formats. Particularly if Pence doesn't approach his career-high 22 steals from a year ago, he can't be trusted to repeat as a top 10 outfielder in Rotisserie, as he doesn't have tremendous power for his position. However, as Depeche Mode once sang regarding Head- to-Head formats, everything counts in large amounts. With standard categories all being of the counting variety, being durable counts for a lot, and Pence has played at least 154 games in each of his six full seasons. While Pence's rate stats might give him the appearance of being a middle-of- the-road Fantasy outfielder, he could wind up being a top 15 Head-to-Head outfielder for the fourth time in the last five years.

Bust ... Pablo Sandoval, third base

Time missed due to injury is an old story for Sandoval, and in 2013, it was foot and back issues that kept him off the field at times. He did play 141 games, his highest total since 2010, and he lost more than 40 pounds this offseason. Maybe that will help Sandoval to play more games this season, but even if it does, it doesn't mean he will reverse two seasons of disappointing power numbers. Sandoval has hit 20-plus homers in two out of his five full seasons, so he has the potential to repeat that feat, but with underwhelming production in the other three seasons, it's a big risk to bank on it. Because he doesn't strike out much, Sandoval has some Head-to-Head appeal, but that's limited due to playing time concerns, and in Rotisserie, the likelihood of moderate power and run production with no speed leaves him with minimal standard mixed league value.

Bounceback candidate ... Tim Lincecum, starting pitcher

2014 rotation/bullpen
Player Name Throws
1. Matt Cain RHP
2. Madison Bumgarner LHP
3. Tim Hudson RHP
4. Tim Lincecum RHP
5. Ryan Vogelsong RHP
ALT Yusmeiro Petit RHP
Bullpen Breakdown
1. Sergio Romo RHP
2. Santiago Casilla RHP
3. Jeremy Affeldt LHP
4. Javier Lopez LHP
5. George Kontos RHP

Through the first two months of last season, Lincecum looked headed for another disaster. He stood at the end of May with an ERA over 5.00, even though he notched more than a strikeout per inning, just as he had done in 2012. Though Lincecum's ERA did not improve dramatically over his remaining 21 starts, he showed signs of a turnaround. He threw a respectable 62 percent of his pitches for strikes and walked 3.1 batters per nine innings, and both stats reflect marked improvement in control. Because Lincecum was still allowing extra-base hits at a higher rate than he did during his better years and was stranding runners at a subpar 69 percent rate, his final ERA was a less-than-impressive 4.37. An upward swing in strand rate is not unthinkable, so if he can maintain decent control, Lincecum's contributions to strikeouts, ERA and WHIP can return him to relevance in standard mixed leagues.

Prospects Report

Righty Kyle Crick and lefty Edwin Escobar are not only the consensus top prospects in the Giants' system, but they could be the first among the organization's best minor leaguers to reach the majors and make an impact. Since both could receive callups sometime this year, both can be targeted in the late rounds of NL-only drafts. ... Andrew Susac will have a hard time cracking the Giants' lineup thanks to the presence of Buster Posey, but the 24-year-old catcher should be able to contribute in the majors at some point within the next year or two. ... The same may not be true for outfielder Gary Brown, but perhaps he can regain his prospect status if he can cut back on strikeouts. He's worth hanging onto for at least one more year in dynasty formats. ... Shortstop Christian Arroyo, outfielder Mac Williamson, second baseman Joe Panik and pitchers Chris Stratton, Adalberto Mejia and Clayton Blackburn have all toiled almost exclusively in the lower minors so far, but all are legitimate dynasty league targets. ... Starting pitcher Michael Kickham and reliever Heath Hembree have some big league experience, and while neither projects to make a major Fantasy impact in 2014, both could make a contribution in deeper NL-only leagues this season.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Al at @almelccbs .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Padres RP Craig Kimbrel closes out Mets for 30th save Thursday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(7:08 pm ET) Padres closer Craig Kimbrel worked a perfect ninth inning to pick up his 30th save of the season in Thursday's 8-7 win over the Mets. Kimbrel, who took the mound after a near three-hour rain delay, struck out a batter as he preserved the victory.

Kimbrel remains perfect in save chances this season, and his ERA has dwindled to 2.68--it was as high as 4.50 in early June.


Red Sox recall Jonathan Aro, option Tommy Layne
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(7:07 pm ET) The Red Sox recalled pitcher Jonathan Aro from Triple-A Pawtucket, the team announced on Thursday. Aro was 0-1 with a 3.03 ERA and one save. 

To make room, the team optioned Tommy Layne to Pawtucket. Layne was 0-1, 3.51 with a save for Boston. 


Indians recall Lonnie Chisenhall
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(7:04 pm ET) The Indians recalled third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall from Triple-A Columbus, the team announced on Thursday. 

Chisenhall hit .209 in a previous stint with the team this year. He joined the team for Thursday's game and is in the starting lineup at DH. 


Mets RP Jerry Blevins (forearm) able to begin throwing program
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(7:04 pm ET) The Mets received some good news on Thursday, in what has otherwise been a rough couple of days. Left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins has been cleared to begin throwing for the first time since suffering a fractured forearm in April.

Blevins has not thrown a pitch since taking a line drive off of his arm on April 19. There is currently no timetable for his return, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.


Mets option C Anthony Recker to Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(7:00 pm ET) Mets catcher Anthony Recker was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas following the 8-7 loss to the Padres on Thursday. Recker had been the back-up to Kevin Plawecki, who will likely be the back-up to the returning Travis d'Arnaud.

Recker is batting .123 with a pair of home runs with the Mets in 2015.


Red Sox put RP Jean Machi on ML roster; Daniel Nava DFA'd
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(6:58 pm ET) The Red Sox have added right-handed reliever Jean Machi to the Major League roster. Machi was picked up off waivers from the Giants on Tuesday.

To make room on the 40-man and 25-man rosters, Daniel Nava has been designated for assignment. 


Padres' Andrew Cashner gets roughed up by Mets in no-decision
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(6:50 pm ET) Padres starter--and possible trade candidate--Andrew Cashner had a disaster of an outing against the Mets on Thursday. The right-hander allowed seven runs (five earned) on six hits over 5 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out three, and was able to escape with a no-decision after the Padres rallied for a late-inning 8-7 victory.

Cashner allowed an early run in the first inning, but cruised through the next three frames without giving up a run. But he gave up a three-run home run to Curtis Granderson in the fifth before allowing three more runs to cross in the sixth, including a solo blast by Juan Uribe.

Cashner, who has been mentioned in trade rumors recently, was making just his second start since the All-Star break. He is 2-2 with a 3.89 ERA over his past six starts.


Mets' Jonathon Niese stifles Padres, takes no-decision Thursday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(6:42 pm ET) Mets starter Jonathon Niese had another terrific outing on Thursday against the Padres. The left-hander went six innings, allowing one run on six hits. He walked one and struck out six, but was left with a no-decision after the Mets blew a six-run lead.

The only run that Niese gave up came in his final inning of work. Otherwise, he did a fine job of keeping the Padres in check 

Niese was coming off a rough start against the Dodgers his last time out, but otherwise he has been stellar in recent weeks. Aside from that poor outing last weekend, Niese has posted a sterling 1.95 ERA over his past eight starts.


White Sox trade for Pirates' Justin Sellers
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6:41 pm ET) The White Sox traded for Pirates infielder Justin Sellers on Thursday, per MLB.com.

Sellers was playing for Triple-A Indianapolis in the Pittsburgh organization, and was 1 for 10 in four games. Chicago assigned him to Triple-A Charlotte. 

Sellers last played in the Major Leagues for Cleveland in 2014, where he hit .188 in 17 games.

To acquire Sellers, the White Sox will give the Pirates either a player to be named later or cash


Pirates acquire RP Joakim Soria from Tigers
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(6:12 pm ET) The Pirates have acquired right-handed reliever Joakim Soria in a trade with the Tigers, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reports.

The trade comes just over a year after Soria was dealt to the Tigers by the Rangers last season. This year, Soria has recorded 23 saves in 26 chances for the Tigers. He has 36 strikeouts in 41 innings pitched. He will join Mark Melancon as a formidable 1-2 punch at the back end of the Pirates' bullpen.

The Tigers, who have officially announced the trade, will receive minor-league infielder JaCoby Jones from the Pirates. Jones was the Pirates' No. 12 prospect, and was batting .260 with 10 home runs and 60 RBI between Class A Bradenton and Double-A Altoona. He was a third-round pick by the Pirates in 2013.


 
 
 
Rankings