The San Francisco Giants didn't land any superstar players this offseason, a la Robinson Cano or Carlos Beltran, but general manager Brian Sabean was certainly up to his usual tricks as he reeled in a few players who have already had a huge impact on the club.
Let's take a look at who the Giants acquired this offseason and how those players are doing thus far.
Signed to offset the loss of veteran left-hander Barry Zito, Hudson has been all the Giants could have asked for—and then some.
After spending six years in the Bay Area with the Oakland A's, Hudson returned after signing with the Giants for $23 million over two seasons. He's living up to his price tag through five starts this season, posting a 3-1 record along with a 2.19 ERA.
Just as impressively, Hudson began the season with 30 innings without a walk, a franchise record. His BB/9 and K/BB ratios are both tops in the league, largely explaining his success in the early going.
Best of all, Hudson has yet to pitch fewer than seven innings this season, an accomplishment that has gone a long way toward saving bullpen arms to begin the season.
“As a starter, we intend to go out there and pitch deep,” Hudson said Friday, via the San Jose Mercury News' Alex Pavlovic. “We take some pressure off the bullpen and we can save some bullets in the pen as much as we can.”
Morse's $5 million contract is looking like a bargain already. The Giants left fielder has posted a .300/.345/.575 slash line with six homers across 87 plate appearances, though his plate discipline (five walks, 22 strikeouts) could use some work.
Most impressively, Morse is just eight RBI away from matching his total from last season...despite having 250 fewer at-bats.
Morse will always be a defensive liability in left field, and he relies on hits far too much to get on base (career-high walk total: 36), but as long as the tape-measure home runs continue to fly with regularity, that $5 million will look like money well spent.
Acquired from the New York Yankees for cash considerations this offseason, Huff is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a strained quad. In the small sample size of seven innings this season, Huff has allowed three runs on five hits and a pair of walks.
Last season with the Yankees, Huff posted a 0.98 WHIP, but his ERA was 4.67 thanks to his inability to keep the ball in the yard (seven homers in 34.2 innings). He's already allowed one in seven innings so far, but if AT&T Park is kind to Huff, the Giants could have themselves a reliable left-hander out of the pen.
Colvin failed to make the big league roster out of spring, and he's showing why that move was justified thanks to a disappointing .253/.303/.337 slash line at Triple-A Fresno.
Colvin could still earn a spot on the big league roster if he can pick it up a bit and the struggles of Juan Perez and Ehire Adrianza continue. But the Giants would ideally like to see Colvin establish himself as a more disciplined hitter before any potential call-up. He'll also look to regain his power stroke, which has been missing this season despite prior success in that department.
Gutierrez has been one of the better Giants relievers this season, posting a 2.92 ERA in 12.1 innings along with a sub-one WHIP.
Gutierrez came into the season with a 4.65 career ERA, but as he explained to The Sacramento Bee's Matt Kawahara, his success is coming "probably because I got more focused in the strike zone, trying to keep the ball down. I just attack the hitter, and I feel great about that.”
Gutierrez has been especially brilliant after allowing two runs in his first appearance of the season back on April 1, surrendering only two total runs since then.
More recently, Gutierrez recorded a key out with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning of the Giants' comeback win over the Indians on Saturday. Bruce Bochy and Co. will need more of the same from Gutierrez if the bullpen hopes to maintain its elite overall performance this season.
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