The Giants, who have enough pitching to contend for the playoffs, lack dependable offense, dependable defense and experience.
With All-Star third baseman Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list, they have started Conor Gillaspie, who didn't make the team out of spring training. The first-base platoon of Brandon Belt and Brett Pill had one homer entering Tuesday night's game against the Dodgers. Second base has no permanent starter as Freddie Sanchez's rehabilitation lingers somewhere between hopeful and who knows. Shortstop Brandon Crawford is a good-field, no-hit prospect who isn't fielding. Joaquin Arias has shown flashes of competence, but he, too, is far from proven.
Outfielders Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan both can hit and are fleet, but the projected third outfield starter, rifle-arm Nate Schierholtz, is too streaky to be dependable. And when he sits, the defense suffers.
Catcher Buster Posey, returning from his terrible 2011 injury, looks to be fine, and his backup, Hector Sanchez, fills in nicely when Posey plays first base or rests.
A guy they counted on for offense and experience, Aubrey Huff, has had problems on and off the field.
The Giants resemble only faintly the team that had elicited championship visions, and without vast strides, they risk becoming a National League afterthought.
What to do
Baseball, Toronto at A's, 12:35 p.m., O.co Coliseum: Former River Cat Tyson Ross will be pitching for the A's.
What to watch
NBA, L.A. Clippers at Memphis, 6:30 p.m., TNT: Can the Clippers close out the best opening-round series?
How will the Giants finish this season?
World Series champs
Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; Or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports
Would you allow your child to play football?
Yes, despite the risks: 33%
No, not worth the risks: 33%
It's up to him/her: 35%
Total votes: 202
© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.
Read more articles by Brian Blomster
What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com
Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)
Here are some rules of the road:
Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "Report Abuse" link to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.
Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.
Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.
Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand.
Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.
Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.
Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.
Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.
Don't flag other users' comments just because you don't agree with their point of view. Please only flag comments that violate these guidelines.
You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "Report Abuse" link to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.
If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them.