Mar 29, 2023 - Sports

San Francisco Giants preview: Keeping up with SoCal

Juan Sanchez takes the mound during a spring training game against the Colorado Rockies. Photo: John E. Moore III/Getty Images

The San Francisco Giants start their season Thursday and are hoping to build off last year's average season and push for the NL West title.

  • First pitch is at 10:05am Pacific – they're in New York, though, playing the Yankees.

Why it matters: It's uncertain whether the Giants have reloaded enough to compete with the surging Padres and the perennial-winning Dodgers.

Driving the news: The Giants off-season was less about who they signed and more about who they didn't.

  • They were hoping to steal Aaron Judge from the Yankees, but he's back in the Bronx.
  • The bizarre debacle surrounding free agent shortstop Carlos Correa's contract didn't make fans excited for the future.

Yes, but: The team did bring in two good outfielders. Mitch Haniger and Michael Conforto are great upgrades, albeit oft-injured.

Who's still here: Brandon Crawford is the only player left from the 2014 World Series roster.

  • Also, Joc Pederson and Wilmer Flores return.
  • Logan Webb returns as the ace of the pitching staff.

Who's gone: Brandon Belt bolted for Toronto, Carlos Rodón jumped ship for New York and Evan Longoria ended up in Arizona.

Who to watch for: Catcher Joey Bart was supposed to be the heir apparent to Buster Posey, but he was a disappointment last year. He will be pushed for playing time by recent Gold Glover Roberto Pérez.

  • Casey Schmitt is one of the best prospects in baseball. Even though he had a great spring training, he'll start the season in the minor leagues.

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