Friday, April 10, 2009

The Indespensibles - Part II

No. 15 - Emmanuel Burriss - First and foremost, Burriss has very little power. In fact, if he hits a ball out of the infield, it might as well be classified as a "bomb" for the diminutive second baseman who was a first-round draft choice in the same draft that produced Tim Lincecum. That said, Manny is in the lineup because of his defense, which is a critically important part of the game if you are going to succeed with pitching, pitching and more pitching. Just ask Colorado and Tampa Bay - both were #1 in baseball for defense in each of their respective World Series appearances over the last two years. Burriss has the potential to be a Gold Glove defender, but if he continues to hit like this guy, then you can say hello to Kevin Frandsen.

No. 14 - Nate Schierholtz - If Schierholtz has a highly productive offensive season off the bench, then he could play himself into a starting Right Fielding role next year as Randy Winn is in the last season of his contract. As the primary left-handed power guy off the bench, the team needs him to produce. Schierholtz can hit, as he's proven in his limited experience. He just needs the opportunity. Secretly, I bet Nate is hoping a starting outfielder goes down with an injury. But that's just me. And if I'm proven anything in my life, it's that I'm a jackass.

No. 13 - Aaron Rowand - Barry Zito's contract gets all the attention, but Rowand's contract (5 year, $70 million) was just as egregious. It should have been the final straw in the proverbial camel's spine in the Brian Sabean administration, but if Sabean has proven anything it's that he is like a cat with nine GM f**k up lives. 

No. 12 - Money. Bags. - Speaking of Zito, did you know he signed with the Giants for seven years and $126 million? No, really, he did! In fact, we have him locked up for five more years and a gazillion more dollars! Isn't that freakin' awesome! Not to play Monday Morning Kicker here, but I believe BH, OZ and I all agreed that, "If he doesn't come through on this, then this contract is going to kill our franchise for years." All I'm saying is, he better win at least 14 games this year. Douche.

No. 11 - Randy Winn - Best defensive Right Fielder in AT&T park's history. He absolutely owns that wall. He's also a fairly consistent hitter who tends to explode in the second half. He's also 34 and bound to start slowing down... right..... about....... this..........year. If Brian Sabean is still around in the off-season when Winn's contract expires, he's bound to sign Winn for a 5-year, $70 million deal, ensuring nobody else "has the opportunity to snag him up." I hate Brian Sabean.

No. 10 - Jonathan Sanchez - Electric. My candidate for the pitcher that will take 'The Leap' this year (apologies to Bill Simmons and all the people in the blog world that hate him for no reason other than jealousy). Endurance is his only issue. If he can make it at least 180 innings this year, the Giants are in great, great shape.

No. 9 - Bengie Molina - Mark my words - he will not be batting cleanup come August, and it will have nothing to do with his bat. the issue with Molina is that he is as speedy as herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter. Travis Ishikawa will lose at least 10 RBI this year from Molina not being able to score from second on a base hit. Sandoval fourth, Ishikawa fifth, Molina sixth. Just one man's prediction. Love Bengie. Love him. But his lack of mobility (which is like saying I have a "lack" of hair) will hurt this team on many occasions.

No. 8 - Sushi Roll Ishikawa - Love what he brings on defense. Enticed about what he brings on offense. Name reminds me of a bento box at a sushi restaurant. Therefore, Sushikawa already lands as one of my top-10 favorite Giants prospects in my Giants fanhood.

No. 7 - Freddy Lewis - He will steal 30 bases this year, even if he is thrown out on 20 additional attempts. Bengie Molina is a 6-4-3 waiting to happen anytime Lewis is on first with less than two outs, so Lewis has the green light. I don't buy into the fact that hitting #3 will allow him to flask more power, as he never hi t many jacks in the minors -- but I do expect him to score 100 runs. Maybe I'm dreaming, but I like his potential.

No. 6 - Jeremy Affeldt - Why this high? Do you not remember Jack "Gasoline" Taschner? Or Mike Stanton? How about... uh... I can't really remember a late-inning lefty who held this much promise.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Indespensibles

No 25: Torres - Who? Either he or Velez will be gone in three weeks when they bring Steve Holm back up from AAA. I'm betting Velez gets optioned out simply due to Torres' age (31). Yup, Brian Sabean is still our GM. (By the way, going with 1.5 catchers on your roster when your starting catcher runs like my 83-year-old grandfather two days after a hip replacement makes about as much sense as Keith Olbermann on the guest list at a Fox News holiday party.)

No. 24: Eugenio Velez - I've heard he's fast. I've also heard he plays defense like a blind amputee with a bad case of vertigo. For more information, see: Torres, Don'tevenknowhisfirstname.

No. 23: Brandon Medders - Arizona retread was a surprise addition to the opening day roster. All signs pointed to rule-5 pick Luis Perdomo making the club, but then Brian Sabean remembered that he was Brian Sabean.

No. 22: Rich Aurilia - One of the all-time-great Giants. Will go down in Giants' history with the likes of Robby Thompson, Matt Williams, Rod Beck, Robb Nen, J.T. Snow, et. al. He was a great ten years ago. I will sum my feelings up about his appearance on the 2009 roster with the following words: Are you fucking kidding me??
Solid veteran presence with a track record. 

Aurilia taking a throw... in Candlestick Park. Yup, it's been that long.

No. 21: Joey Martinez - The 26-year-old rookie was a surprise in camp, but really shouldn't have been had Sabean picked up a copy of Baseball America's Prospect Handbook at any time over the last couple of years. Martinez led the Eastern League in ERA last year and pitched very well in San Jose back in 2007. He's a ground ball specialist who will start the year as the long-man out of the 'pen, but will be called upon for an emergency start should one of the five amigos go down. He will not ever win a Cy Young, but Martinez will pitch some valuable innings for this club.

No. 20: Juan Uribe - Yes, Juan is related to Jose (second-cousin)

No. 19: Merkin Valdez - He's going to pitch an amazing and tantalizing 15 innings before his elbow flares up. That part of his body is more sensitive than Jim Cramer after being called out on the Daily Show.  

No. 18: Alex Hinshaw - If he can find the strike zone, he can be a devastating late-inning specialist. 47 strikeouts in 39.2 innings says a lot about a guy's arm. So does 29 walks in those same 39.2 innings. Throw strikes, Alex.

No. 17: Bobby Howry - While I do not doubt for a second that Howry will pitch many important innings through May, I do doubt that he will be pitching those same important innings come August when Sergio Romo is fully healthy. Howry throws strikes and will be solid in the 'pen, but he reminds me a little too much of Tim Worrell. 

No. 16: Edgar Renteria - We will be hearing about his contract as much as we hear about Zito's and Rowand's. Regardless, Renteria is an upgrade offensively at SS and will be a nice stop-gap at the #2 spot in the order. That said, the defense on the left side of the infield, with Renteria and Sandoval, is pretty scary. 

Tomorrow - # 15 through 5

Friday, April 03, 2009

From flatlined to, well, barely breathing

Lesson 1: Conditioning

But at least the Giants are breathing now, and that means so much to my daily life. 

And I still think Brian Sabean should be fired.

With the introductions out of the way, welcome back to The Lunatic Fringe at Let's get started.

I'm loving this team right now and the reason is simple: Homegrown talent. 

Baseball Jesus Lincecum, Matt Cain, Dirty Sanchez, Joey Martinez, Merkin Valdez, Alex Hinshaw, Sergio Romo, Brian Wilson on the pitching staff. Freddy Lewis, Kung Fu Panda Sandoval, Travis Ishikawa, Manny Burriss, Nate Schierholtz, Eugenio Velez, Steve Holm (maybe) on offense/defense. Combined, this group forms the best collection of homegrown talent since the 1993 team that ran out Williams, Clark, Thompson, Clayton, Burkett, et. al. It also just happens to be what Giants fans have been clamoring for for several years. One gets the feeling that Brian Sabean took this route reluctantly (ahem, Zito. ahem, Rowand), but who cares at this point (other than this blog's web address).

That's the preface, and what this blog will focus on when it comes to the big league club. We (meaning, namely, me) will also focus on the minor league system, as the Giants finally have a farm system that does more than just sell its' products at a farmers market.

One man's rundown of the 25 man roster coming this weekend

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Barry Zito Four Run Rule, part V

We've said it all season. If you score four runs for Barry Zito, he will get you a win.

That is unless, of course, he gives up 8. Actually, Zito pitched well on Tuesday. But I can't get over the fact that he's throwing 86 mph fastballs (tops). It's like we signed Jamie Moyer to the richest contract in baseball for a pitcher. Or Woody.

Regardless, it was good to see the Giants win a game. They need to find a way to get Fred Lewis into the lineup. And I realize that's the 100th time I've said that. His swipe of second in the eighth was a pretty big play and his mere presence brings excitement into the game.

It's tradin' time.

Good article in the Washington Post about Tiny Tim

Although, after reading the article, I get the sense that Lincecum's father is living vicariously through his son. Especially after reading the quote, "I'm not living my life through Timmy," Chris Lincecum.

Yeah, you are. But I probably would too if my son was dominating at 23-years-old.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I smell smoke

The fire sale can't come soon enough.

What a debacle of a weekend. From the Brian Sabean/Peter Magowan press conference to announce Sabean's two-year extension, the lads sounded genuine that they were about to embark on what most fans have been clamoring for: A rebuilding with an emphasis on players who do not carry an AARP card. If the Dodgers' sweep wasn't enough to convince Sabean that he needs to start selling, now, then nothing will ever be enough.

Here's one man's list of guys who should be on the block:

Matt Morris: It's been argued that he is the top pitcher on the market. If you ask me, that argument has more bullet holes than a Humvee in Iraq... but if some bonehead GM believes it and gives the Giants at least one A prospect in return, I'll be doing cartwheels. Jonathan Sanchez would be the likely candidate as the fifth starter.

The Randy Winn/Dave Roberts/Mark Sweeney pu-pu plater: Winn's contract and full no-trade clause (I mean, Sabes, you seriously gave Randy friggin' Winn a full no-trade clause? What, were you worried he was irreplaceable?) make him damn near impossible to move. Roberts' contract and rapidly diminishing skills make him damn near impossible to move. Sweeney could fetch $500 and a subscription to Playboy. Fred Lewis and Nate Schierholtz would get a shot to play regularly, especially Lewis. I'm not saying Lewis is going to be the second coming of Bonds, but he will at a minimum give you the same production as Roberts and Winn.

Ray Durham: His contract is somewhat reasonable for a middle-of-the-order hitter. Only problem is that Durham isn't really a middle-of-the-order hitter. Hopefully he stays hot and the Giants can sell high. Kevin Frandsen would move into the starting 2B role.

Ryan Klesko: He can hit. He just can't hit when the Giants need a big hit. Dan Ortmeier has played a couple of games at 1B in the last few days. Interesting.

Rich Aurilia: Someone will take Rich. If not, he would be a decent veteran to have around the clubhouse.

Pedro Feliz: Worth a six-pack of Bud Light and maybe a bag of popcorn.

Steve Kline: Lefty relievers are always needed. Always. Should be the easiest salary to get off the books.

Omar Vizquel: I see him going to Boston. Julio Lugo is just about the only shortstop in the game that has hit worse than Vizquel, and Omar would be an instant fan favorite.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sabean negotiating extension, aging veterans throughout league celebrate

If anything, I guess it means I won't have to change the web address to this blog anytime soon.

That's right, it appears Brian Sabean is going to get a contract extension. You can either click on the link to get the actual story, or see some of the quotes that may or may not have been heard in various offices throughout baseball today:

-- "I'm an idiot. I'm a friggin' idiot." -- Peter Magowan, owner

-- "Don't think this means we won't meddle in his business any more. In fact, we may go over his head and offer Zito an extension tomorrow. He's been great for the franchise." -- Larry Baer, VP

-- "I'm thinking about trading Cain and Lincecum for Griffey Jr. It's clear that Griff is just about to hit his prime." -- Brian Sabean

-- "Matt Morris has a track record. He's our future."-- Sabean

-- "Sweet. Looks like I'm coming back to San Francisco next year." -- Brett Tomko, pitcher

-- "At least I know I'll have somewhere to sign for my comeback." -- Rick Rueschel, retired pitcher

-- "How did we wind up with Nathan, Bonser and Liriano? Oh yeah. Hey, someone get Sabes on the phone. I'm going to see if he'll give me Cain, Lincecum and Lowry for Luis Castillo." Terry Ryan, GM Minnessota Twins

-- "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!!!" -- Billy Beane, GM Oakland Athletics

-- "God damnit!" -- Freddy Lewis & Kevin Frandsen, in unison

-- "Look, Brian Sabean has had a bum rap in the city by the bay. True, his system hasn't produced an everyday position player since 1993. True, he's been robbed in several trades over the last four years. True, you could field an All-Star staff with the talent he's traded away. True, he has wasted millions on aging veterans who haven't produced. But he is the man who executed the Matt Williams for Jeff Kent trade, which worked out pretty well." -- Peter Gammons

-- "Fuck it, man. Does anybody have a light?" -- Me

Friday, July 06, 2007

If Sabean trades Noah Lowry, I'll personally punch him in his fat nose

I know what conventional wisdom says. CW says that the Giants will need to trade pitching in order to get position players in return. CW also says that Matt Morris (yes, please. Like, now, please) and Noah Lowry are the two most likely candidates to be traded.

That being said, if Sabean trades Noah Lowry at any point, I WILL change the name of this blog to "Brian Sabean is a Fucking Asshat." (sorry OZ, but that was necessary)

Lowry was his effectively wild best last night in a 4-3 win over St. Louis. 6 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 5 walks, 5 K's, 92 pitches. It wasn't pretty, but it was effective, and isn't that the point?

Lowry's stats on the season are pretty good, even though he leads the league in walks. He leads the Giants in wins and ERA, which are both kind of important:

9-6, 3.35 ERA, 17 starts, 107.1 innings, 96 hits, 55 walks, 64 K's, .245 BAA.

With runners on, Lowry has a .199 BAA. Important because of the whole walk thing. He certainly has room for improvement, especially in his K/BB ratio, but he's a solid young arm that can be a fixture in this rotation for a long time. With each passing game he reminds me of a better version of Woody Rueter. Any true Giants fan knows how much Woody meant to the staff and the team. He wasn't the ace, but he was rock solid for the most part. Sure he would have the occasional blow up, 83-run first inning, but you knew going into a season that he would deliver close to 200 innings, have an ERA in the mid-3's, have 14-16 wins, and would keep you in most ball games. Lefties like that are hard to find (remember Shaun Estes? Allen Watson? Wayne Franklin?). And when they are home-grown and cheap, there is no good reason to trade them.

Unless you are a fucking asshat.