SF Giants: How a shortened, universal DH season could benefit the team

SF Giants (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SF Giants (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The SF Giants aren’t expected to be very good in 2020, but could a shortened season combined with a universal DH actually benefit the team?

The SF Giants aren’t supposed to be competitive in 2020. Perhaps some Giants fans are tired of the perpetual losing over the past few years, but we’re likely going to have to wait until at least 2021 or 2022 for the team to field a competitive roster.

But with the growing uncertainty around baseball in the midst of the current league postponement, it’s clear that anything is possible. That “anything” could refer to a shortened slate of game, a universal DH, or even a complete cancellation of the season.

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Who knows.

But if anything, the Giants could actually serve to benefit from this state of uncertainty. Whether that be a shortened season or a universal DH rule. the Giants could find some level of success as a result.

Over a 162-game stretch, the Giants are unlikely to make any run at a playoff spot. We were witness to a brief glimmer of hope last July when the Giants went on an improbable midseason run.

But eventually, the team regressed to the mean. They regressed to what their true form was — a below-average baseball team. That likely won’t be any different in 2020. But with a shortened season, all bets are off.

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Volatility is always higher with a smaller sample size.

Teams can get hot and go on runs in an 82 or 162-game schedule. But with fewer games, those hot streaks mean more. What if the Giants have another July-like month where they win 19 of 25 games?

Moreover, this shortened season would likely have reconstructed divisions. That could mean that the Giants are free from the constraints of playing in the same division as the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Perhaps they’re placed in the same division as the Seattle Mariners or Texas Rangers. It’s certainly very possible.

What about a universal DH? We know that a part of the MLB’s proposed plan would be to implement a universal DH into the MLB for at least the 2020 season. What would the Giants do if that turns out to be the case?

Well, they’ll have a number of options. The boring solution would be to simply platoon players like Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval at that spot. But those players aren’t a part of the future.

Instead, the team could use that extra lineup spot to get a look at a few hitters who could play roles down the line.

Maybe that’s someone like Chris Shaw who’s never really gotten a fair crack at the majors. Darin Ruf impressed in spring training, and even though he’s older it would be nice to see him receive some playing time in 2020.

More interestingly, the Giants could use outfield prospect Jaylin Davis at that spot or even use it as a way to get Joey Bart some at-bats this year. The options are endless.

The Giants could use these changes to their benefit in more than one way. And with a shortened season, the playing field is leveled.

Next. SF Giants: Ramifications of adding Yasiel Puig to the outfield mix. dark

Could the SF Giants actually be competitive in 2020? With the way things are going, anything is possible.