Following up a World Series championship season is never an easy task — expectations are high, and sometimes unfairly so. This may not have been the case for the 2015 San Francisco Giants, but the season was somewhat disappointing nonetheless. The Giants finished with a respectable record of 84-78, but unfortunately that was nowhere near enough to earn a playoff spot in an exceptionally tough National League. Not many had favored the Giants over the Dodgers before the season, but many expected the Giants to contend for a Wild Card spot. In the end, the Giants finished 8.0 games behind the rival Dodgers, but even farther out of the Wild Card race — 13.0 games behind the young and talented Cubs team that won 97 games.
The 2015 team ranked well among fellow NL offenses, finishing fifth in runs scored, first in batting average, first in on-base percentage, and fourth in slugging percentage. The pitching staff was decent, but not great, finishing seventh in team ERA, seventh in team FIP, sixth in runs allowed, fifth in walks allowed, and 11th in strikeouts. Some pitchers turned in disappointing seasons, with Ryan Vogelsong, Matt Cain, and Tim Hudson all finishing with ERAs above 4.40, and combining to start just 55 games among themselves. Going into the offseason, it was clear that the starting rotation was priority number one.