Brandon Crawford

Why Giants need to upgrade shortstop in 2020, according to MLB.com

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USATSI

Why Giants need to upgrade shortstop in 2020, according to MLB.com

Shortstop Brandon Crawford and second baseman Joe Panik formed a Giants double-play duo up the middle for nearly six seasons.

One half of the pair already is gone after San Francisco released Panik in August, and he joined the Mets shortly after. Could Crawford be on his way out, too? 

MLB.com's Will Leitch identified the problem areas for each team going into next season, and his position for the Giants comes as a bit of surprise. 

"Brandon Crawford is under contract for next year, but the Giants need to build from the inside out, and shortstop is a position they’re starting from too far behind on," Leitch wrote. 

Crawford, who turns 33 years old in January, has one season remaining on his six-year, $75 million contract and is coming off the worst season of his nine-year career. The two-time All-Star hit just .228 with 11 home runs and a .654 OPS. 

His 0.6 bWAR was the lowest of his career since 2011, the season in which he debuted with the Giants. To make matters worse, the three-time Gold Glove winner had an oddly down year defensively. 

For the first time in his career, Crawford wasn't worth a positive defensive run saved, according to FanGraphs. He finished at exactly zero, down from six in 2018. Crawford's .972 fielding percentage also was his lowest since 2015. 

But if the Giants do try to dangle Crawford on the trade market this offseason, they could have a solid replacement in Mauricio Dubon

The 25-year-old Dubon might be better pegged as a second baseman, though he has shown the ability to play shortstop just fine. Dubon, acquired from the Brewers at the MLB trade deadline, hit .279 with four homers, three stolen bases and a .754 OPS in 28 games for the Giants. 

[RELATED: Giants excited about future with infusion of young talent]

Dubon played second base in 22 games compared to 10 as a shortstop when he joined the Giants, but has played 475 games at shortstop to 113 as a second baseman in the minors. He is an in-house option right away if Crawford winds up on a new team. The free-agent market is thin this offseason at shortstop outside of Didi Gregorious, too. 

If Crawford does remain the Giants' shortstop, they certainly need him to have a bounce-back season next year. 

Farhan Zaidi identifies main issue in search to improve Giants roster

Farhan Zaidi identifies main issue in search to improve Giants roster

SAN FRANCISCO -- For the first time in eight years, Farhan Zaidi will not be spending October watching his team participate in the postseason. But that doesn't mean it'll be a quieter month for the Giants' president of baseball operations. 

The Giants have to hire a new general manager and manager. They have to decide what they want to do in the bidding for Madison Bumgarner. The bullpen has holes, and will have two gaping ones if Will Smith and Tony Watson depart. 

Then there's the lineup, and as Zaidi went over the situation on Tuesday - he pointed to that group as the one that represents his biggest need this winter. Asked what specifically stands out about the roster deficiencies, Zaidi said the Giants simply must figure "out a way to generate more offense in this ballpark."

"When you look at our home record and road record, there's a feeling that if we could have sustained offense a little better in this park it would have put us in a better position," he said. 

The Giants finished just 35-46 at home, tied for the worst home mark in franchise history. They scored 271 runs at home compared to 407 on the road, where they went 42-39 and generally looked like a contender. 

Two of those road wins came at the end of August, when the Giants outscored the streaking A's 15-9 while winning both weekend games. Zaidi repeatedly pointed to that series, which got the Giants back to 65-65, as one that stood out given what happened afterward. 

"You looked at the rest of our schedule and we had a daunting road schedule in September, playing some very good teams on the road, and you felt like we were going to have to really make hay (at home) in the games and the series we had left," he said. "We went 6-7 on our last two road trips against some good teams and we were 6-13 at home. Obviously the offensive output in those 19 games was a major issue."

The Giants scored just 58 runs over those final 19 home games. With a city ready to erupt for any sign of life on Bruce Bochy's final weekend, the lineup got shut out twice and swept by the Dodgers. 

Zaidi said the major goal will be finding ways to be more dangerous at home, regardless of what position an option might play. That could ultimately lead to some changes, and less playing time, for core players. Buster Posey didn't hit his first homer at Oracle Park until the final homestand and slugged just .335 at home.

Brandon Crawford had a .209/.292/.269 slash line at Oracle Park. Evan Longoria crushed in away games but had a .658 OPS at home. Brandon Belt was at .709 with just five homers and 20 RBI.

While some of the newcomers had their moments -- Kevin Pillar and Mike Yastrzemski did hit for power at Oracle -- the only hitter with an OPS over .800 at home was Alex Dickerson, who had a .942 but had trouble staying on the field. 

[RELATED: How Vogt helped young Giants through up-and-down season]

In future years, it may be easier to sell free agent hitters on coming to a park that will have new dimensions. But that may be a tough ask this winter, so the Giants likely will have to get creative with trades. If you've proven you can hit at Oracle Park in the past, you're going to be on the front office's wish list.

"For us to identify ways to improve in the ballpark, that's going to be a major goal," Zaidi said. 

Check out DJ Brandon Crawford's funny changes to Giants' walk-up songs

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USATSI

Check out DJ Brandon Crawford's funny changes to Giants' walk-up songs

SAN FRANCISCO -- Sure, Sunday's game was about saying goodbye to Bruce Bochy, possibly saying goodbye to Madison Bumgarner, and welcoming dozens of former Giants back to Oracle Park. But it was also about keeping a fun tradition going. 

For the fourth time, shortstop Brandon Crawford went into "DJ BC Raw" mode and changed the walk-up and warm-up songs for all of his teammates. Crawford is all about the details, and he's also all about taking good-natured shots at the end of a long season. Exhibit A: Queuing up "Wake Me Up When September Ends" for good friend Brandon Belt, who entered the final day batting .237 with one homer this month.

Some of the choices, like with Stephen Vogt and Kevin Pillar, are obvious. Some are subtle. See if you can figure out why rookie Jaylin Davis was given "In The Name of Love." 

[RELATED: Lincecum attends Bochy's final Giants game at Oracle Park]

It added a little fun to a day that won't be forgotten at the ballpark. Here's the full list: 

Belt: “Wake Me Up When September Ends” -- Green Day; “Right Round” -- Flo Rida ft Kesha
Vogt: “Believe” -- Eminem; “Believe Me” -- Lil Wayne ft Drake
Posey: “Bust It Baby, Pt 2” -- Plies ft Ne-Yo; “Catch” -- Brett Young
Pillar: “Superman (It’s not Easy)” -- Five for Fighting; “Lean and Dabb” -- iLoveMemphis
Longoria: “Look at my Dab” -- Migos; “Classic Man” -- Jidenna
Dubon: “Swing Latino” -- Banda Blanca; “I Made It (Cash Money Heroes)” -- Kevin Rudolf
Slater: “Lemon DRAKE REMIX” -- N.E.R.D. ft Drake & Rihanna; “Saved by the Bell” -- Coded Channel
Dickerson: “Save That Money” -- Lil Dicky; “7empest” -- Tool; “Pipeline” -- Dick Dale; “Hard” -- Rihanna; “Billy Creek” -- Charlie Shafter
Rickard: “Super Freak” -- Rick James; “Children’s Story” -- Slick Rick
Yastrzemski: “Sweet Caroline” -- Neil Diamond; “More Than a Feeling” -- Boston
Gerber: “Baby” -- Justin Bieber
Jaylin Davis: “In the Name of Love” -- Martin Garrix & Bebe Rehxa; “Call Out My Name” -- The Weeknd
Shaw: “Boston” -- Augustana; “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” -- Dropkick Murphys
Garcia: “Cum On Feel the Noize” -- Quiet Riot; “Quiet Storm” -- Mobb Deep
Adames: “The Adams Family Theme Song”
Solano: “Tu Estas Aqui” -- Jesus Adrian Romero & Marcela Gandara
Bumgarner: “Look What You Made Me Do” -- Taylor Swift
Samardzija: “Baby Shark” -- Pinkfong
Cueto: “Baby, I’m Back” -- Baby Bash
Rodriguez: “Stuntin Like My Daddy” -- Lil Wayne & Birdman
Suarez: “Miami” -- Will Smith
Beede: “One Life” Young Beedah & Sam James
Webb: “Spiderwebs” -- No Doubt
Anderson: “Blessings” -- Big Sean
Will Smith: “Wild Wild West” -- Will Smith
Gustave: “When It Rains It Pours” -- Luke Combs
Coonrod: “Stronger” -- Britney Spears
Rogers: “Sideways” -- Dierks Bentley
Selman: “Slide” -- Goo Goo Dolls
Burch Smith: “Birch Tree” -- Foals
Barraclough: “Homecoming” -- Kanye West
Abad: “Bad and Boujee” -- Migos
Franco: “Acelera” -- Franco
Menez: “Red” -- Taylor Swift
Peralta: “It Wasn’t Me” -- Shaggy
Watson: “Flicka da Wrist” -- Chedda Da Connect
Sandoval: “Panda” -- Desiigner
Gott: “I Gotta Feeling” -- Black Eyed Peas
Duggar: “Six Degrees of Separation” -- The Script

If you want a trip down memory lane, here are the playlists for 2015, 2017 and 2018 -- there were no changed songs in 2016 because the Giants were competing for a playoff spot.