Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
SP Matt Cain
Return to the playoffs.
After winning two World Series titles in three years, and with essentially the same team in place from 2012, the Giants entered the 2013 season with every intention of making a run at defending their title. Instead, their pitching staff faltered, and their subpar offensive attack was unable to pick up the slack.
Now, they've added Tim Hudson and Michael Morse to the mix, as they look to return to the postseason. However, it will all depend on whether or not their pitching can return to its previous form.
A return to ace status for Matt Cain.
On the surface, Matt Cain did not have an awful 2013 season, going 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA over 30 starts. However, after going 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA in 2012 and signing a six-year, $127.5 million extension, much more was expected from the staff ace.
He was 3-4 with a 2.36 ERA in 11 starts after the All-Star break, so there's no reason to think he can't get back on track atop the Giants' rotation in 2014.
Find a diamond in the rough in Michael Morse.
A late-bloomer, Michael Morse broke out in a big way as a 29-year-old in 2011, hitting .303/.360/.550 with 31 home runs and 95 RBI for the Nationals. He was solid again in 2012, though injuries limited him to 102 games, and the Nationals dealt him to the Mariners last offseason after re-signing Adam LaRoche.
The 2013 season was nothing short of a disaster for Morse, as he hit .215/.270/.381 with 13 home runs in 312 at-bats. That said, right quad issues sidelined him for much of the summer, and he also had surgery to remove a bone spur from his left wrist, so it's fair to say that he was not at full strength.
The Giants took a chance on him with a one-year, $6 million deal this offseason, and he could wind up being a steal.