SAN FRANCISCO -- Farhan Zaidi has been able to keep his sense of humor, which is important when your team plays the way the Giants did in April. Asked earlier this week about the struggling core of the lineup, Zaidi smiled and chuckled as he talked of improvements he has seen recently.
"Some of the OPS (numbers) have gone from the five hundreds to the six hundreds," he said, "And hopefully that will continue to creep up."
The Giants are certainly not anywhere close to where they would like to be. They have a team OPS of .618 through 31 games, the worst mark in the Majors and one that's 116 points below the NL average. Even if you adjust for the home park, the offense is still the worst in baseball, 34 percent below league average by OPS+.
It is not at all hard to find the reason for the 13-18 start, and on The Giants Insider Podcast this week, Zaidi talked about how the team hasn't quite lined up with his expectations.
"The results obviously aren't where we'd like to be," he said. "The offense has really struggled. We didn't expect to score runs in bunches, but I think even we've been a little surprised at how hard it's been for us to put competitive run totals on the board.
"Obviously our pitching and defense has kept us in games and that's part of the tradeoff we made in putting this team together. But hopefully the bats will come around because I don't think we need to score that many runs to be a successful team."
Even the last two seasons, when the Giants lost 187 games, the team had the record of a contender when scoring just four runs a game. It's early, but this year's group is 7-5 when hitting a mark that shouldn't be so difficult. The Giants are just 6-13 when they score three runs or fewer.
The Giants have seen signs of life from Buster Posey the last couple of weeks and Steven Duggar had a big night Wednesday. But there still has been inconsistency from most, and Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik are really struggling up the middle. Evan Longoria has lost some time to Pablo Sandoval.
"You kind of like for guys to kind of stagger their ups-and-downs so you still have two or three guys who are firing on (all) cylinders at any point in time," Zaidi said. "So to have everybody struggle collectively, that's what's made this so difficult from a competitive standpoint."