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10 Reasons the San Francisco Giants Will Be Better This Season

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 23: Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants poses during photo day at Scottsdale Stadium on February 23, 2009 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by: Harry How/Getty Images)
D WizzleSenior Analyst IApril 6, 2009

In no particular order:

1. No Tyler Walker to blow late inning leads. Walker was one of the worst set-up men in baseball last season. He never was a good pitcher to begin with, and he was seriously fat and out of shape last season, but Bruce Bochy kept on sending him out in the eighth inning to blow leads.

The bullpen will be much improved with free agents Bob Howry and Jeremy Affeldt.

2. Barry Zito won't start off the season 0-8. Zito is in better shape this season after training in the offseason with Brian Wilson. He should have better command of his pitches and more confidence going into his third season as a Giant.

3. The youngsters are more confident now. Emmanuel Burriss, Eugenio Velez, and Fred Lewis have a year under their belt and know what it takes to be in the big leagues now.

4. No more Dave Roberts and Jose Castillo. These two veterans are gone. These two players were just terrible offensively. Roberts was terrible on defense in left field as well over the years.

5. The Big Unit has arrived. Randy Johnson will love pitching at AT&T Park. He is five wins away from 300 career wins. It would be nice to have him get No. 300 in San Francisco, even though his first 295 were in another uniform.

6. Pablo Sandoval will have a full season in the big leagues. This kid can flat out rake. He will be a reason why Giants fans want to get out to the ballpark.

7. The Giants will be a better offensive team. Thanks to the likes of Sandoval, and new shortstop Edger Renteria, this team should be able to score enough runs to win close games. Travis Ishikawa had a great spring and he will be an upgrade over John Bowker at first base.

8. They have a stronger bench. With players like Juan Uribe, Velez, Andres Torres, and Nate Schierholtz, this team has speed and power on the bench.

9. They also have a better starting rotation. This team now has three former Cy Young award winners in their rotation. Zito won't have as much pressure as he will be the third or fourth starter instead of their ace.

Jonathan Sanchez is probably the best fifth pitcher in all of baseball. Sanchez has incredible stuff and should be a 15-plus game winner in his career.

10. There is a new owner. Bill Neukom has taken over as the majority owner of the Giants and he is very hands-on. If the Giants start slowly, he might not hesitate to fire Bochy or GM Brian Sabean. Everyone is accountable.

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