San Francisco Giants: Can the Giants Repeat as MLB World Series Champs in 2011?
The San Francisco Giants came out of nowhere last season to win the 2010 MLB World Series. It almost seemed as if the team absolutely took off once they acquired Cody Ross, who put together a phenomenal postseason.
The Giants have many of the same pieces in place from a year ago as they look to defend their championship this season. The pitching staff is still one of the best with Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez Barry Zito and Madison Bumgarner, while Brian Wilson and his beard are still around to close out games. Although, Wilson could miss the first few weeks of the season.
World Series hero Juan Uribe was replaced by Miguel Tejada, but Pablo Sandoval has shed some pounds and is ready to regain the form he showed as a rookie.
The Giants have to compete with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies in the National League West, while the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks figure to dwell around the bottom of the division.
MLB.com assembled a panel of analysts to come up with predictions for the 2011 MLB season, and they agree that the Giants should defend their N.L. West crown.
Collectively, they said that "Apparently, the Giants won the World Series last year. Who knew? "I don't think we've got enough in our resume to be considered the favorite to go back to the World Series or the favorite to win the World Series," general manager Brian Sabean said. "And I think that's a good thing."
But the Giants do have a very good chance to get back to the World Series, even if they do have to get past the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves do so once again. Buster Posey will get a full season in, and the team also plans on using Brandon Belt at first base to start the season. Belt is another prospect who the Giants envision doing big things.
If San Francisco can remain healthy, then there is no reason to believe why they will not at least be in the discussion of best teams playing in October.
For more on the first pitches from every game, make sure to check out Bleacher Report Mets Featured Columnist Ash Marshall, who takes a look at MLB Opening Day 2011: 20 memories, Stats and Facts from Baseball's Opening Day.
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