3 Reasons the San Francisco Giants Shouldn't Worry About Dodgers' Deadline Moves
Under new ownership and riding the momentum of a hot start to the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers were extremely active at the trade deadline. After acquiring All-Stars Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins and Shane Victorino from the Philadelphia Phillies, the Dodgers made their intent to win now very clear.
The San Francisco Giants, who hold a measly half-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West, could have reason to be concerned with the moves the Dodgers made.
Concern is natural, especially when the second-place team adds two All-Stars within a week. Yes, the Dodgers greatly improved their roster at the deadline. That said, the Giants had a better roster top to bottom before the deadline and made improvements themselves that should not be overlooked.
The following are three reasons why Giants fans should still feel confident as the race for the NL West crown shapes up to be a tight one.
The Giants were active during the deadline, making arguably just as an important of a trade for Hunter Pence as the Dodgers did for Ramirez.
Last season, GM Brian Sabean was undoubtedly inquiring about Pence before eventually making the move to acquire Carlos Beltran. Given a second chance to trade for Pence, Sabean pulled the trigger and acquired one of the best all-around outfielders in the game.
While Gregor Blanco was having a nice season in right field, Pence is a step above, as he can cover the vast area in right field as well as bring much needed power to the right side of the dish.
As the Giants push towards the playoffs, Pence's contribution will be key in any success.
Along with Pence, the trade for Marco Scutaro shores up what was a glaring weakness of the Giants— infield.
Giants' Starting Rotation
Despite the addition of Joe Blanton, the Dodgers' starting rotation is still not as deep as what the Giants can trot out.
The Dodgers' starting rotation consists of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Joe Blanton, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang. The combined win-loss record of the five Dodgers starters is 41-37.
The Giants' starting rotation consists of Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong and Barry Zito. The combined win-loss record of the Giants starters is 45-34.
The Giants did not lose their edge in starting pitching, and if Lincecum returns to his normal form, the Giants will likely increase the win-loss disparity.
While this may be nitpicking, the additions for the Giants have much greater success against the Dodgers than the Dodgers' acquisitions have against the Giants.
Ramirez against the Giants: .186, 1 HR.
Victorino against the Giants: .240, 1 RBI.
Pence against the Dodgers: .241, 5 RBI.
Scutaro against the Dodgers: .342, 3 RBI.
It's a small thing, but if it comes down to these two teams, it's nice adding players with proven success against the rival.
As the race tightens down the wire, look for the deadline acquisitions to have instrumental roles in an NL West crown.