Fresh off of winning the 2012 World Series, the San Francisco Giants will be looking to win their second title in a row and third in the last four years. Management has made a tremendous effort to keep the same team as last year. Despite their efforts to keep last year’s championship team intact, it won’t be easy for them to repeat last year’s feat for the following reasons:
Pablo Sandoval’s health
Pablo Sandoval had a great playoff performance last year. I wrote about his last year’s performance a few weeks ago; you can read it here. According to the article, Pablo Sandoval could be a great candidate for MVP this season—if he’s healthy. And that’s the problem, it doesn’t appear as though he is 100 percent healthy as of the writing of this article. Sandoval has reportedly put on weight since winning the 2012 World Series. According to these reports, he still needs to lose about 20 pounds, and Sandoval has consistently played better not being overweight.
His elbow is also a concern. Sandoval injured a nerve during pre-game warm-ups, and, though he is expected to keep playing, it could affect his play more than just a little. In a worst-case scenario he could end up on the disabled list. At this time, however, that scenario is thankfully not expected to happen.
It hasn’t been done in over ten years
More times than not, the team that won the World Series one year doesn’t win the next. The last time a team accomplished this feat was in 2000 when the New York Yankees won the World Series for the third year straight. While this is no indication that the Giant’s can’t win the World Series again in 2013, it does show this is a rare and difficult feat to accomplish.
Hard to keep the same level of performance.
A number of players on the Giants’ roster had phenomenal seasons last year and even better post seasons. Even if healthy, it would be unlikely for Sandoval to hit the same number of home runs he did in post-season play for the 2013 season. Other players, including Scutaro, will be hard pressed to repeat last year’s performances as well. Also, there are a number of Giants players playing in the World Baseball Classic. The problem this can cause is disunity within the team. With players from the Giants playing in the World Baseball Classic, San Francisco hasn’t fully played as a team through spring training. This may cause a slow start to the Giants’ season, and a slow start will make it harder for players to play at the level they were the year before.