SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
3 Takeaways From The Giants 2022 Season Entering The All-Star Break
With the 2022 MLB All-Star Game upon us, it’s time to look back at the Bay Area’s baseball teams and how they’ve fared halfway through the regular season.
The San Francisco Giants have not had the same success in 2022 as they did last season when they broke their regular season record with 107 wins and 55 losses. The orange & black won the NL West before losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL divisional series, 2-3.
The story is much different in 2022, as the Giants currently sit third in the division at 48-43 through the All-Star break. Even though they have shown improvement since their six-game losing streak to start July, the team and fans are not where they expected to be after such an impressive 2021 season.
And now with only one All-Star — Carlos Rodón was scratched over the weekend — let’s take a look at three key points to the Giants’ 2022 season thus far.
1: Injuries, Injuries, Injuries
The reason why Rodón was scratched as an All-Star replacement is the same reason the Giants have struggled in 2022, injuries.
The IL has been a revolving door for the San Francisco team this season with seven starting-caliber/rotation players currently out with an assortment of ailments. Among the biggest names are SP Anthony DeSclafani, RP Jose Alvarez, C Curt Casali and perennial Golden Glove SS Brandon Crawford.
The catcher position has been hit the worse by the injury bug as the Giants have struggled to replace the production of the great Buster Posey. Starter Curt Casali has only featured in 41 games for the orange & black and is now out with an oblique injury, Joey Bart had been sent down to the Triple A Sacramento Rivercats due to poor performances (we’ll get to him later), and the additions of Austin Wynns via trade and Yermin Mercedes has left San Francisco down to the bone in depth.
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) July 17, 2022
The Giants stayed relatively healthy in 2021 so a bit of bad luck was bound to happen for the organization but the first half of 2022 has been tough, as they’ve been unable to have all their guys healthy for the majority of the season.
The IL makes you wonder if the Giants will seek out more trades before the deadline on August 2nd, looking to make a late-season push into the postseason. One area of need has to be the starting rotation as DeSclafani and Matthew Boyd are both on the 60-day IL, leaving Rodón and Webb as the only active All-Star caliber pitchers. Alex Cobb and Wood are serviceable but as the Giants saw last season, a strong starting rotation can lead a team far in the playoffs.
With several players due back from minor injuries by the end of the month, the orange & black may just wait it out and see what they have come August 2nd.
2: Inconsistent Offensive Play
Another reason for the Giants’ lackluster season has been the inconsistency of runs generated through the first half.
This goes hand-in-hand with the All-Star selections as the Giants only had one non-pitcher make the team in 2022. Left Fielder Joc Pederson was the selection, making the starting lineup thanks to a .848 OPS with 17 HRs and .252 BA.
Besides Pederson, almost no other starter is cracking a .250 BA with 2B Thairo Estrada leading the way with .259. Third baseman Wilmer Flores has been the other consistent bat with 74 hits and 13 HRs, but all of the offense can’t fall on three players.
Beaming into the break 😄 pic.twitter.com/BrM8UsSLoH
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) July 17, 2022
The Giants have had four losing streaks of three or more games this season, with three streaks lasting five to six games a piece. In each streak, the Bay Area dugout failed to earn more than three runs in 16 of the 19 games lost. Over a third of the 43 losses this season have occurred because the Giants couldn’t muster four runs in nine innings.
Yes, some of that can be attributed to injuries but the lack of hitting has cost the Giants in the past and could cost them again if they manage to make an NL Wildcard spot this season.
3: Swing For Soto?
The possible solution to the Giants’ hitting woes: Trade for one of the best in the game in Nationals’ All-Star slugger Juan Soto.
Soto, 23, has a lifetime batting average of .293 over his first five years in the MLB, hitting 118 HRs and 355 RBIs. Currently going through his worst season with only a .250 BA (but a .901 OPS), Soto and the Washington Nationals have yet to agree to terms on a new deal as their most recent proposal of 15-years, $440 million was rejected by the player’s camp over the weekend.
Sensing a potential exit on the horizon for the young superstar, the Nationals are officially entertaining trade talks, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, leaving Soto and his camp uneasy about the situation.
“A couple weeks ago, they were saying they will never trade me. And now all these things come out. It feels really uncomfortable. You don’t know what to trust,” Soto said Monday during All-Star game interviews.
Pete Alonso and Juan Soto are on the FOX set together at Dodger Stadium
— SNY (@SNYtv) July 18, 2022
So the rumors mill begins to churn as the Nationals are likely to make one more offer before deciding to trade him by the August 2nd deadline, according to reports.
Additionally, the rumored teams able to afford the services of the 23-year-old phenom are the San Diego Padres, New York Yankees and Mets, and the St. Louis Cardinals. The biggest trade package ever is most likely necessary to acquire Soto.
I’ll throw one more hat into the ring: The San Francisco Giants.
After letting Kris Bryant walk in free agency, the Giants have been lacking another surefire slugger in the lineup. Sure Pederson has done a great job this year supplementing the runs, but as previously stated, one or two guys can’t get it done in the National League.
This is why the orange & black should swing for McCovey Cove by trading for Soto. Allowing Lamonte Wade Jr. to come out of the dugout for defense, an outfield of Pederson, Yastrzemski, and Soto would be as lethal of an outfield as there is in the NL West.
Front offices are already having the conversations: What is it going to take to acquire Juan Soto in the wake of him turning down a 15-year, $440 million contract offer from the Nationals? And the answer is: The biggest trade package ever. “A Herschel Walker deal,” one GM said.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 16, 2022
The trade package would be massive for the Giants, likely giving up 3B Evan Longoria and/or one of the starting pitchers, plus a huge amount of draft assets and prospects could persuade the Nationals into dealing their star to the Bay Area.
Becoming the main guy immediately in San Francisco, Soto can sign a contract extension in the range of $500 million, staking his claim to one of the great baseball clubs of America. Following in the footsteps of Barry Bonds, Wille Mays and many more, the Dominican star would be an icon for the orange & black, putting them back on the map as a real contender heading into the postseason.
Sure it’ll cost an enormous amount of capital, but players like Soto don’t come around very often. And with his prime still a few years away, the sky is the limit for the 23-year-old and the revamped Giants over the next decade.
Click on the link below to hear Jason Ross and JayMarZZ break down their midseason grades for the San Francisco Giants.