San Francisco Giants: A Long List of Problems

Nick Cannata-BowmanCorrespondent IJanuary 31, 2008

Hey there San Francisco Giants fans. My name is Nick Cannata-Bowman and I've been the lead writer for Most Valuable Network's Giants Cove for the last three years. I'm here to introduce myself to the Bleacher Report community, and to hopefully cover the Giants for a long time to come.

Introductions aside, I'll get to talking about the real issues concerning our dearly beloved Giants.

With the numerous holes in what can only be described as a porous offensive situation, options to fill our corner infield positions have dwindled. With Dallas McPherson and Morgan Ensberg signing with the Marlins and Yankees respectively, we're now left with shifting Kevin Frandsen over to the hot corner and giving Ray Durham second base forever and eternity, or with the option of trading for a stopgap until Angel Villalona is legal.

All indicators on the trade front indicate that Brian Sabean has been cooking up a trade with the White Sox for Joe Crede, who essentially would represent Pedro Feliz: The Sequel.

But we all know the No. 1 rule about sequels—they never measure up to the first movie, and in the end leave us thinking the original movie actually wasn't that good anyway.

As for first base, our first and only options right now is the Big German himself, Dan Ortmeier. Among all the concerns about his inability to hit left-handed, Ort still managed to hit better from the left side last season (.310/.333/.471 LH vs. .257/.297/.529 RH).

At the same time, he has displayed an extreme lack of patience at the Minor League level, putting up a career line of .271/.348/.433, which translates to a Major League OBP in the low .300's. Ortmeier fits the profile of a fourth outfielder and would be woefully miscast at first base.

The other option discussed at first base has been Tony Clark—right off the bat I'm going to say no, no, and please God no. Even if Ortmeier doesn't project well, I'd take the 26-year-old with at least a little bit of potential over the 35-year-old at the tail-end of his career entering into his years of greatest decline (36-39).

The pitching staff is our greatest strength going into this season, with super-phenoms Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum heading the rotation, and Brian Wilson closing games. The middle relief situation isn't quite set in stone, but quality arms are abound (Randy Messenger, Vinnie Chulk, Jonathan Sanchez, Pat Misch, Brad Hennessey, et al).

All we can hope from Barry Zito is a league-average season out of a guy getting paid $18 million a year, while Noah Lowry will have to continue to live dangerously and hope the Double Play God is still with him.

Kevin Correia all but locked up the fifth spot in the rotation with impressive pitching down the stretch last September, going 3-1 with a 2.54 ERA and an opponents' line of .222/.276/.322.

And that's the Giants in a nutshell. Once the rosters are set (i.e. when Sabean pulls two corner infielders out of a magic hat), I'll give a full rundown of your 2008 (that's right, they're all yours, for better and for worse, in sickness and in death) San Francisco Giants.

If anyone has any questions or comments, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section or to email me at