Do not cry for the Giants.
They’re not victims.
They’re not suffering from bad luck.
They’re not a quality team that’s underperforming.
They’re not a left fielder or a third baseman or a starting pitcher away from being good.
They’re not the second-worst team in the MLB just because Madison Bumgarner fell off a motorcycle and injured his shoulder.
They’re not a few free-agent signings away from bouncing back and contending for the playoffs next year.
They’re not going to reload during the offseason.
They’re just bad.
And they’re going to stay bad for a long time. They need to blow up their team and start over. The sooner the better.
The Giants should have seen this catastrophe coming. The signs were there last season. After playing well against an easy schedule before the All Star break, and despite finishing the season 12 games over .500, they were 12 games under.500 in the second half of the season.
And yet, for some reason they really thought they’d be good this year. Giants management paid more than $180 million — the fifth-largest opening-day payroll in baseball — on a team that can’t pitch, hit or field, and is on pace to lose 105 games.
Time for the Giants to be honest with themselves. This is what they should do if there were no encumbrances and they could dump whomever they want.
Dump Hunter Pence. Pence is 34 and can’t stay healthy — he has injured his hamstring the past two seasons —he can’t field his position anymore and he can’t hit for power. He has five home runs and only 12 extra-base hits.
Dump Denard Span. Another old outfielder who can’t stay healthy or hit for power. Dump him.
Keep Eduardo Nunez, but only as a backup who can play a few infield positions and pinch run. He’s not as a starter.
Dump Brandon Belt, for Pete’s sake. He’s batting .229 and has a team-high 78 strikeouts, and he has the worst body language. Every time he strikes out, he slumps his shoulders and trudges back to the dugout with his head down. He looks like a loser. Get rid of him.
Keep Joe Panik. He’s a fine player, although he isn’t special. If the Giants could trade him for a power-hitting prospect, they should. But they probably can’t.
Keep Brandon Crawford, although he’s having a horrendous season, batting .239. If the Giants could trade him for a power-hitting prospect, they should. But they probably can’t.
Keep Buster Posey, but move him out of the cleanup spot in the batting order. He’s a great player and he could win the batting title this year, but he has limited power. And when runners are scoring position, he is hitting a mere .255 with one home run. Teams don’t win many games if their cleanup hitter doesn’t produce with runners in scoring position. On a good team, Posey would bat sixth.
And another thing about Posey. When he transitions full time to first base, which could happen in the next couple of seasons, he will be just an above-average player at that position. Not a great player. Not the cornerstone of a World Series team.
Dump Matt Moore. His 6.04 ERA is the worst in the National League.