How Kuip believes Giants should handle upcoming offseason originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — The first Giants win in over a week happened to be a national broadcast, which didn’t offer much help to a crew of local broadcasters who have tried to keep things light and interesting through a seven-game losing streak and a rough second half.
Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow are well aware that the Giants have fallen out of the playoff race, but that doesn’t mean September has to have a sad feeling about it. On Thursday’s “Giants Talk” podcast, Kuiper said the energy still has to be there.
“We were taught a long time ago by Hank Greenwald that a bad game doesn’t mean it has to be a bad broadcast,” he said. “A bad record going into September does not mean it has to be a bad broadcast.”
The Giants took a 61-68 record into the final month, and their seven-game losing streak — snapped with a 13-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday — put the team in such a bad position that even Giants officials now talk about how just getting back to .500 is a good goal. The Giants hope to be competitive in September and at least play spoiler, but the attention has turned to 2023, and the road ahead isn’t easy.
The Giants will go into the offseason knowing that there’s a huge talent gap with the Los Angeles Dodgers and a very big one with a San Diego Padres team that looks headed to the postseason and will get Fernando Tatis Jr. back from suspension early next season. Beyond that, the Giants have fallen into a race with the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have a young and fun group that should compete for a playoff spot next season.
Kuiper knows the Giants have a lot of work to do, but he also sees a lot he likes.
“I think the starting rotation is pretty good. I think the bullpen hasn’t been nearly as good as it was last year, and I think all of a sudden you have question marks,” Kuiper said. “Like, which LaMonte Wade Jr. do we have, the one from 2021 or the one from 2022? You can actually say the same thing about [Mike Yastrzemski]. Brandon Belt, I think he’s going to retire. You’ve got [Brandon] Crawford back, which I’m glad [about]because even if Crawford doesn’t do the things he normally does offensively, he’s still going to anchor that defense, which you really have to have.
“I think JD Davis is going to play a lot more in 2023 and I hope he does because I really enjoy his at-bats. And then you have to see how you’re going to improve that defense.”
The defense will be a key this offseason, as the Giants need to find a better way to support a rotation that has been their strength this season and will easily be their most stable group heading into the offseason.
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The Giants likely will lose Carlos Rodón, but Logan Webb, Alex Cobb, Alex Wood and Anthony DeSclafani return, and the Giants have shown an ability to quite easily find starting options. The bullpen has been a mess this year but does have one of the most promising young closers in the game in Camilo Doval.
On the offensive side, there’s a lot of work to be done, something Kuiper acknowledged. But he’s excited about what’s ahead.
“There’s a lot of things that you have to fill [in] to make the 2023 team competitive with those other teams in the West, but this is the big leagues, it’s not meant to be easy,” he said. “I’m actually looking forward to the offseason to see what our really talented front office can do.”
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