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Checking in on simulated Giants leagues: a big trade, big addition, many losses



Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

If there is relief for real Giants fans in a historic time without baseball, it’s how poorly the virtual Giants are playing.

Fire Faux-han. Dummy Kapler clearly a dummy. Why isn’t virtual Marco Luciano summoned yet?

As the calendar flips into May, the “Giants” have “played” 31 games both in Strat-O-Matic and Out of the Park Baseball, simulated seasons that are helpful for the curious and the baseball needy and for bits of online traffic.

The projected play has not been kind: 11-20 in both, one season featuring a fascinating pickup, one featuring a telling ship-out.

First the addition: Yasiel Puig has been a nice find for the SOM Giants, slashing .237/.348/.395 with three home runs in 76 at-bats. In reality, the outfielder is still a free agent and still loosely connected with the Giants, although the real Gabe Kapler hinted a report suggesting the rival sides will align is not accurate.

And the subtraction: Kevin Gausman was terrific in six starts with San Francisco in OOTP, posting a 2.25 ERA in 44 innings, his 1.6 WAR tied for the fifth best among pitchers in baseball. That all turned him into an exceedingly early trade target, as Faux-han cashed in that chip early in exchange for four Washington prospects.

While Gausman emerged as an ace for a month, the Giants’ theoretical Opening Day starter has been dreadful. Johnny Cueto has notched a 5.63 ERA in OOTP and 6.37 in SOM, in which his 54 hits allowed lead the league. Shameful, really.

The simulated play has been more polarizing for their No. 2 starter. Jeff Samardzija is getting beaten up in OOTP, but his 2.55 ERA in SOM is among the league leaders.

While there have been pitching issues, the Giants’ biggest weakness has come at the plate — which could have been predicted in real life, too.

In both leagues, Buster Posey is mounting a comeback, already with a .9 WAR and slashing .283/.374/.413 in OOTP. You wouldn’t mind if Kapler penciled him into the No. 3 hole. But Wilmer Flores is the only other offensive player faring decently in both simulated versions (while the leagues have been split on guys like Brandon Crawford and Mike Yastrzemski).

Evan Longoria has gotten off to a poor start in each, actually leading the OOTP league in double-plays grounded into. In the same simulation, Pablo Sandoval did little in 24 at-bats, which led to a characteristically quick trigger from Zaidi, who designated him for assignment Tuesday without a ceremonious goodbye, as far as we know. (The Giants picked up Brian Dozier in a very Scooter Gennett’ian move.) In the SOM league, Mauricio Dubon’s batting just .176, while Yolmer Sanchez has started just as slowly.

At what point do all these struggles point to a constant: the manager?

Over at The Athletic, the staff is simulating their own OOTP season that is also not going the Giants’ way; at last check, San Francisco was 21-34 under overlord Giants writer Grant Brisbee. No Giants boss is safe.

“Isn’t Grant Brisbee simulating the OOTP season so far?” Kapler wrote in a text. “Since he’s managing the Giants, I think it’s only fair that I get to write his column ;)”