San Francisco Giants: Their 3 Biggest Struggles This Season

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1. Production from the leadoff spot

Jun 14, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Gregor Blanco (7) is greeted at the dugout by team mate left fielder Andres Torres (56) after a lead off home run against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The injury to Angel Pagan certainly didn’t help this issue, but even before he injured his hamstring, he was struggling. This season, Pagan has a .262 batting average with a .314 OBP.

Pagan isn’t really known for his base-stealing abilities, although he does have speed. He is a quality leadoff hitter because he finds ways to get on base. He also gives his team an advantage on the base paths, not necessarily by stealing bases, but by, for example, stretching a single into a double.

In his absence, the Giants have used Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres in the leadoff spot. Blanco was hitting well in the first half of the season. He hit .270 in May and .311 in June, but he has been massively slumping recently. In July, he hit .169, and in August, although it’s a small sample size, he’s hitting just .071 in 14 at-bats. His batting average on the season is down to .250, and he has a .317 OBP.

Andres Torres has been inconsistent all year. Torres hit .309 in May, but he hit .259 in June, .208 in July, and .000 in nine at-bats so far in August. Overall, he’s hitting .246 and has a .300 OBP.

After the Giants’ series against the Tampa Bay Rays, Bruce Bochy declared that he was going to use a new leadoff hitter because of the lack of production from that spot. Bochy decided to have Marco Scutaro hit leadoff because of his ability to work pitch counts, find a good pitch to hit, and hit with two strikes. He isn’t a base stealer, but he has a .361 OBP, which is better than any other option the Giants have.

However, since being placed in that role, he has gone 0-for-9. This can’t be directly because of the new spot in the batting order. Scutaro has been struggling recently and has a .224 average in 37 games since June 20.

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