Every Giants fan sees the futility that is their middle infield. Injuries have decimated the depth chart, while age, both the young and the old, has led to lapses on the field and in the batter’s box. What are the Giants to do?
In an attempt to address the prolonged shelf time of Mike Fontenot and the potential loss of Freddy Sanchez for the entire year, GM Brian Sabean signed utility infielder, Bill Hall. The displeasure with Miguel Tejada at shortstop, as well as a string of player injuries, brought Brandon Crawford into the picture, who has an amazing glove but struggles mightily at the plate. Last and actually least is Emmanuel Burris, also deemed a utility infielder.
Crawford, Tejada, Hall and Burriss. Those are the four players who have been sharing time on the field; but none of them are producing. Is there a solution? How can Bochy jump-start the middle infield and instill confidence in these players who look both lost on the field and at the plate?
It's simple. He can’t. That's not a knock on Bochy but rather a knock on the players themselves. It’s apparent that Crawford’s bat is not ready for the big show. As fans, we love the kid, but he looks helpless at the plate and there’s no denying it.
Tejada just does not cut it. the man is 37 years old and has no range out. Not only that, but he seems slow at the plate, and although most of the team can’t hit, his bat has been horrid for the entire year.
As for Hall, there is no way to impact this middle infield without consistent playing time, however, his glove is really an issue and cannot be trusted. Burriss really should be in Triple-A Fresno, since he doesn't make any significant contributions. Yes, speed kills; but Burriss rarely gets on base, and he handles the bat very poorly. His defense also looks shoddy, and he seems very uncomfortable due to position changes.
With all that said, the Giants have their hands tied. There is a bright future in San Francisco with all of the talent in the minor leagues. Should Sabean call these players up? Should Sabean trade these farm players for help now?
The organization runs rather thin in terms of depth at the middle infield positions and, coupled with the fact that the players are not ready for the majors, it serves to indicate that Sabean will not call up these minor leaguers. The Crawford experiment shows how tough the game can be when you are not ready, and it's possible there might not be any more of these call-ups.
The Giants need all the help they can get, now and fast, but it would be wrong to trade the farm especially in a desperate attempt to better the middle infield.
Mark Ellis is not worth it either; the man is over the hump and is rather pricey. He may not play the same position as Tejada does, but he sure brings up comparisons in those respects.
There have also been murmurs of Jose Reyes coming to San Francisco, however, that means the Giants would have to give up some major talent in order to get him. He may be the push the team needs, but how likely is it that he re-signs with the Giants? Rental players are not worth the farm.
The Giants have fallen back into reality, the euphoria from the World Series victory still permeates throughout the ballpark, but it’s 2011 now and another championship sounds too good to pass up.
What are the Giants to do?
The Giants should stand pat. Don't make a move.
Crawford, Tejada, Hall and Burriss. They will do for right now. The Giants just have to wait for the injured to return. There are more imminent needs than to shore up the middle infield. Pitching will carry the team as usual, and that just means the Giants will have to deal with a futile middle infield.
As of right now, San Francisco is in contention and in the race. With a weak NL West the Giants have stayed afloat and can continue winning. It may be broken, but putting glue can create a sticky situation for the future.