In the This Is My Nightmare series, we'll take a look at what the absolute worst case scenario for each team would be in 2013. Think of it as the negative complement to our You May Say I'm A Dreamer series that we'll be running during our preview series.
2011 was pretty much a nightmare season for the Giants, a down season sandwiched between a pair of World Championships. That year went off the rails when Buster Posey broke his ankle at the end of May, but in addition to anything at all happening to Posey again, there are several factors that would contribute to a nightmarish Giants season in 2013.
Tim Lincecum saw his velocity take a massive step back last year, and if that's a trend that continues, the Giants won't be in good shape. San Francisco's rotation was ridiculously healthy last year, with all five members of the rotation reaching 30 starts, and struggles from Lincecum or any of the other members of the rotation wouldn't be good going forward. In addition to Lincecum's decline last year, you have to keep an eye on the continued struggles of Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong's improbable run continuing.
Offensively, there's a lot of nightmare potential aside from another horrific injury to Posey. Melky Cabrera's 4.6 fWAR is gone, and the team is going to run out a platoon of Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres in his stead. Neither player hit worth a lick last year, and all of their value came from their gloves. While that's all well and good going forward, the Giants don't have a ton of offense aside from Posey, Pablo Sandoval, and Hunter Pence. It's largely a defensive-minded team, and losing Cabrera's offense going forward could hurt them.
Pence is another guy who could be a mess for the Giants. After coming over from the Phillies at the trade deadline, Pence had a .671 OPS and contributed just half a win to the team in 59 games. Yeah, he probably won't be that bad over a full season for the Giants, but even if he just OPSes .750 with his usual erratic defense, his $13.8 million salary in 2013 would be a sunk cost for the Giants.
Then, there's Sandoval. When healthy, he's an awesome, game-changing hitter. Look at what he did in game one of the World Series. But while Sandoval has suffered hamate injuries in back to back years, he had surgery to remove *both* hamate bones, assuring that it won't happen again. But at any rate, he's been a monster in the Giants lineup for the last two years, despite missing about a third of the games over those two years. That can't happen again.
The Giants are a good team, but they're not a very *deep* team. One major injury can absolutely cripple them, and turn their title defense into a much more difficult proposition.