Happy New Year!!!
Right now it looks pretty good for a 90-95 win season for 2005.
- The offense is about net even with the moves from Pierzynski to Matheny (big minus), Tucker/Mohr to Alou (big plus), and Cruz to Vizquel (even against Cruz of 2004, plus against Cruz lifetime). Bonds, Grissom, Snow looks to be down overall, but if we have a healthy Durham and fit Alfonzo for 2005, that should even out everything plus perhaps a net gain with Cruz on the bench (vs. Neifi or Ransom), Tucker on the bench (vs. Mohr), and hopefully Torrealba returning to his offensive contribution from previous years.
- The defense is greatly improved at SS and C but down for RF, but those are two critical fielding positions and RF is not, even with how tough SBC's RF is, as that position does not see as many fielding plays as SS or C.
- The starting rotation should be better with Schmidt (healthy vs. missing April and toughing out Sept), Williams (fit vs. very out of shape), Lowry (full season vs. part season plus Hermanson), Tomko (hopefully a full season of confidence vs. a half season of mental acuity), Rueter (hopefully return to health and past success vs. a poor year overall, but in any case, pitching in back of rotation may help).
- The bullpen should be much better just with Benitez closing, then with Herges as lights out setup man like in 2003, Brower having a breakout year as setup man, Eyre having a full year with changeup he learned from Lowry, and Christiansen having a fully healthy year. Then hopefully Walker can continue his breakout year and either Aardsma, Foppert, or Hennessey do a Nathan circa 2003 for us in 2005 (my bet is on Foppert; Aardsma need a year as closer in AAA, Hennessey need more seasoning in AAA while Foppert has nothing to prove at AAA)
I will do my usual full analysis before the start of the season but that's how it looks to me from a overview look at the team. I don't know if that's good enough to beat the D-gers and Pads (Rockies? really...) because they might make more changes.
But right now it looks good as the D-gers lost Beltran, Finley, and Odalis Perez's performances and they were the difference makers last season for them, though they did get injury prone JD Drew and did sign Jeff "it's my life-long dream" Kent. However, if they are able to sucker some sad-sack team into taking Green off their hands and get useful parts for him, then there may be hope for them afterall (then they might take a flyer on a one-year deal with Ordonez... :^( ). If we are lucky, JD Drew will take Green's place of the past two seasons..
And I don't know what the Pads have done, so they probably haven't done much. Oh yeah, they lost their best pitcher in David Wells so that's probably good. And took a flyer on Darrel May. So, yeah, the Giants look good against both opponents right now.