A Look at the Giants Off Season

>> Thursday, February 4, 2010

The San Francisco Giants began their offseason with a lot of hope for helping the 2009 team that won 88 games. The team and, more importantly, the fans hoped to make the few necessary moves this winter to make the Giants into the playoff contender we all want. Some fans clamored for a huge signing of a bat to instantly make the offense better. Others went to the message boards screaming for the team not to trade away the future and to just sign 2 or 3 complementary pieces to make the whole team better. The rest of us stayed home and either whispered amongst themselves for the organization to not make any moves and just keep giving young guys their chance to play, or quietly gave up when, months into the offseason, the team had yet to make a personnel move.

However, the team has, over the last couple weeks, begun to finally take shape with some new acquisitions that bolster their 2010 dreams of a postseason berth. Signing Mark DeRosa and Aubrey Huff, and resigning Juan Uribe and Freddy Sanchez will help an offense that was one of the worst in baseball last year. Though, of all the roster and personnel moves the Giants have gone through this offseason, it was the promotion of hitting coach Hensley Meulens to the major league staff that will bring the biggest change. In Triple-A last year, Meulens helped a number of younger players learn hit to contact and bat to all fields. This was evidenced by the rapid improvement of John Bowker (.347 BA), Jesus Guzman (.321 BA), and Buster Posey (.321). He is also credited with the rapid ascension of Eugenio Velez from occasional role player to a key figure on the Giants down the stretch, after Velez was sent down to Triple-A for lack of a consistent approach in the Majors. The Giant’s problem is not talent; it is in fact just a lack of consistent approach. A new hitting coach, coupled with a new personnel influx should bring new success to the Giants season.

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