Tinkering. It's a word to describe Felipe Alou. He makes small adjustments
to his lineup, and uses different lineups in almost every game. But it's
really not working, because what the Giants need, they don't have. Here Alou
is, thinking he can improve things by moving players around the lineup. But
the Giants don't have what it takes to win. Not right now. If they didn't
make any trades for the rest of this season, chances are they wouldn't make
it to the playoffs.
But what do the Giants need to make it? Quite simply, they need experienced
pitchers as both starters and relievers. The holes in the Giants bullpen are
very glaring. A lot of this is caused by Robb Nen's season-ending shoulder
surgery. This pushed setup man Tim Worrell into the closer role. The Giants
suddenly lost a great setup man due to Nen's injury. At first, as a Giants
fan, I thought we didn't even need Nen, when we were 25-9 and on top of the
world. But reality set in. If we had both Nen and Worrell, I wouldn't have
to write this article, because we'd be doing better.
But no matter how we look at it, Nen is gone. There's no use looking at
what could have been. Instead the Giants need to get a NEW pitcher. The key
word here is new. Not a minor leaguer to be given his major league debut.
We're in a serious situation. We were once 25-9 and now we are 46-30. We've
gone 22-18 in our last 42 games. The Dodgers, in their last 42 games, have
had a 27-15 record. And the Diamondbacks have gone 25-17 in that same time
period, and have won seven games straight. Now that is scary. We have a
potential three-team race. This is no time for us to test out yet even more
minor leaguers. We need someone who is reliable and field-tested. A reliever
or a starter, preferably both.
We need this for Jesse Foppert. Yes, for him, not because of him. He needs
time back on the minor league level, and having another starter would allow
the Giants to send him back down. I don't know who we need, nor do I much
care. It's just that anyone that has pitched somewhat well and consistently
for several seasons could help us a lot. Stability is key.
If anything, Jesse Foppert reminds me of a young Shawn Estes, the
antithesis of stable. He's young, has a lot of talent yet poor control, and
all the girls want him. They both also seem to lose focus in the later
innings. (A habit my dad and I once referred to as, "Shawing out.") Luckily
for Foppert, Jesseing out sounds very weird and my name is also Jesse, so I
really wouldn't want to insult myself.
But random ramblings aside, we need someone new. More offense isn't going
to help when one of our starters is really losing focus, and when our relief
staff magically makes wins morph into no-decisions. What we need has to be
out there. And certainly we can find someone to give in return.
This also reminds of 1997, when we traded six prospects to the White Sox
for Wilson Alvarez, Roberto Hernandez, and Danny Darwin. Another trade of
that nature sounds about right. Alvarez and Darwin were pretty reliable as
starters, and Hernandez strengthened the Giants bullpen. The Giants will
greatly improve their chances in the West by getting some new pitchers.
Jesse Radin writes for SFDugout.com and has been a Giants follower since 1996. The Blind Observer is Jesse's column covering all things baseball, though mainly about the Giants. Questions or comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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