New Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi touched on a number of topics during his inaugural press conference at AT&T Park Wednesday afternoon. Much of the discussion surrounded his plan for the future, and how Zaidi plans to bring San Francisco back into contention after consecutive down years.
But Zaidi was also asked to evaluate the state of the current roster, and gave some insight to what he likes and doesn’t like about the team heading into his first offseason in charge.
Zaidi began by praising the makeup of many of the Giants’ players, before getting into specific areas of the club that need improvement.
“The number one thing that stands out to me…the importance of selfless play in baseball,” Zaidi began. “We’re in kind of a baseball culture, especially at the amateur level, where there is a little bit of a showcase culture. There’s a lot of emphasis on the individual performance over the team. I think when you can create a culture where players put the team above the individual, that can be a real differentiator and a real competitive advantage.
“Baseball is a sport where 90 percent of the time the individual’s goal and the team’s goal align. You’re up there trying to get a hit that’s good for you, that’s good for the team. But there are times when you need to move a runner over, and there are times when you need to have a long at-bat to tire out the opposing pitcher. I’ve seen a lot of the guys on this team play for a long time and they have that spirit in spades. That is a big reason for the success that this organization has had.”
Zaidi then detailed three areas where he believes the Giants need to improve: youth, athleticism, and starting pitching.
“More generally, adding a little youth to the roster, a little more athleticism to kind of compliment some of that culture of selflessness, that would be the ideal combination,” Zaidi said. “Where you have kind of the athleticism and a really positive team concept. On pitching, the bullpen is obviously an area of great strength. The starting rotation with the injuries, there is potentially an area we look to reinforce things. But I do know kind of going through the farm system there are some terrific young arms that are coming up. I’m looking forward to getting to know a little bit about them and their timetables, cause that’s obviously going to factor greatly into the next couple years.”