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
Report: Mets have insurance on David Wright's contract
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:57 am ET) If Mets third baseman David Wright misses 60 games this season, the team would recoup 75 percent of his contract while he is unable to play, sources told FoxSports.

Wright is on the disabled list with a back issue. He has only appeared in eight games this season and he has not played since April 14.


Albert Pujols gets two hits in Angels' loss
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:54 am ET) The Angels only managed five hits against San Diego in a shutout loss, and first baseman Albert Pujols had two of them. 

Pujols went 2 for 4, lifting his average to .235


Matt Kemp's bases-loaded double gives Padres win
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:51 am ET) Padres right fielder Matt Kemp hit a bases-clearing, two-out double in the tenth inning to help beat the Angels on Tuesday. 

Kemp went 2 for 5 and broke a scoreless tie with his bases loaded hit. His three RBI gave him 25 on the year. He also scored a run. The double was his tenth this season and the only extra base hit for either team in the game.


Angels' Joe Smith gives up four 10th inning runs to lose
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:49 am ET) Angels reliever Joe Smith gave up four runs in 2/3 of an inning to lose to San Diego on Tuesday.

Smith started the tenth and loaded the bases on a single and two walks. He gave up a two-out, bases clearing double, then left the game. The runner he left on base eventually came around to score. 

Smith had gone nine straight appearances without allowing a run before Tuesday. 


Padres' Dale Thayer earns win in relief
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:46 am ET) Padres reliever Dale Thayer earned his first win of the season, Tuesday, over the Angels. 

Thayer came on with one out in the ninth inning and retired the only two batters he faced, to send the game to extra innings. The Padres scored four in the tenth to give him a 1-0 record on the year.

Thayer lowered his ERA to 3.00. 


Report: Braves send Eric Stults, Ian Thomas, Juan Jaime to Dodgers
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:45 am ET) As part of the trade sending Braves infielder Alberto Callaspo to the Dodgers in exchange for Juan Uribe, the Braves will also send Eric Stults, Ian Thomas and Juan Jaime to the Dodgers, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Braves are reportedly expected to receive pitcher Chris Withrow in the deal as well, reports FoxSports.


Angels' Matt Shoemaker has seven scoreless in no-decision
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:43 am ET) Angels starter Matt Shoemaker picked up a hard-luck no-decision after pitching seven scoreless innings against San Diego. 

Shoemaker allowed four hits and walked one, while striking out six. He cut his ERA to 5.44.

The next start for Shoemaker is Sunday, against Detroit. 


Padres' Odrisamer Despaigne has six shutout innings in no-decision
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:41 am ET) Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne had six shutout innings against the Angels on Tuesday, but he left with a no-decision. 

Despaigne struck out five, allowed five hits and didn't walk a batter. He lowered his ERA to 5.23 with the performance.

The next start for Despaigne is Sunday, against Pittsburgh. 


Athletics' Ben Zobrist gets two hits in first game back
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:37 am ET) Athletics second baseman Ben Zobrist returned to the lineup for the first time in more than a month and didn't look rusty.

Zobrist played for the first time since April 24, when he went to the disabled list with a knee injury.

Zobrist went 2 for 4 in the A's shutout loss to Detroit on Tuesday. He hit his sixth double of the year, one of only two extra base hits in the game for either team.   


Tigers will start Kyle Ryan in place of Alfredo Simon on Wednesday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:35 am ET) With Tigers pitcher Alfredo Simon on the bereavement list to deal with his ailing father, manager Brad Ausmus said the team will turn to Kyle Ryan to start Wednesday's game at Oakland, reports the Detroit Free Press. Ryan must still travel to Oakland in order to play in the game.

Ryan went 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA over six games last season for the Tigers.


 
 
 
Rankings