New SF Giants manager Bob Melvin has some freshly added weapons in reigning Cy Young winner Blake Snell and Korean superstar Jung Hoo Lee, as the Giants start their 2024 season Thursday against the San Diego Padres.

The big complaint about your San Francisco Giants' offseason was that they missed out on free agent superstar Shohei Ohtani, and then on Japanese pitching phenom Yoshinobu Yamamoto, losing out on both to their despised in-division rival LA Dodgers.

So let’s check in on Ohtani and Yamamoto! Shohei Ohtani is currently embroiled in baseball’s most massive gambling scandal since Pete Rose in the 1980s, and could well be looking at a suspension of a year or more. Yamamoto got absolutely shelled by the San Diego Padres in his Major League Baseball debut, lasting all of one inning while giving up five runs, and currently holds (I swear to god I am not making this up) an ERA of 45.00.

Hmmm, maybe the Giants were wiser in their more measured and patient approach to free agency? They managed to sign the reigning NL Cy Young winner Blake Snell last week, and I am still trying to figure out how a reigning NL Cy Young was still available barely a week from Opening Day. In early March they added third baseman Matt Chapman, who was a 2023 Gold Glove winner. And their prize addition is Korean superstar Jung Hoo Lee, who immediately becomes their leadoff batter and everyday center fielder.

Will this reverse the Giants' below-.500 fortunes of 2023? We’ll begin to find out Thursday, when the Giants open their season against the San Diego Padres at 1:10 pm at San Diego’s Petco Park.

The Giants have a new manager in Bob Melvin, whose specialty is turning around terrible teams, which he’s done with the Oakland A’s and the Padres. He's taken his teams to the playoffs eight times in his 18 seasons as a manager, but has never won a pennant.

The Giants’ pitching rotation would seem fearsome with Snell and Logan Webb (who was the runner-up to Snell in last year’s Cy Young voting), but maybe not so fearsome beyond those two. Yes, they added 2021 Blue Jays Cy Young winner Robbie Ray, but he’s out with Tommy John surgery until probably around April. New acquisition Jordan Hicks (who can throw 105 mph) will take his place in the starting rotation, though Hicks has traditionally been a reliever, so we’ll see how he handles the transition.

The team will surely hit better with new cleanup batter Jorge Soler (from the Marlins), who was an All-Star last season. And we should note that five-year Giants and fan favorite Mike Yastrzemski will be going off on paternity leave for a bit starting this weekend, so congratulations are in order. But don’t get distracted by that fuckin’ baby, Yaz!


But speaking of fan favorites, our giddiness for the return of Pablo Sandoval will likely be short-lived. Yes, he hit a single in Tuesday night’s 3-1 Bay Bridge Series exhibition game loss to the Oakland A’s. But as the Chronicle explains, Panda is likely to be sent to the minor leagues, if he doesn’t get cut outright, and may never play in a Giants uniform again.


But the most infuriating situation with a fan favorite is the loss of PA announcer Renel Brooks-Moon. Fans are irate, and will likely be even moreso with today’s SFGate revelation that the first of Brooks-Moon’s replacements (and they’ll try out a few) is a die-hard Dodgers fan. Oracle Park’s new nightclub-style lights and sound system are not going to make up for the PR fiasco of letting go of the beloved Renel.

Either way, the Giants play the Padres in San Diego at 1:10 pm Thursday, and their Home Opener is Friday, April 5 at Oracle Park at 1:35 pm, also against the Padres.

Related: The Giants Are Dumping That GM Cruise Patch on Their Uniforms That Fans Hated [SFNews]

Image: PEORIA, ARIZONA - MARCH 10: Bob Melvin of the San Francisco Giants stands in the dugout during the spring training game against the Seattle Mariners at Peoria Sports Complex on March 10, 2024 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)