San Francisco Giants need to be buyers at trade deadline 

I don’t know what’s in the water at AT&T Park, but the Giants continue to drink from the fountain of unexpected good fortune.

Amazingly, San Francisco has a better record since Buster Posey was lost for the season than with him.

Too bad the Giants can’t morph Eli Whiteside’s gamesmanship with Chris Stewart’s arm and Hector Sanchez’s bat.

That would be Posey’s perfect replacement. That said, the Whiteside-Stewart catching combo has performed better than expected, while Sanchez, the 21-year-old switch-hitting rookie with a career .301 minor league average, waits in the wings.

Ryan Vogelsong’s emergence has been even more startling. Released by the Philadelphia Phillies last year, the soon to be 34-year-old All-Star has turned the Giants’ nonroster spring training invitation into a (7-1) record and a National League-leading 2.02 ERA.

Barry Zito, previously as popular among Giants fans as Bernie Madoff is in the investment community, has looked great in three of his four starts since returning from a foot injury.

Don’t forget Nate Schierholtz, who began the season on the bench, is not only emerging as the regular right fielder, but is hitting in the .400 range since being moved into the cleanup spot following the All-Star break.

Mike Fontenot isn’t as accomplished a hitter as Freddy Sanchez, but mini-Mike’s return is a marked improvement over fill-ins Emmanuel Burris and Bill Hall. New addition Jeff Keppinger, who was hitting .307 when acquired from the Astros on Tuesday, could end up as the regular guy moving forward.

Now comes the tough part. The Giants’ brass has to step back from all their incredible success and decide whether to stand pat after the Keppinger trade and call-up of Brandon Belt and hope the mojo lasts through the dog days of August, or make a bold move.

If history is any guide, and it should be, Brian Sabean will be a buyer before the July 31 trade deadline. The impending return of Pat Burrell and Mark DeRosa from the disabled list, and promotion of Belt could mitigate the need to acquire another outfielder.

That would also put a squeeze on roster spots. So if Sanchez winds up back in Fresno, do the Giants really want to make their playoff push with a light-hitting catching platoon and a sub-.200 hitting rookie shortstop in Brandon Crawford? That may be good enough to win the NL West, but it’s not good enough to get invited back to the White House next year. 

KGO (810 AM) Sports Director Rich Walcoff can be heard weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on the KGO morning news. He can be reached at RichWalcoff@gmail.com.

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