San Francisco Giants: Problems Still Facing Club in 2012
That is the look of Giants manager Bruce Bochy last season when scoring runs seemed like a foreign concept to the team.
A season ago, the Giants were towards the bottom of every offensive statistic. San Francisco ranked 29th in runs (570), 28th in batting average (.242) and 29th in on-base percentage (.303).
Even with the offensive woes, the Giants had a shot to contend with the Diamondbacks for the division. In the end, however, the San Francisco offense was simply unable to get the job done.
Brian Sabean and the Giants' front office made a few small moves to bolster the offense by trade. Acquiring Melky Cabrera from the Royals seems like a good move for a player who fits the Giants need.
Angel Pagan was acquired for Andres Torres, a case where similar players both needed a change of location.
Come April, Bochy and company get another opportunity to support the strongest pitching in the NL West.
Here are three giant weaknesses that will prevent the Giants from claiming the division title if they are not addressed.
It is an invaluable piece to the formula of a winning team that the Giants lacked last season.
Team chemistry was a key strength in the championship run of 2010. Hitting became contagious and players were able to play together as "a band of misfits".
Brian Sabean tried to replicate the success of 2010 by adding Jeff Keppinger, Carlos Beltran and Orlando Cabrera.
A big problem with the move, though, was that the additions changed the identity of the team. It became more about Carlos Beltran than the San Francisco Giants.
The returns of Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez will be monumental for the lineup and a team who was decimated by the loss of these two key players.
The Giants need to find their identity in 2012 in order to be successful.
Speed was an issue in 2011, and the Giants did little to solve the problem in the off-season.
The Giants stole just 85 times this past season.
The success rate is even more alarming. A 63-percent success rate was better only than that of the Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals.
The problem spreads to other areas, as well. Not being able to swipe second to get into scoring position results in less RBI opportunities for the offense, for example.
San Francisco did not retain speedster Darren Ford and sent Andres Torres to the New York Mets.
It looks like Bruce Bochy and the Giants will have to play small-ball and get creative on the base-paths to create opportunities in 2012.
Getting on Base
Buster Posey's career on-base percentage is .353
Last year, the team had trouble scoring runs.
Well, scoring runs is hard to do when you don't have runners on base to score them.
The Giants compiled a .303 on-base percentage in 2011, which ranked them 28th in the majors.
This number has to be improved upon drastically in order to win the NL West in 2012.
San Francisco acquired outfielder Melky Cabrera in the off-season to help the cause. Cabrera owns a career .331 on-base percentage and provides the type of offense needed to score runs.
Cabrera scored often last year in Kansas City, tallying 102 runs.