San Francisco Giants: 7 Players They Miss the Most from the 2010 Team
The San Francisco Giants entered the 2011 season defending their first World Series title in a generation. For the most part they returned the same team that had won the championship and expectations were high that they would make a successful run at defending their title.
The 2011 season did not go as planned and there were many reasons for that. While most of the players were the same from the previous season to start the year, the production was far from the same.
Here is a list of the seven players that the San Francisco Giants missed the most from their World Series team during the disappointing 2011 campaign.
Sure, Cody Ross was on the 2011 team but the Giants needed him to play like he did in the 2010 NLDS and NLCS: red-hot.
No one actually expected him to be able to put up similar numbers over the course of the season as he showed during those two series, but the Giants spent most of 2011 begging someone to step up and carry their pedestrian offense.
Edgar Renteria was pretty much a non-factor on the field in 2010. In fact, there was a point in the summer of 2010 where it appeared that his career may have been over. His World Series heroics aside, by all accounts Renteria was a fantastic teammate and clubhouse presence all year.
The Giants did not necessarily suffer from a fractured clubhouse in 2011 but some subtle changes, like the absence of Renteria, could have affected team chemistry.
Pat Burrell struck out 11 times in 13 at-bats in the 2010 World Series, but the Giants would have never reached the sport's pinnacle if they had not picked Burrell up off the scrap heap in June 2010.
Not only did he have big hits all summer for the Giants, his enthusiasm for the game and the team was contagious. The fans took to him as they would a hometown hero, finishing his career off where he was really meant to be all along and taking them on a ride like they had never before experienced.
Burrell's teammates seemed to thrive on his energy when he was on the field and his cheerleading when he wasn't playing.
Burrell was on the 2011 team, but was a shell of his 2010 self. Giants fans will be forever grateful to the local boy who helped bring them a World Series.
Where should I start? Obviously he was on the team in 2011 and will be again in 2012 but the Giants missed the 2010 version of Aubrey Huff last year almost as much as they missed Buster Posey.
Huff spent 2010 hitting line drives into left center and spent 2011 hitting those same pitches meekly on the ground to second base. It is no secret that the Giants need Huff to produce and if he doesn't, he may find himself going the way of Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand.
Freddy Sanchez is the prototypical No. 2 hitter. His approach at the plate is consistently to right field and his ability to do the little things at the plate are second to none on the Giants team.
His bat and his defense were a driving force for the championship team. When Sanchez dislocated his shoulder in early June 2011, he was the Giants' best hitter and was well on his way to a Gold Glove-caliber season.
Jeff Keppinger filled in admirably and is a good ballplayer but Sanchez, especially the Sanchez of 2010, is a special baseball player. The 2011 Giants were unable to replace him on a team that couldn't afford to lose key players.
Juan Uribe batted .248 in 2010, but he hit .270 with runners in scoring position. He was one of the players in 2010 that seemed to always come through when the team needed it the most.
His NLCS Game 5 go-ahead home run in Philadelphia was the most famous of his big hits because of the enormity of the game. Giants fans will remember a whole season of big at-bats, especially down the stretch. Uribe also proved invaluable with his ability to play many positions and he played lights-out defense in the postseason.
Uribe signed with the Dodgers after the 2010 season and the Giants attempted to replace him on the team and in the clubhouse with Miguel Tejada. Tejada was a disaster with the Giants and Uribe flopped in LA in the first year of his three-year contract.
Uribe may never be close to the player that he was in 2010, and if that is the case he'll be out of the game pretty quick. There is no doubt that the 2011 Giants missed Juan Uribe.
This one is a no-brainer. As a rookie in 2010, Buster Posey was the heart and soul of the San Francisco Giants. He called a fantastic game and his defense improved every day.
Posey's bat was outstanding from the very beginning. He was a rookie hitting in the middle of the order for the World Series champions. The Giants built 2011 and beyond around the idea that Buster Posey would be batting cleanup for a long time.
When Posey's 2011 season ended in May, the Giants had a hard time recovering from the suddenness of the injury. They recovered a bit and played slightly over their heads for a couple of months, but the lack of Posey's potent bat in the middle of the lineup finally caught up with them.
There is no argument that the player that the 2011 Giants missed the most from the 2010 team was Buster Posey. The fate of the 2012 team and beyond depends on Posey's ability to be healthy and productive.