Part of the great benefits of being involved with the Baseball Bloggers Alliance is the opportunity to talk to fans of the opposing teams. Earlier this month Maiya and Britt of Snow Woulda Had It! reached out to the membership offering to do Q&A swaps. With the Giants coming into Busch tomorrow, I swapped some e-mails with them. You'll see my answers to their Cardinal questions on their site soon, but after the jump you can find the five questions I sent to them and their responses, getting you ready for the series. Thanks to both of them for their great answers!
C70: Obviously, the major news surrounding the Giants has been the loss of Buster Posey. Is he out for the year and how are the Giants going to fill his slot both defensively and in the lineup?
SWHI: Posey had surgery this morning and is officially out for the rest of the season. It's a tough pill to swallow, no doubt, but the upside is that the Giants don't live and die by one player. Pablo Sandoval's return will pick up some of the slack offensively, and the brass seem inclined to at least give Eli Whiteside the shot to be the every day catcher while Posey is out. The idea of trading for a catcher isn't out of the realm of possibility, but at the moment it seems like Whiteside and AAA call up Chris Stewart are going to be doing the catching. That said, we're just this afternoon learning officially that it will be the whole season that Buster will miss, so we have to think the catcher search may be back on, now.
C70: The Giants pitching staff has been tremendous. We know about the big guys, but what can you tell me about Ryan Vogelsong and how he's been able to be so effective this year?
SWHI: Ryan Vogelsong is certainly the story of the year for the Giants so far. Vogelsong has been putting it strong performances, due especially to particularly sharp command leading to a remarkably good K/BB ratio. He's one of the top starters in baseball right now, and the other shoe hasn't come down yet. The longer he goes putting in performances like he has been and the harder the decision becomes once Barry Zito is ready to come off the DL. It should prove interesting when the time comes. That said, we can hardly give an explanation for it. Dave Righetti has gotten a lot of credit, as has Mark Gardner. It's all guess work though. We'll leave you with this...
C70: Offensively, it looks like things have been hard to come by. Are there rumors of a trade for a bat and, if so, who would be dealt for and what would be the price?
SWHI: There have been rumors of trading for a bat for quite some time, but it seems unlikely. There are guys in the lineup who can produce at the plate, it's a matter of getting enough of them hot at the same time to get something going. Thankfully the pitching staff is strong enough that the offense doesn't have to produce very many runs to earn some wins. As far as trades go, trading for a SS seems more likely at this point, and if we can manage to get a hold of one with some offensive punch then so much the better. It seems like Brandon Crawford's performance will determine a lot of whether the SS search goes on in earnest or not. If a trade is going to happen in either case, it's almost certainly one of the young arms in the Giants farm systems (or more) that would be the cost. Zack Wheeler is the name most commonly heard, but Eric Surkamp is another one who could have a good trade value. We're hoping pretty hard that that doesn't happen in this corner.
C70: Is Brandon Belt the next big thing? It doesn't look like he's gotten a lot of playing time since his callup.
SWHI: Brandon Belt is a big part of the face of the franchise for the years to come, we have no doubt of that. He hasn't been seeing the playing time we would like so far, but we have a lot of faith that he's going to be a middle of the order hitter and defensive presence, it's just a question of when. We'd prefer to see him at first base rather than in the outfield, but the question of what to do with Aubrey Huff looms. It may not be this season, but Brandon Belt is definitely the real deal.
C70: What are your thoughts about this series?
SWHI: The Giants are in a rough spot, still missing Pablo Sandoval and reeling from Buster Posey's injury and dropping the series to the Brewers, but if the pitching can stay strong the offense only needs to click a little bit to make things happen. Keeping Holliday quiet at the plate is going to be key, and that comes down to the strength of the starters and the bullpen maintaining leads if and when they get them.
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