Friday, April 30, 2010

Draft Update: Austin Wilson

At the risk of boring you all with yet another post about Austin Wilson, Andy Seiler has a new video posted on of Wilson hitting a HR yesterday. Oh man, if only......

Around the League

The Giants were idle yesterday, but there was activity that impacted their standings in the league:

Arizona pounded the Chicago Cubs 13-5 to even their record at 11-11.

San Diego got it's second great game in a row from Wade LeBlanc and dominated the BrewCrew 9-0 to move another half game ahead of the Giants at 14-8.

LA's struggles continued. This time it was the hitting that stunk it up in Dodger Stadium in losing to the Pirates 2-0. Former Giants farmhand Brian Burres has been kind of a Special Agent as he got lit up by the Giants but pitched like Cy Young against the bad guys. Well, maybe not like Cy Young. He only went 5.1 IP, and walked 4 batters, but he didn't allow a run and then Special Agent Jack Taschner came in and pitched 2.2 more shutout innings. The Dodgers sank deeper into the NL West cellar with a 8-14 record, 6 games behind the Padres.

The Giants now stand in second place in the NL West 1.5 games behind the Padres at 12-9, and 1.5 games ahead of Colorado and Arizona.

Note: I will be away from access to the internet for 24 hours starting this evening, so no updates tonight. I will catch up Saturday night. Thanks for your support, everybody!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Down on the Farm: 04-29-2010

AAA Fresno Grizzlies edged the Sacramento River Cats 5-4:

Ryan Rohlinger- 2 for 4, HR(1). BA= .361.
Joe Borchard- 2 for 4, HR(4). BA= .339.
Brett Pill- 2 for 3, HBP, SB(2). BA= .273.
Joe Martinez- 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 5 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.60.
Denny Bautista- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, Save(4). ERA= 1.74.

5 walks in 5+ IP, is very uncharacteristic of Joe Martinez who has always had pretty good control in the minors. Mike McBryde also had 1 hits. Brock Bond reached base twice with a hit and a walk.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels idle.

High A San Jose Giants cracked the Modesto Nuts 5-1:

Francisco Peguero- 2 for 4, SB(12). BA= .263.
Brandon Belt- 2 for 2, 2B, 2 BB. BA= .433
Johnny Monell- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .211.
Charlie Culberson- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .172.
Craig Westcott- 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Belt's OBP is now over .500! This is getting ridiculous! Not sure why Westcott came out after 4 IP. Maybe his pitch count was getting up there?

Low A Hagerstown Suns topped the Augusta Greenjackets 6-4:

Dan Cook- 1 for 4, HR(1). BA= .268.
Luke Anders- 1 for 4, HR(4). BA= .280.
Nick Liles- 2 for 3. BA= .333.
Devan Kline- 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 2.35.

I believe this is Kline's first pro start. Was signed as an undrafted FA last summer.

Down on the Farm: 04-28-2010

AAA The entire PCL was idle last night.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the New Britain Rock Cats 5-3:

Thomas Neal- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .227.
Roger Kieschnick- 3 for 5, SB(1). BA= .288.
Craig Clark- 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.20.
Andy Sisco- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.68.
Tony Pena- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.75.

Nice to see Kieschnick's BA get up into the high .200's. Sisco is the huge LHP who seems to have settled down a bit. Pena is the converted MLB shortstop and has been impressive so far.

High A Stockton Ports blanked the San Jose Giants 3-0:

Francisco Peguero- 3 for 4. BA= .250.
Brandon Belt- 1 for 2, 2 BB, SB(7).
Eric Surkamp- 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 2.35.

Surkamp had a quality start in a losing cause. Good experience for the Giants MLB club! Belt's triple slash stands at .414/.493/.672.

Low A Hagerstown Suns broke out for 6 runs in the 7'th inning to defeat the Augusta Greenjackets 7-2:

Zack Wheeler- 4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 8/1.

Really nothing to see on offense. Wheeler continues to take baby steps.

Around the minors: Chris Tillman, who had a rough spring and lost a possible starting gig with Baltimore pitched a 9 inning no-hitter for the Norfolk Tides. He was a walk and error away from a perfecto. One of the baserunners was erased on a DP. The O's are setting up for a future rotation somewhat like the Giants with Matusz, Tillman and Arrieta as the anchors.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Game Wrap 04-28-2010: Phillies 7 Giants 6

The Giants were going for a sweep of the defending NL Champions. They had their ace going who put on a performance worthy of a 3 time Cy Young Award winner. They got offense. So they won, right? Well, unfortunately, the bullpen, which had been nothing short of spectacular in the first two games of the series didn't get it done, 3 times they didn't get it done. The offense kept coming back, but in the end, it couldn't overcome a bullpen that for whatever reason didn't live up to it's standards today and the fell in extra innings 7-6. Key lines:

Andres Torres- 2 for 6, BB, SB(2). BA= .275. The lineup got turned upside down today as the bottom scored the runs and the top drove them in. 3 RBI's for Torres who had an excellent series and seems to have moved ahead of Eugenio Velez on the depth chart.

Edgar Renteria- 2 for 5, BB, SB(1). BA= .320. Seeing Rent get hot again was one of the better aspects of this series.

Bengie Molina- 3 for 4, BB. BA= .350. Bengie has drawn 3 walks in his last 10 games. At that rate, he'll draw about 40 on the season even if this one was an IBB.

Nate Schierholtz- 5 for 5, 2 2B, IBB. BA= .378. A perfect game at the plate for Nate! A lefthanded starter to boot. Last night he was the hero on defense. Today he should have been the hero on offense. Stay hot, Nate!

Tim Lincecum- 8.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 11 K's. ERA= 1.27. I know Timmy wanted to stay in the game. He's a competitor who undoubtedly believes he's always the best man for the job and probably is. Timmy did throw 106 pitches. He did seem to wear down at the end of last season. The bullpen has been lights out. While it's debatable, I don't see how this is fireable offense for Bochy. The bullpen simply didn't do it's job today. I won't post the gory details of the stat lines.

These losses hurt a lot more than the ones where you get blown out early, but if you had told me at the beginning of the homestand that the Giants would go 4-2 against the Cardinals and Phillies, I would have happily taken it. The Giants season record now stands at 12-9, a game behind the Padres who won today.

Around the League: The Dodger's pitching woes continued as they lost to the Mets 7-4 behind a minor league callup pitcher named John Ely. The loss drops them to 8-13. The Padres topped Florida 6-4 and certainly seem to be for real with a 13-8 record at the top of the NL West. Arizona outslugged Colorado to get up to 10-11 with the Rockies dropping to .500 at 11-11.

Draft Update: Austin Wilson

Just a quick follow up on our discussion of Austin Wilson from yesterday. Baseball Beginnings has a new video of him posted today. Just look over on the left hand side of this blog and click on the link. What can I say? This guy physically reminds me most of Vlad, if not necessarily his playing style. Players with that combination of size and athleticism just don't come along every day, or even every year!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Down on the Farm: 04-27-2010

AAA Fresno Grizzlies defeated the Portland Beavers 8-2:

Brock Bond- 2 for 3, 2B, 2 BB. BA= .282. OBP= .386.
Mike McBryde- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .255. Batting .323 last 10 games.
Ryan Rohlinger- 3 for 5, 2B, SB(1). BA= .351.
Buster Posey- 2 for 4, 2 2B. BA= .361.
Eric Hacker- 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 K's. ERA= 1.25.

Bond continues to be an on- base machine. McBryde has been hot of late. Hacker has some very nice numbers so far.

AA DH Game 1 Richmond Flying Squirrels beat New Britain Rock Cats 3-1:

Brandon Crawford- 1 for 4, HR(2). BA= .224.
Conor Gillaspie- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .250.
Roger Kieschnick- 2 for 2, BB. BA= .262.
Daryl Maday- 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K's, GO/AO= 8/2. ERA= 1.11.

Some signs of life among the hitters here.

AA DH Game 2 Richmond Flying Squirrels blanked the New Britain Rock Cats 2-0:

Neal, LaTorre and Sromsmoe each had a double. D'Alessio had a triple.
David Mixon- 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K's, GO/AO= 12/4. ERA= 2.66.

High A San Jose Giants topped the Stockton Ports 5-1:

Ryan Lormand- 3 for 4, 2 SB(5). BA= .352.
Brandon Belt- 2 for 3, SF, SB(6). BA= .411.
Eric Stolp- 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 8/0. BA= 3.86.
Jason Stoffel- 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's, Save(5).

Even though he only pitched to one batter with a 4 run lead, Stoffel earned the Save by stranding 3 inherited runners. Belt continues to do it all. Is this Eric Stolp's first professional start?

Low A Asheville tourists dominated the Augusta Greenjackets 8-0:

Brian Salsbury- 2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 1 K. ERA= 6.98.
Chris Gloor- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 1.69.

After two great starts, Salsbury has been shelled in his last two. Look for Chris Gloor to get a chance to start before too long.

Here's a thought: Suppose Buster Posey wins the World Series for the Giants with a walk-off HR that hits the LF foul pole. It will be forever known as Posey's Pole! LOL!

Game Wrap 04-27-2010: Giants 6 Phillies 2

All kinds of good things happened for the Giants tonight, not the least of which is the Todd Wellemeyer from spring training showed up and pitched a darn good ballgame. Key lines:

Andres Torres- 1 for 3, BB, SB(1). BA= .265. Torres is 9 for his last 22 AB's or a .400 BA, over his last 7 games in which he had an AB. Amy G reported that he has been working on his hitting with Bam Bam and Panda and it looks like it's paid off.

Edgar Renteria- 3 for 4. BA= .314. Rent's bat has been back the last two games.

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 4, 2 2B. BA= .372.

Aubrey Huff- 1 for 4, HR(2). I believe Huff's other HR was an inside-the-park job. Hopefully this one gives him some confidence that he can hit it out of AT&T Park.

Matt Downs- 1 for 3, HBP. BA= .375. Downs has produced this time up. Too bad he'll probably be the one to go when Rowand gets back.

Nate Schierholtz- 1 for 4, 2B, 2 OF Assists! Nate gunned, and I mean gunned, down two Phillies runners who were trying for doubles. He embarrassed Ryan Howard who was loafing into 2B thinking he had an easy stand-up double and then threw a rifle shot to nail Utley, who was running flat out and still didn't make it. When Howard struck out against Medders in the ninth, he was staring out at Nate as he walked back to the dugout as if he was still trying to figure out Nate could have made those plays. Now THAT's respect!

Todd Wellemeyer- 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 4 K's. He also had a hit and scored a run to help his own cause. If Wellemeyer has righted the ship, the Giants rotation is THE best in baseball!

Dan Runzler- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Here's where Dave Righetti gets some props. When Runzler came in, he was getting under his pitches and they were sailing up and out of the strike zone. Rags came out and had a chat with him. From that point on, Runzler was throwing 95 MPH darts at the knees including the induction of an inning ending DP. I don't know what Rags could have said to him, but he apparently saw something and got his point across, because not only was the location noticeably better, but he added 2-3 MPH onto the heater!

Brandon Medders- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. Medders started out shaky with Utley's apparent double to the RF wall. Nates sensational throw seemed in energize Medders and he K's the next two batters to end the game.

A very nice win for the Giants, clinching another series victory with their ace taking the hill tomorrow.

Around the League: The Dodgers lost both ends of a DH in New York, 4-0 and 10-5 to drop their record to 8-12. It's becoming more and more apparent that the Dodgers have major issues with their pitching. The Padres got back on the winning track with a 4-1 win over the Marlins to stay tied with the Giants at 12-8 for first place in the NL West. Colorado trounced the D'Backs 12-1 to run their record to 11-10 while the D'Backs fell to 9-11.

Draft Update

Andy Seiler has a new mock draft up on his website This one has Austin Wilson falling to the Giants at #24 with the Giants ponying up a signing bonus big enough to keep him from going to Stanford. I would think I had died and gone to heaven if the Giants actually drafted and signed Austin Wilson, but i think it would be a risky move to draft him even at #24. From what I've read about him and his parents, I just don't see him passing up an opportunity to go to school at Stanford. He could easily be another Gerrit Cole who didn't even give the Yankees a chance to make an offer before deciding to attend UCLA.

PnR Scouting has their mid-season 201-300 prospect list up. A lot of the names are high schoolers, which I consider irrelevant in this range. Very few high school prospects are going to be drafted and signed in the round 6-10 range. The Giants draft at #198, 228, 258 and 288. Some of the recognizable names on the list:

204. Dan Grovatt, OF/LHP, Virginia. Has outplayed Jarrett Parker this year.

211. Matt Den Dekker, OF, Florida. Athletic senior OF. Has had a disappoinging college career.

214. Jake Thompson, RHP, Long Beach State. Reportedly great velocity. Inconsistent results.

219. Kevin Keyes, OF/1B, Texas. A big kid with a loud bat. His stock has dropped, but I would be very happy to see the Giants draft him in the 6'th or 7'th round.

252. Mario Hollands, LHP, UCSB. Big LHP with a low 90's FB. Would be a great pick in round 7.

259. Cory Vaughn, OF, San Diego State. Similar to Kevin Keyes, but more athletic. Might be able to play CF.

263. Matt Szczur, OF, Villanova. I absolutely love this guy. I doubt he is signable as he is the MVP running back on their football team. Would be a terrific draft and sign in round 7 or 8.

264. Zach Varce, RHP, Portland. The Giants have a Portland pitcher, Ari Ronick in their system. Varce is a sleeper. Would be a nice pick in round 8.

272. Phil Wunderlich, 3B/1B, Louisville. Kind of Chris Dominguez lite. Could be worth a flyer as a sleeper power hitter.

That's about it. No Rico Noel or Tim Ferguson. No Andrew Barbosa. Rico Noel after round 9 would be a huge bargain, IMO.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Down on the Farm: 04-26-2010

Lots of postponements around the minors the East Coast and Northwest had inclement weather.

AAA Fresno rained out in Portland, OR.

AA The entire Eastern League was rained out.

High A Stockton Ports downed the Little Giants 8-5:

Juan Perez- 2 for 5, HR(3). BA= .347.
Brandon Belt- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .396.
Francisco Peguero- 0 for 5. BA= .221.
Aaron King- 3.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 7.30.

Perez might be starting a breakout season. Belt continues to be solid. Peguero is strugging at the new level. King is likewise struggling.

Low A Asheville Tourists topped the Augusta Greenjackets 6-3: Really nothing of interest here. Come back tomorrow night. Maybe the farm will be more interesting.

Game Wrap 04-26-2010: Giants 5 Phillies 1

The thought of the Giants offense facing Roy Halladay was almost comical in a gallows humor sort of way. Something funny happened on the way to the Cy Young Award for "Doc" Halladay, though. Somehow, the Giants hitters weren't completely overmatched, and they had a kid with durty stuff of his own going. The result was a very unlikely 5-1 win for the Giants and what must be a huge confidence booster for their own young ace in the making. Key lines:

Edgar Renteria- 2 for 4. BA= .288. Rent had really been struggling. Unlikely game to come out of it, but welcome anyway.

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .365. Pablo looked like he was trying to hit everything out of the park in the first week or two. Since then, he's been swinging for base hits and his average is soaring.

Mark DeRosa- 1 for 3, BB. BA= .241. DeRosa has veteran savvy and it paid off tonight.

Eli Whiteside- 2 for 3, HR(2). BA= .353. How unlikely was it for Eli Whiteside to have this kind of game tonight? I especially got a kick out of the HR which hit the foul LF foul pole flush on the pipe part about a foot above the level of the wall. It just bounced straight back and down on the foul line. Maybe we can start calling the LF foul pole in AT&T Eli's pole?

Jonathan Sanchez- 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 6 K's. ERA= 1.85. He may have only gone 5 IP, but I give him all the credit in the world. Going against the NL Champions, a pitcher who was starting to be looked upon as unbeatable in the NL, nobody would have blamed Sanchez for his first weak effort of the year, especially coming off a bitterly disappointing loss of a game in which he gave up just one hit. He hung tough despite all the walks and kept the mighty Phillies hitters at bay long enough for the Giants to build on their lead and let the bullpen take over. Sanchez threw 107 pitches in the game. This has to be a huge confidence booster for Durty Sanchez, doesn't it?

Guillermo Mota- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00. Great offseason pickup so far.

Sergio Romo- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.93. The HR to Manny Ramirez is but a distant memory. Romo had filthy stuff. The Phils never came close to anything resembling a hit.

Aroung the League: The Giants win coupled with a Padres 10-1 drubbing at the hands of the Florida Marlins puts them in a tie for first place in the NL West at 11-8. Arizona made 5 runs in the first 2 innings stand up for a 5-3 win over the Rockies to drop the Rocks to 10-10 and bringing the D'Backs to 9-10. The Dodgers were rained out in NY so stay at 8-10 and in the NL West cellar.

Looking Ahead: The Giants face a pair of LHP's, which they are shorthanded against, to finish off the series with Philadelphia. Todd Wellemeyer goes tomorrow with Timmy getting a chance to put some distance between himself and Roy Halladay in the Cy Young race in game 3.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Down on the Farm: 04-25-2010

Lots of good stuff down on the farm today!

AAA Fresno Grizzlies defeated the Portland Beavers 4-2:

Ryan Rohlinger- 2 for 4, 2 2B. BA= .327.
Brett Pill- 2 for 4, HR(2). BA= .254.
Mike McBryde- 1 for 4, HR(2). BA= .239.
Madison Bumgarner- 1 for 2, HR(1)! BA= .200
Madison Bumgarner- 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 3 K's, 2 PO.
Henry Sosa- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 1.59.
Denny Bautista- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 1.93.

Nice day for Bum, both on the mound and at the plate. McBryde has been swinging the bat well of late.

AA Reading Phils blanked the Richmond Flying Squirrels 2-0:

Conor Gillaspie- 1 for 3, BB. BA= .233.
Clayton Tanner- 4 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 2.25.

Gillaspie had the only hit for the Squirrels as Phillipe Aumont, a pitching prospect the Phils acquired for Cliff Lee, pitched 6 no-hit innings. Tanner had a rather ragged line despite no allowing an ER. This was the only loss for the Giants minor league teams on the day.

High A San Jose Giants beat back the Bakersfield Blaze 4-2:

Juan Perez- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(2). BA= .341.
Johnny Monell- 1 for 4, HR(1). BA= .200.
Kyle Nicholson- 6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 3 K's, GO/AO= 9/4. ERA= 7.42.

Perez put up astonishing numbers at a small college. Is this his breakout year in the pros? A quality start for Nicholson.

Low A Game 1 DH Augusta Greenjackets defeated the Asheville Tourists 7-5:

Ryan Cavan- 2 for 4. BA= .269.
Nick Liles- 2 for 3, SF, SB(3). BA= .286.
Tommy Joseph- 2 for 4, 2 2B. BA= .230.
Chris Dominguez- 1 for 3, HR(3). BA= .269.
Juan Martinez- 2 for 3, 2B. BA= .286.
Kyle Vazquez- 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 1.50.
Jason Jarvis- 1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 0 K's, Save(4). ERA= 4.82.

Very nice game for Tommy Joseph! Jarvis' ERA is still recovering from one bad outing.

Low A Game 2 DH Augusta Greenjackets defeated the Asheville Tourists by the same score as game 1, 7-5:

Nick Liles- 3 for 4. BA= .333.
Dan Cook- 2 for 4, 2 2B. BA= .309.
Tommy Joseph- 2 for 4, HR(3). BA= .246.
Luke Anders- 2 for 4, 2 HR(3). BA= .317.
Chris Heston- 4 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 4.74.
Jason Jarvis- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's, Save(5). ERA= 4.35.

Tommy Joseph backed up his two doubles in game 1 with another two hit game with a dinger in game two. A very good day for Tommy and for Giants prospect watchers! Luke Anders has been a consistent hitter so far. Heston gave up 4 of the 5 runs in the 5'th inning without recording an out.

In case you are wondering, the Tourists are the low A affiliate of the Colorodo Rockies.

Game Wrap 04-25-2010: Card 2 Giants 0

Matt Cain fell victim to a familiar combination of no run support and slow start with high pitch counts in the early innings as the Cardinals salvaged one win in the 3 game weekend series against the Giants. Brad Penny turned in a familiar performance too, pitching his heater to contact, giving up hits but not allowing walks or HR's. The Difference in the game, though was Albert Pujols as the Giants really have nothing comparable in their lineup, and that's not a knock on Panda. Key lines:

Pablo Sandoval- 3 for 4. BA= .357. Sandoval's efforts went for naught as the two players in front of him, Velez and Renteria went a combined 0 for 8 while the 3 behind him, Molina, DeRosa and Ishikawa went a combined 1 for 12.

Nate Schierholtz- 2 for 4. BA= .344. Yesterday, I advocated for Nate to stay in the 8 hole, but with Aubrey Huff getting the day off, I'm not sure why you would hit a guy who has been playing every day with a .300+ BA behind an guy who hasn't played in a week. Given the futility at the top of the Giants order, it might be time to move Nate up to either leadoff or #2 at least until Rowand gets back.

Matt Cain- 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.80. Cainer hung tough, but made the mistake early and threw 98 pitches in 5 IP, both familiar routines for him. Oh, and no run support for the 102'nd time in his career, or something like that.

Runzler, Mota, Affeldt, Medders- 1 IP, 0 R, each. Give the bullpen credit for keeping the Giants in the game until the end.

Tomorrow is Timmy's main competition for Cy Young, Roy Halladay, going against Jon Sanchez.

Around the League: The Padres finally lost a game, 5-4 to Cincinnati. Their record is 11-7 to the Giants 10-8. The Dodgers got a good game from Chad Billingsley, but their vaunted lineup failed to support him in a 1-0 loss to the Nats. LA's record drops to 8-10. Colorado topped Florida 8-4 to move above .500 at 10-9. Arizona outhit the Phils 8-6 and are tied with the Dodgers at 8-10. Is anyone getting the feeling that a record with wins in the high 80's just might take the division this year?

Odd and Ends

The Texas Rangers called up Justin Smoak to the majors to replace a struggling Chris Davis. Smoak is a player a lot of Giants fans were hoping they would draft in 2008, the Posey draft. Smoak and Posey have had remarkably similar numbers in the minors, but Buster plays a much more premium position, that is if the Giants don't move him to first base! Smoak is 0 for 5 with 3 BB's in his first 2 MLB games.

Taijuan Walker, who I've mentioned in draft posts, pitched a no-hitter with 9 K's for Yucaipa HS vs Eisenhower this weekend. I don't think Eisenhower has much of a baseball team, but it does appear that Walker is starting to harness some of his raw talent. I would think he is moving up draft boards.

A couple of relative college draft sleepers are worth looking at:

Robert Segedin, 3B/RHP, Tulane. 6'3", 220 lbs. A redshirt sophomore, Segedin has played exclusively in the field this season and has torn it up: .421/.497/.807 with 10 HR's, 2 triples, 22 doubles. I expect him to go in rounds 3-5.

Jordan Ribera, 1B, Fresno State. 6'0", 220 lbs. .340/.396/.739 with 16 HR's(before he hit 3 more last night to give him 19 HR's on the season). Could be a nice power hitting 1B pickup between rounds 6 and 10.

Remember Andrew Barbosa, the 6'8" LHP drafted twice by the Giants and now a junior walk-on at Florida Atlantic? Well, since we last checked in on him, Andrew has turned in at least 3 starts with double digit K's including one with 16 K's! I wouldn't be surprised if he's moving way up a lot of draft boards and is on the Giants radar. They drafted Alex Hinshaw 3 times before they finally signed him!

Jake Arrieta from the Orioles organization is dominating the AAA International league with 12 strikeout performance in his latest start to lower his ERA to 0.39. Look for him to be called up any time.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Down on the Farm: 04-24-2010

AAA Fresno Grizzlies edged the Portland Beavers 3-2:

Mike McBryde- 2 for 4, HR(1). BA= .238.
Kevin Pucetas- 4.1 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.98.
Joe Paterson- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 2.45.
Osiris Matos- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 0.00.

McBryde is 7 for his last 18. Pucetas threw 94 pitches in his 4.1 IP.

AA Reading Phils squeaked past the Richmond Flying Squirrels- 3-2:

Darren Ford- 1 for 4, 2B, SB(4). BA= .304.
Conor Gillaspie- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .228.

Conor has cooled off considerably since the HR binge a week or two ago.

High A San Jose Giants scored 4 runs in the 8'th inning to extinguish the Bakersfield Blaze 7-6:

Brandon Belt- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(3), BB. BA= .422.
Drew Biery- 3 for 5. BA= .357.
Wendell Fairley- 1 for 3, 2B, 2 BB. BA= .278.
Justin Fitzgerald- 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 0.82.
Jason Stoffel- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's, Save(4). ERA= 0.00.

Belt continues to rake. Fairley is becoming an on-base machine. Another nice start for Fitz. Stoffel looks like a dominant closer at this level.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets were rained out.

GAme Wrap 04-24-2010: Giants 2 Cards 0

Barry Zito was dazzling. Brian Wilson was overpowering. Nate Schierholtz started an 8'th inning rally by stroking a leadoff double to RF and the Giants guaranteed themselves a series win over the mighty Cardinals with a 2-0 win on Panda Bobblehead night. Key lines:

Pablo Sandoval- 2 for 3, BB. BA= .333. Panda didn't score a run or RBI, but beat out a disputed IF hit to keep the winning rally going for Huff to hit the sac fly.

Nate Schierholtz- 1 for 3, 2B. BA= .321. It looks like Nate Schierholtz is the starting RF again. He is looking more comfortable at the plate and contributing out of the 8'th hole. IMO, the Giants need to just keep him out there and batting 8'th. Let him build up his confidence. He contributes with his speed and defense in addition to whatever offense he generates.

Mark DeRosa- 0 for 2, 2 HBP. BA= .255. It didn't seem like Wainwright was hitting him on purpose, but Mark didn't look too happy with him.

Barry Zito!- 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 10 K's. ERA= 1.32. Fangraphs ran a piece yesterday basically saying Zito has been lucky this year and we can expect him to regress to a 4.5+ ERA. Well, it's pretty safe to say that tonight's performance wasn't luck, not with 10 K's to back it up. Take that Fangraphs!

Brian Wilson- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's, Save(4). ERA= 0.00.

Giants move to 10-7 to stay 1 game off the Padres' pace.

Around the League: The Padres ran their record to 11-6 with a 5-0 blanking of the Cincinnati Reds. The Dodgers survived a 13 inning marathon with a 4-3 win over the Nats to up their record to 8-9. The Rockies split a DH with the Marlins to stay at .500, 9-9. The D'Backs were edged by the Phillies 3-2 to fall to 7-10.

Down on the Farm: 04-23-2010

AAA Reno Aces beat the Fresno Grizzlies 5-3 in 11 innings:

Brock Bond- 2 for 4, BB. BA= .279.
Joe Borchard- 1 for 3, HR(3), 2 BB. BA= .333.
Horacio Ramirez- 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 5.91.
Steve Edlefsen- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.82.

Bond continues to show he can get on base. Would Borchard be a bench bat upgrade for the Giants?

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels topped the Reading Phils 5-3:

Darren Ford- 3 for 5, SB(3). BA= .308.
Thomas Neal- 2 for 3, 2 HR(2), 2 BB. BA= .232.
Craig Clark- 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.07.
Tony Pena- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.90.
Rafael Cova- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K's, Save(5). ERA= 0.00.

Neal had been scuffling at the plate. This is more like it!
Ford is 7 for 10 in his last 2 games and is hitting .333 over his last 10 games.

High A Bakersfield Blaze defeated the San Jose Giants 4-1:

Wendell Fairley- 1 for 4, BB. BA= .273.
Brandon Belt- 1 for 4, HR(2). BA= .415.
Francisco Peguero- 1 for 3, BB. BA= .283.
Craig Westcott- 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Eric Stolp- 0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 0 K's.
Jason Stoffel- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00.

Fairley's OBP is .385. Belt continues to generate a large portion of the little Giants offense.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets brushed off the Savannah Sand Gnats 9-5:

Ryan Cavan- 3 for 4, 3B, BB. BA= .254.
Ryan Lollis- 2 for 4, HR(1). BA= .326.
Tommy Joseph- 1 for 4, HBP. BA= .211.
Zack Wheeler- 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K's, GO/AO= 8-1. ERA= 9.72.
Jose Casilla- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 1.00.

Ryan Lollis has quietly gotten off to a good start. Don't pay any attention to Wheeler's ERA, he's made progress with each start and the peripheral stats looked very good tonight.

Game Wrap 04-23-2010: Giants 4 Cards 1

Tim Lincecum showed why he is the two time Cy Young winner hanging tough in a game where he didn't bring his best stuff. The Giants managed to scratch out some runs in support to help Timmy stop the losing streak. Key lines:

Mark DeRosa 2 for 4. The Giants need DeRosa in the lineup against LHP's!

Nate Schierholtz- 1 for 2, HBP. It may not have been pretty, but it got a run home. Nate is hitting .320 with several squib hits contributing. Still, it's better than not hitting at all!

Tim Lincecum- 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 8 K's. ERA= 1.00. Gutty performance for Tim.

Sergio Romo- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Romo has become a reliable setup man despite giving up the HR to Manny.

Brian Wilson- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 0.00. Wilson seems to have matured into a true dominant closer.

Around the League:

San Diego kept rolling with a 10-4 win over Cincy to stay 1 game ahead of the Giants in the NL West. The Dodgers lost to the Nationals 5-1 to drop 2 games back at 7-9. Arizona is also at 7-9 after topping Philly 7-4. Rockies were rained out and stand at 8-8.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Blogger's Note

I will be out of contact with an internet connection that allows me to write posts on this blog until tomorrow evening. Will catch up then. Sorry for the delay.

Dr B

Down on the Farm: 04-22-2010

AAA DH Game 1 Fresno Grizzlies edged the Reno Aces 5-4 in 10 innings:

Ryan Rohlinger- 2 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .342.
Buster Posey- 3 for 3, 2B, BB, SF. BA= .382.
Mike McBryde- 2 for 2, 2 2B. BA= .233.
Joe Martinez- 4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.07.
Osiris Matos, Alex Hinshaw- 2 IP, 0 R each.
Steve Edelfsen- 1 IP, 0 R.

Rohlinger is playing SS here. With the Giants offense sputtering, you have to wonder how much longer Posey is going to stay down.

AAA DH Game 2 Fresno Grizzlies shut out the Aces 5-0 in 7 innings:

Joe Borchard- 2 for 3, 2B. BA= .333.
Brett Pill- 2 for 3, 2B. BA= .250.
Mike McBryde- 1 for 3, 2B. BA= .242.
Matt Yourkin- 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 1.80.
Henry Sosa-3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K. ERA= 1.93.

Yourkin is an older LHP with intriguing size who pitched very well at AA last year. I wish they would make Sosa a starter again!

AA Richmond idle.

High A Bakersfield Blaze edged the Little Giants 2-1:

Ehire Adrianza- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .234.
Eric Surkamp- 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 9 K's. ERA= 1.59. Surkamp obviously has swing and miss stuff.

Low A Savannah Sand Gnats swarmed the Augusta Greenjackets 16-4:

Luke Anders- 2 for 3, 2B, BB. BA= .320.
Chris Dominguez- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .267.
Brian Salsbury- 4.1 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 3 BB, 2 K's.

Anders has been solid so far. Good to see Dominguez getting some non-HR hits. The relievers following Salsbury didn't far any better. Must have just been the Sand Gnats' night to hit.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Draft Update

BA has released an updated version of their Top 50 2010 Draft Ranking. The Giants are drafting #24 in the first round. Their second pick will be #76 overall, so that is well past the top 50. One thing I like to do leading up to the draft is look at the 5-10 players around the pick where the Giants will be drafting to get a feel for what kinds of players might be available. Let's take a look at BA's list:

20. Jesse Hahn, RHP, Virginia Tech.
21. Matt Harvey, RHP, North Carolina
22. Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State
23. Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, The Citadel.
24. Bryce Brentz, OF, Middle Tennessee State
25. Brandon Workman, RHP, Texas
26. Brett Eibner, RHP/OF, Arkansas
27. Stetson Allie, RHP, High School
28. Kyle Parker, OF, Clemson
29. Micah Gibbs, C, LSU
30. Yasmani Grandal, C, Miami
31. LeVon Washington, OF, Chipola, JC
32. Chevez Clarke, OF, HS
33. James Paxton, LHP, Indy
34. Barrett Loux, RHP, Texas A&M
35. Peter Tago, RHP, HS

I'm guessing the Giants take a pitcher at #24. Several college guys to choose from and a couple of intriguing HS arms. I think you could put all the pitching names into a hat and not do bad with the luck of the draw. The Giants have a good track record drafting pitchers so I would trust their scouts on this one. I really like what I've read and seen of Peter Tago, though.

Brentz would be an interesting choice. His numbers this year pale in comparison to last year and his level of competition is questionable. Chevy Clarke would be the classic high ceiling CF type. I guess out of these names he would be my first choice for a position player. Yasmani Grandal is a great defensive catcher who is having a great offensive season for Miami. If you go by Best Player Available, he might be the guy. It's a position of scarcity and could always set up future trade scenarios.

PnR Scouting has an updated Top 100. Some of the names are the same:

22. Stetson Allie
23. Alex Wimmers
24. Yasmani Grandal
25. James Paxton
26. Justin O'Conner, C/SS/RHP, HS
27. DeAndre Smelter, RHP, HS
28. Michael Choice, OF, Texas-Arlington
29. Asher Wojciechowski
30. Micah Gibbs
31. Barrett Loux
32. Brett Eibner
33. Yordy Cabrera, SS, HS
34. LeVon Washington
35. Brian Ragira, OF, HS

The fact that O'Conner can't seem to settle on a position bothers me, but some teams, like the Giants, may see that as flexibility. Smelter has a power sinker with some emerging secondary stuff. Michael Choice might be the best power hitting college player in the draft, but he is strictly a corner OF who lacks great speed which limits his value. I really like what I've seen of Ragira, whose wristy swing reminds me most of none other than Hank Aaron. I read one report that likened it to Willie Mays' swing!

Looking to round 2, the Giants have pick #76 overall. Looking at players listed in this vicinity on PnR Scouting:

73. Austin Wates, OF, VA Tech.
74. Seth Blair, RHP, ASU.
75. Chris Hernandez, RHP, Miami.
76. Ty Linton, OF, HS
77. Robert Segedin, 3B/RHP Tulane(draft eligible Sophomore).
78. Jesse Biddle, LHP, HS
79. Taijuan Walker, RHP, HS.
80. Sammy Solis, LHP, San Diego(Draft eligible Sophomore).

I would love to see Taijuan Walker go to the Giants here. He's raw, but the tools are as good as any pitcher in the draft. Wates is an athletic OF who probably could play CF, but has played corners in College. Power is a question, but has raked this season.

Third round is #105 PnR Scouting list from this area:

102. Leon Landry, OF, LSU
103. Jarrett Parker, OF, Virginia
104. Austin Southall, OF/1B, HS.
105. Michael Kvasnicka, C/OF, Minnesota.
106. Andy Wilkins, 1B/3B, Arkansas
107. Daniel Tillman, RHP, Florida Southern College
108. Luke Jackson, RHP, HS.
109. Gary Brown, OF, CS Fullerton
110. Drew Smyly, LHP, Arkansas(draft eligible sophomore).

Several interesting names here. Landry would be a very nice pickup in round 3. I would favor him over Parker or Brown. Parker's stock has slipped a lot. He's the type of player the Giants have gone for in recent drafts.

Round 4 is pick #138:

135. Gauntlett Eldemire, OF, Ohio!
136. Phil Cerrato, 1B, Longwood U
137. Russell Wilson, RHP/2B, NC State
138. Andrew Clark, 1B, Louisville
139. Kevin Rhoderick, RHP, Oregon State
140. Devin Lohman, SS/2B, Long Beach State
141. Devin Rivera, RHP, JC
142. Shane Rowland, C, HS
143. Garin Cecchini, SS, HS
144. Dixon Anderson, RHP, Cal
145. John Simms, RHP, HS
146. John Barbato, RHP, HS
147. Greg Peavy, RHP, Oregon State.

I absolutely love Gauntlett Eldemire. He would be a steal in round 4. I really like Peavy for this pick also. The names in between are not as recognizable.

Round 5 is pick #168. Some names in this vicinity that I recognize:

164. Victor Sanchez, 3B, San Diego
167. Josh Spence, LHP, ASU(Senior).
173. Michael Olt, 3B, Connecticut

Round 6 is pick #198:

199. Cole Green, RHP, Texas

Green has had an excellent season to raise his stock. He doesn't have a projectable body but has MLB quality stuff.


This is a good year to be drafting in the latter third of the round. The draft is weak at the top, but there are players likely to be available late in the third round who compare favorably with the top 10 of the first round. For instance, I would be just as happy with Leon Landry as I would Christian Colon, who I don't really believe in that much. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Down on the Farm: 04-21-2010

AAA Fresno Grizzlies edged the Reno Aces 3-2 in a game completed early, presumably due to inclement weather in Fresno:

Brock Bond- 2 for 4. BA= .275.
Eric Hacker- 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K's. ERA= 1.10.

Hacker was signed as a minor league FA. He had decent K rates last year in the Yankee organization. He threw 93 pitches in 5 IP, probably because of all the K's. He might be a temporary 5'th starter option if Wellemeyer can't cut it, but Pucetas and Martinez would be ahead of him on the depth chart due to 40 man roster status.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels edged the New Britain Rock Cats 5-4:

Darren Ford- 4 for 5, HR(1). BA= .277.
Roger Kieschnick- 2 for 4, 3B. BA= .245.
Andy D'Alessio- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .278.
David Mixon- 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 9/3. ERA= 3.78.
Rafael Cova- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, Save(4). ERA= 0.00.

Good to see Darren's and Roger's bats come alive. Big Andy struggled last year at lower levels.

Low A Savannah Sand Gnats scored 6 runs in the top of the 9'th to trounce the Augusta Greenjackets 9-4:

Luke Anders- 2 for 4, HR(1). BA= .298.
Ryan Lollis- 2 for 4, SB(2). BA= .314.
Jorge Bucardo- 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K's, GO/AO= 13/1. ERA= 2.25.
Jason Jarvis- 1 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 0 K's, BS(1). ERA= 4.91.

Very nice line by Bucardo. Defense, or lack of it, obviously played a big role in this game.

HIgh A San Jose rained out in Visalia. We've had more rainouts on the west coast than back east so far!

Game Wrap 04-21-2010: Padres 5 Giants 2

After 2 disheartening losses with virtually no offense, the outlook for today's game with weak link in the rotaton Todd Wellemeyer trying to salvage stave off a sweep looked rather grim. Well, it wasn't a mirage. If the Giants had scored the two runs they scored today last night, they would have won the game. Today, it was just another loss. This time it was the much traveled Jon Garland who stifled the Giants' bats. For his part, Wellemeyer was better than his start against the Dodgers, but still not what you are looking for even in a #5 starter. Oh, and the Padres took over first place in the NL West. Key lines:

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 3, HR(3), BB. BA= .322.

Mark DeRosa- 2 for 4. DeRosa played 2B and hit 2'nd in the order, but his 2 hits failed to produce any scoring as the heart of the order, Huff and Molina, went a combined 0 for 8.

Juan Uribe- 1 for 3, BB. BA= .321. Uribe played SS today with DeRosa at 2B.

Todd Wellemeyer- 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 3 K's. This probably would have been a similar line to his last start against a better lineup. He threw 87 pitches in 4 IP.

Dan Runzler- 1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 0 K's. Runzler had been terrific up until this appearance. Wouldn't you know it would come in Petco?

I know the Giants are a different team at home and Petco has a history of holding special horrors for them, but one also has to wonder, and shudder, at the thought of what a good hitting and pitching team will do to them in the upcoming series. The Cards' pitching staff is competitive with, if not better than, the Giants staff, and they have that lineup.......

Around the League:

Rockies fall to Washington 6-4 to fall to 7-8. Dodgers outslug the Reds 14-6 to even their record at 7-7. Arizona lost to the Cards 9-4. The D'Back's fall to 6-9. So, the Giants stand in 2'nd place 1 game back of San Diego and 1/2 game ahead of the Dodgers and 1 ahead of the Rocks.

Speaking of the Cardinals' lineup, it looks like it just got a whole lot better as Colby Rasmus hit his 4'th and 5'th HR's of the season tonight. He's on my Savvy Vets fantasy team.

The AJ Pierzynski trade just got a lot worse too. Francisco Liriano's line tonight: 8 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K's. His record now stands at 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA. He is also a member of the Savvy Vets.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Down on the Farm: 04-20-2010

AAA Reno at Fresno got rained out.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels downed the New Britain Rock Cats 4-1:

Michael Ambort- 3 for 4, 2B. BA= .171.
Jackson Williams- 2 for 3, BB. BA- .419.
Daryl Maday- 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 13/6. ERA= 0.96

If Ambort can ever stay healthy, he'll hit.

If Jackson can hit, he's a MLB catcher.

This is Maday's second year at AA level. Last year was 6-6, 4.25, 135.2 IP, 44 BB, 67 K's. He needs to get more separation between the K's and the BB's and he needs to be more of an extreme GB pitcher than a GO/AO of 1.57. So far his K/BB is 13/5 and his GO/AO= 2.42.

High A San Jose Giants were idle.

Low A Savannah Sand Gnats swarmed the Augusta Greenjackets 11-3:

Dan Cook- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .340.
Eliezar Zambrano- 3 for 4, 2B. BA= .300.
Jose Valdez- 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 0.96.
Jose Casilla- 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00.

Not much of note here. I still think Valdez is going to have a breakout season of sorts.

Game Wrap 04-20-2010: Padres 1 Giants 0

This was the 3'rd heartbreak loss in a row for the Giants and this one may have hurt the worst. That's because they got not just a good pitching performance, but a great one from Jonathan Sanchez and it was wasted. 1 hit! That's all the Padres could muster against Durty, but that one hit resulted in a run and that was enough against the Giants embarrassing offense. Really just one key line for the night:

Jonathan Sanchez- 7 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 10 K's. ERA= 1.86. Actually, like Zito, if Sanchez can be this good for the rest of the season, the Giants will be OK, but they've gotta score some runs!!

The Giants have to do better job of taking advantage of scoring opportunities. Nate Schierholtz had a leadoff triple go to waste and they had runners at the corners with 1 out in the 9'th and couldn't capitalize.

With Wellemeyer going tomorrow, it doesn't look good for avoiding a sweep. The Padres and Giants are now tied at the top of the division at 8-6.

Around the League:

Colorado is in 3'rd place at 7-7 after a 10-4 win over the Nationals.

Chad Billingsley got shelled in Cincinnati and the Dodgers went on to lose 11-9 to drop to 6-7. Arizona won 9-7 over the Cards but are in last place at 6-8.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Game Wrap 04-19-2010: Padres 3 Giants 2

David Eckstein, the Padres and Petco Park continued to bedevil the Giants in another frustrating loss. Matt Cain continued to get scant run support. Jeremy Affledt gave up a walkoff HR to David Eckstein, of all people! Key lines:

Eugenio Velez- 0 for 5. Not sure why Pharoah is hitting leadoff against LHP's. He's not that good at getting on base at best, and he's a considerably worse hitting from the right side of the plate. Gotta be missing the RH bats of Rowand and DeRosa the last 2 games.

Juan Uribe- 2 for 3, HR(2), BB. BA= .348. Uribe has been so close to being the hero two games in a row. Not sure I'm looking forward to Fred Sanchez coming back the way Uribe has been hitting going all the way back to the end of last season.

Nate, Huff, Rent- 2 hits each. Nate also had a sacrifice, a SB and a OF assist.

Matt Cain- 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K's. Cain always seems to need an inning to get going. He was then hurt by a very questionable quality of play by Velez on Blanks' leadoff triple in the 6'th.

Dan Runzler- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. Runzler was overpowering for most of his outing.

Mark DeRosa didn't look good at all in a pinch hit AB, but neither did any other Giants hitter against Luke Gregerson who was throwing up some nasty looking junk. The Giants need DeRosa back. They are very handicapped against LHP's with DeRosa and Rowand out.

San Diego is a vastly underrated team that is rapidly rebuilding. If they can figure out a way to hang onto AGone and Bell, they are in great shape for the future with several rapidly improving young players to complement them.

Down on the Farm: 04-19-2010

AAA Fresno Grizzlies edged the Portland Beavers 3-2:

Buster Posey- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .354.
Jesus Guzman- 1 for 3, HR(1). BA= .192.
Madison Bumgarner- 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K's, GO/AO= 10/4. ERA= 8.31.
Steve Edlefsen- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 1.13.
Denny Bautista- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 0.00.

Somewhat encouraging line from Bumgarner. Still not a lot of K's. Can he reinvent himself as a GB pitcher?

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels edged the New Britain Rock Cats 4-3:

Darren Ford- 2 for 3, 3B, S. BA= .231.
Brandon Crawford- 0 for 2, BB, SF. BA= .263.
Jackson Williams- 1 for 3, 3B. BA= .393.
Clay Timpner- 2 for 3. BA= .474.
Clayton Tanner- 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 2.81.

Nothing much to comment on here.

High A Visalia Rawhide doubled up the San Jose Giants 8-4:

Brandon Belt- 3 for 5, 2 2B. BA= .441.
Juan Perez- 2 for 3, 2B, BB. BA= .344.
Aaron King- 3.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 5.19.

Belt continues to be the pleasant surprise so far down on the farm.
King continues to battle his control/command.

Low A Chris Dominguez hit a walkoff 3 run HR in the bottom of the 11'th inning to lead the Augusta Greenjackets to a 5-2 win over the Charleston River Dogs:

Dan Cook- 3 for 6, 2 2B. BA= .326.
Tommy Joseph- 2 for 5, BB. BA= .222.
Chris Dominguez- 1 for 5, HR(2), BB. BA= .271.
Jeremy Toole- 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 3.52.
Devan Kline- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 0.00
Jason Jarvis- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Chris Gloor- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 1.70.

Devan Kline was a non-drafted FA sign last year. He's already appeared in 5 games, 7 IP, this year with 8 K's and a GO/AO= 2.
Nice to see Tommy Joseph's BA creeping up. Chris Dominguez had 3 K's to go with his BB and walkoff dinger. He continues to be largely an all or nothing offensive presence in the lineup.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Down on the Farm: 04-18-2010

AAA Fresno Grizzlies survived a furious comeback by the Portland Beavers to win 7-6:

Buster Posey- 1 for 2, 2 BB. BA= .364.
Brett Pill-1 for 4, HR(1). BA= .243.
Kevin Pucetas- 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.94.
Denny Bautista- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Pucetas has improved with each start. This one was typical from before his late season collapse last year.

Look for Denny Bautista to be the first callup if/when the Giants need a bullpen replacement.

AA Reading Phillies dumped the Richmond Flying Squirrels 5-2:

Clay Timpner- 3 for 4.
Thomas Neal- 1 for 3, 2B, HBP.
Andy D'Alessio- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.
Nick Noonan- 1 for 4, 2B.
Craig Whitaker- 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.00.

Not much to comment on here.

High A San Jose Giants doused the Bakersfield Blaze 6-3:

Ryan Lormand- 3 for 4, BB. BA= .387.
Francisco Peguero- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .317.
Brandon Belt- 1 for 1, 2 BB, HBP, SF. BA= .414.
Drew Biery- 2 for 3, HBP. BA= .462.
Wendell Fairley- 3 for 4, BA= .269.
Kyle Nicholson- 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 11.57.

Belt puts up the most interesting and busy lines in the organization. This is a key season for Fairley. Let's see if this game is something to build on. Nicholson's start was a vast improvement over his first. Is Lormand any kind of a MI prospect at age 24?

Low A Tommy Joseph hit a 2 run walk off HR in the bottom of the 9'th inning to send the Charleston River Dogs on the road with a 3-1 loss:

Tommy Joseph- 1 for 4, HR(2). BA= .200.
Kyle Vazquez- 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 0.46.
Jose Casilla- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Chris Gloor- 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. ERA= 3.18.

Remember this is Joseph's pro debut season. He didn't get the benefit of playing Rookie ball last summer. Vazquez is probably at too low a level for his experience, but good to see him doing so well.

Game Wrap 04-18-2010: Dogs 2 Giants 1

Baseball can be a cruel sport, and nobody knows that better than Giants fans, especially when it involves the Dodgers. The Giants today did exactly what they needed to do against Clayton Kershaw, force him to throw strikes. He ended up walking 4 Giants, but the tone of the game was set with the first batter when Velez took the first two pitches, a fastball and curveball, and both of them were strikes. No team is going to score many runs off Kershaw, who's raw stuff is as good as any in baseball, when he can do that. Barry Zito matched him pitch for pitch and finally went to the 8'th inning with a 1-0 lead thanks to a Juan Uribe HR in 7'th. Alas, the Dodgers had an ace in the hole that the Giants just don't have. I might quibble a bit and say you don't throw Manny Ramirez anything in the strike zone in that situation, force someone else to beat you, but the Dodgers have other weapons and probably most managers would have tried to get him out. Just one of those games that will gnaw on you for awhile. Key lines:

Juan Uribe- 1 for 4, HR(1). BA= .326.

Barry Zito- 7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K's. I'll just say that if Zito pitches the rest of the season the way he has pitched in his first 3 starts, the Giants will have a good season.

The Giants got out of LA with a 2 run lead in the standings. They head to Petco Park, which has been a house of horrors for them ever since it opened, to face the Padres. Last year, the Giants got swept on this swing in both LA and SD. A 3-3 split would be great, but 2-4 will be a whole lot better than 0-6! With Cain and Sanchez going the first two, they should win at least 1. Game 3 will be a test for Wellemeyer.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Down on the Farm: 04-17-2010

AAA Portland Beavers slapped the Fresno Grizzlies 13-6:

Brock Bond- 0 for 2, 3 BB.
Ryan Rohlinger- 3 for 5. BA= .333.
Buster Posey- 2 for 5. BA= .357.
Matt Kinney- 3 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 16.20.
Osiris Matos- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Henry Sosa= 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 2.84.

Bond continues to draw walks in addition to hitting .300.

Matt Downs gets the call over Rohlinger to fill Aaron Rowands spot on the Giants active roster while he's on the DL.

The Giants couldn't find a better minor league FA than Matt Kinney? I mean, I'm all for using AAA veterans if they are, you know, good at playing in AAA, but it's really hard to see how Kinney is contributing to the organization even as a veteran presence.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels topped the Reading Phils 4-1:

Thomas Neal- 2 for 4. BA= .200.
Conor Gillaspie- 1 for 3, BB. BA= .275.
Andy D'Alessio- 2 for 4, HR(1). BA= .286.
Craig Clark- 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 3.00.
Dan Turpen- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 4.50.
Craig Whitaker- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's, Save(1). ERA= 4.50

Good to see Thomas Neal with a two-hit game.

I hadn't even noticed that big Andy D'Alessio was on the team! Good to see him hitting at AA level. He's been a bit of an enigma so far.

Clark makes a nice recovery from a shaky first start.

Whitaker has turned into pretty much a GB pitcher.

High A Justin Fitzgerald no-no'd the Bakersfield Blaze for 6 innings and the little Giants won the game 4-1:

Ehire Adrianza- 2 for 5. BA= .211.
Charlie Culberson- 1 for 2, 2B, 2 BB. BA= .185.
Johnny Monell- 1 for 3, 2B, BB. BA= .185.
Drew Biery- 2 for 3, BB. BA= .400.
James Simmons- 2 for 3, 3B, BB. BA= .300
Justin Fitzgerald- 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO=10/1.
Jason Stoffel- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's, Save(3). ERA= 0.00.

Biery is off the 7 day DL. His offense will be a welcome addition.

Fitzgerald was drafted in the 11'th round in 2008 out of UC Davis where he was the closer. He started off that summer in Salem-Keizer where he went 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA. He converted 5 of 6 save opportunities and had good K and BB numbers. Last year, he had another good season that went largely unnoticed for the Augusta Greenjackets: 2-2, 3.70, 56 IP, 27 BB, 63 K's. He's big at 6'5", 225 lbs, and is a power/flyball pitcher. This was his first appearance this year, and what an appearance! Given his power repertoire, if he succesfully converts to starting, his ceiling is probably pretty high. We'll put him on the Watch Closely list!

Low A Charleston River Dogs blanked the Augusta Greenjackets 4-0:

Cook, Anders, Dominguez, Joseph, Lollis- 1 hit each. Lollis and Cook also drew 1 BB each.
Zack Wheeler- 3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 5 K's.
Jose Valdez- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. ERA= 1.23.
Hector Correia- 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 4.70.

Wheeler got through 3 shutout innings before allowing the first 3 batters he faced in the 4'th to reach base. 2 scored while he was still in there, Valdez allowed 1 inherited runner to score. A significant improvement on his first start. Baby steps!!

Game Wrap 04-17-2010: Addendum

Baggs is reporting that the Giants will place Aaron Rowand on the 15 day DL and recall Matt Downs from Fresno. This is the right move, IMO, though a shame in that Rowand was off to a pretty decent start this season. No further word on the status of Mark DeRosa, but I wouldn't expect him to be the in lineup tomorrow where the Giants could use him against LHP Clayton Kershaw.

Around the League:

Ubaldo Jimenez no-no'd the Atlanta Braves in a 4-0 win for the Colorado Rockies. Man, I would pay to see Ubaldo and Timmy hook up in a pitcher's duel, preferably in SF, of course.

They're in the 19'th inning of a 0-0 tie between the Mets and Cards. Rookie Jaime Garcia started it off matching Johan Santana in goose eggs. I have Garcia on my fantasy team, the Savvy Vets. Stay tuned on this one. It looks like they've run out of pitchers and are using position players to pitch in this one!

Update: Joe Mather showed his inexperience pitching by giving up a run to the Mets in the top of the 20'th inning on 3 walks, 0 hits. The Cards had used Felipe Lopez for an inning before that! Francisco Rodriguez is in to try to close it out for the Mets.

Ludwick draws a walk to open the bottom of the 9'th. Pujols to the plate. The Mets have neutralized Pujols by walking him 4 times and Holliday has failed to protect him. Oh my! With Albert Pujols at the plate, Ludwick is thrown out trying to steal 2B! What a brain dead baserunning mistake!

And Pujols doubles to LF! Ludwick might have scored on the play or at least been part of a 2'nd and 3'rd with 0 outs!

Now Kyle Lohse is batting because the Cards' bench is empty! Lohse is playing LF! Lohse grounds out to SS, Pujols to third. It's all up to Yadi Molina now.

Yadier Molina singles to drive in Pujols and tie up the game at 1-1 again! Allen Craig strikes out, so they're headed to the top of the 21'st inning!

The Mets score a run in the top of the 21'st off Poor Joe Mather. Mike Pelfrey comes in to get the Save. KRod gets a very undeserved W. Whew!!

Late Entry: Mark DeRosa's hammy is being described as "mild" and he hasn't ruled out playing tomorrow.

Game Wrap 04-17-2010: Giants 9 Choking Dogs 0!

The Giants furious rally that started in the top of the 9'th inning last night just continued into todays game. This time, they had the wonderful pitching of Tim Lincecum to back it up. The result was a 9-0 trouncing of the Hated Ones. The injury bug is starting to bite though. Disclaimer: My daughter had been begging for me to take her to LA MOCA for weeks, so I did the dad thing and did not see the game in person or on TV. I caught the tail end of it and the postgame on the radio on the way home. Key lines:

Eugenio Velez- 3 for 5, 2B, BB. When Pharoah is on one of his hot streaks, might as well keep him in there and enjoy it.

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 4, BB, SB(2).

Aubrey Huff- 1 for 3, 2 BB, SB(1). Love the BB's. The Giants drew a total of 6 walks forcing Haeger to abandon the knucklball, and then smacked around his secondary stuff.

Mark DeRosa- 0 for 2. Pulled up with a hammy. More on that later.

Bengie Molina- 2 for 4, HBP. BA= .448. Think maybe Bengie has something to prove this year?

Nate Schierholtz- 1 for 4, BB. Nate gets the start against the knuckleballer, but even he was able to be draw a walk.

Tim Lincecum- 3 for 4. BA= .429. I bet you thought this was going to be a pitching line, huh?

Tim Lincecum- 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K's, W(3). ERA- 0.90. Cy Young #3 baby!!

Mota, Runzler, Medders- 1 IP, 0 R each.

Just as the Giants are trying to figure out if there is some way for Aaron Rowand to play through his injury, DeRosa pulls up with a hammy. So the Giants, who just two days ago were backed up in OF's might just be wishing they had found a way to keep Fred Lewis! Here's my take:

Rowand should not try to play through it. Facial fractures are nothing to mess around with, and it seems like a plastic shield would just hamper vision at the plate. DeRosa didn't come out of the game immediately so hopefully it's not a 6-8 week hammy. Again, I'd rather see him sit and get completely well than try to play through it and have it become a problem all season.

Velez is red hot. No, it probably won't last all year, but when Pharoah gets hot, they might as well hitch up for the ride. I'm guessing he and Torres will form a platoon in CF with Velez playing against RHP's and Torres against LHP's. Bowker can move to LF with Nate taking over in RF. Huff can also play corner OF with Travis playing 1B or else Pablo can slide over to 1B with Uribe playing 3B if they call up Rohlinger or Downs from Fresno. Losing Derosa will leave the Giants without a great bat against LHP's. Otherwise, I think they can cover it quite nicely.

It's Zito vs Kershaw in the rubber game of the series tomorrow. Kershaw has been wild so far this season. The Giants need to force him to throw strikes just like they did with Haeger today.

Game Wrap 04-16-2010: Addendum

Word in Extra Baggs is that Rowand has 2 fractures in his cheekbone and a mild concussion. I really hope The Gamer doesn't try to play through this, and yes, I'm ready to see what Eugenio Velez can do with some regular PT, even if Rowand was having a pretty good season so far.

BTW, Vicente Padilla, who I already didn't like very much, just went waaay up on my list of disliked players. And, watch out for the beanball wars. Some Dodger is going to have to go down before the series is done. I'd say Ethier, Martin or Kemp would be the leading candidates.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Game Wrap 04-16-2010: Bums 10 Giants 8

A furious rally in the top of the 9'th inning couldn't make up for the hole dug by some pretty terrible pitching from 5'th starter Todd Wellemeyer as the Giants struggle to prove they are for real against the vaunted Dodger lineup. Let's get to the key lines:

Eugenio Velez- 1 for 2, HR(2). A 3 run dinger in the 9'th to close the score to 10-8. Velez replaced Aaron Rowand who was beaned by a Vicente Padilla fastball. Would anyone be upset if Rowand missed a couple and Velez filled in?

Edgar Renteria- 0 for 5. Rent is looking an awful lot like last year the last few games. BA now .333.

Pablo Sandoval- 1 for 4, HR(2).

Mark DeRosa- 2 for 4.

Juan Uribe- 2 for 4. BA= .361. Uribe has been nothing but remarkable for the Giants ever since he was signed as a minor league FA before last season. One of Sabean's better dumpster dives.

Todd Wellemeyer- 4 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 3 BB, 4 K's. A truly putrid performance, and even more embarrassing, it came against the Hated Rivals. Yes, I thought the ump squeezed him on a couple of close pitches while giving Padilla a generous strike zone, but still, Wellemeyer just didn't have enough command of his stuff. At one point after he walked opposing pitcher Vicente Padilla on 4 pitches, the TV camera showed Bochy visibly angry in the dugout yelling "throw the $#%& ball over the plate", or something to that effect. He was constantly behind in the count and then had to serve up fat pitches just to get the ball over the plate. You don't need too much out of a #5 starter. A quality start here and there is welcome, but Wellemeyer has had exactly one season where he was good enough to hold down a #5 starter job. Tonight's performance was much more like his other 6 seasons. If Bochy has a doghouse, and he certainly seems to, I would say from his reaction to the Padilla walk that Wellemeyer just might be in it right now. We may be looking for another starter before the season is over.

Timmy pitches on Fox Game of the Week tomorrow against knuckleballer Charlie Haeger. Timmy should win easily, but this Dodger lineup is tough and you never know about knucklballers.

Around the League:

Atlanta outslugged Colorado 9-5 while newly anointed D'Backs closer Juan Gutierrez coughed up a 1 run 9'th inning lead on a walk-off 3 run HR by Chase Headley. Pads win 6-3.

Down on the Farm: 04-16-2010

AAA Fresno Grizzlies scored single runs in the 8'th and 9'th inning off former Giants Rule 5 draft pick Luis Perdomo to edge the Portland Beavers 2-1:

Brock Bond- 1 for 4, 2B.
Matt Downs- 2 for 4, 2 2B.
Joe Martinez- 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K's, GO/AO= 9/0. ERA= 0.90.
Steve Edlefsen- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, GO/AO= 5/0.
Denny Bautista- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.

Is Joey the Giants next #5 starter?

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels edged the Reading Phils 2-1:

Conor Gillaspie- 3 for 4, 2B. BA= .270.
Roger Kieschnick- 1 for 3, 2B, HBP. BA= .257.
Nick Noonan- 1 for 3, 2B. BA= .235.
David Mixon- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 4.09.
Andy Sisco- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K's. ERA= 2.45.
Tony Pena- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's, Save(1). ERA= 0.00.

3 hit game a great sign from Gillaspie after his recent power surge. If he can maintain the BA/OBP with the added power, we have a prospect on our hands.....if he can field a position. Mixon pitched well for SJ last year. He's a contact, GB pitcher, a marginal prospect at best. Tony Pena continues to shine in relief. I'm sure he will get a chance to move up if this continues.

HIgh A Bakersfield Blaze burned the San Jose Giants 11-3:

Brandon Belt- 3 for 4, 2B. BA= .417.
Ari Ronick- 3 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 2 K's.

Belt continues to impress as the highest placed player from last year's draft. Ronick has a rough start.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets defeated the Charleston River Dogs 5-2:

Evan Crawford- 1 for 4, BB. BA= .216.
Chris Dominguez- 2 for 4. BA= .306.
Tommy Joseph- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .188.
Brian Salsbury- 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 6 K's, GO/AO= 13/1.
Jason Jarvis- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's, Save(3). ERA= 0.00.

Nice to see Dominguez hitting well. Nice to see Tommy Joseph have a reportable line. 2 of the 5 hits Salsbury gave up were dingers in the first inning. He settled down after that and shut down the River Dogs through 7. Jarvis had a dominant Save.

Down on the Farm: Fred Lewis Prospect Retrospective

Fred Lewis was one of my favorite prospects in the Giants system for a long time. Perhaps no prospect in recent Giants history has had as much of a polarizing effect on Giants fans as Fred Lewis. Even with his trade out of the organization, the debate rages on in the blogosphere. Interestingly, opinions on various sites seem to be fairly united within the site, but polar opposite from the consensus on other sites. For instance, fans who post frequently on the message board are virtually unanimous that Fred was a terrible player and his trade is addition by subtraction. Meanwhile, the trade is being greeted on with weeping an gnashing of teeth. The McChron crowd has been so into Fred Lewis for so long that they have been jokingly accused of all being Fred's relatives! Let's take a look at his career in the Giants organization:

Lewis was drafted in round 2 of the 2002 MLB draft, #66 overall out of Southern University at age 21. He was an athletic player who had concentrated on football up to that point, so in terms of baseball experience he was still much like a high school draftee. He signed right away and had a good first pro season for Salem-Keizer in the Northwest League: .322/.396/.397. Moved up to Low A Hagerstown for 2003 he struggled to a .250/.361/.336 line. Some fans, including me, noted that the SAL is a pitching friendly league and that Fred had put up a good OBP of .361, or an IsoOBP(OBP-BA) of .111 which is excellent. The folks at Baseball America were unimpressed quoting an unnamed coach in the organization as saying Fred drew a lot of walks "by accident." Brian Buscher, who was a teammate of Fred's at Hagerstown, was cited by the same publication as having a much more "advanced" approach at the plate even though Buscher's OBP was a pitiful .318 and he had an OPS of just .638 compared to Fred's .697.

The 2004 season found Fred Lewis moved up a notch to High A San Jose where continued to show excellent on base skills and much improved hitting to go along with it: .301/.424!/.451 with 8 HR's and 33 SB's. I saw Lewis early in the 2004 season and he looked skinny and awkward at the plate, reminding me of a young Willie McGee. Later in the year, he had filled out his frame considerably and had a much more aggressive stance at the plate. A late season promo to Fresno went well also with a .304./429/.478 line in 6 games.

The 2005 stop was AA Norwich, where Fred and several other Giants prospects struggled mightily to hit. Fred emerged from an early season slump, which may have been affected by the bad weather in the Northeast, to post a mildly disappointing final line of .273/.361/.396 with 7 HR's and 30 SB's. 2006 at Fresno was better, but still a bit disappointing considering the favorable hitting environment in the PCL: .276/.375/.454 with 12 HR's and 18 SB's. A late season callup went well with 5 hits in 13 AB's for the SF Giants.

2007 found Fred back in Fresno where he showed off his power for the first time with a .292/.366/.550 line with 8 HR's in 58 games. A midseason callup to SF was wildly successful as he hit a grand slam HR and hit for the cycle within a few games. Fred's final 2007 MLB line was .287/.374/.408.

Many fans thought Fred should have a starting job nailed down for 2008 on the strength of his MLB debut, but the Giants had other ideas and brought in the veteran CF/leadoff hitter Dave Roberts with Fred occupying the bench to start the season. Roberts got hurt early on though, and Fred played in 133 games with 468 AB's putting up a fine line of .282/.351/.440 with 9 HR's, 11 triples, 25 doubles and 21 SB's.

Perhaps overly enthusiastic about his emerging power, the Giants ordained Fred to be their starting LF and #3 hitter going into the 2009 season. Unfortunately, he slumped early. The Giants tried to move him back to leadoff to take advantage of his on-base skills, but Fred complained publicly that he had prepared all offseason to hit #3 and didn't feel comfortable hitting leadoff. That apparently bought him a ticket to the back of the Bruce Bochy's doghouse and he played only spottily in a bench role after that. His final 2009 line was a greatly disappointing .258/.348/.390, but once again, his OBP and OPS were among the highest on a very weak hitting team.

Defensively, Fred Lewis had a penchant going all the way back to his minor league days of muffing easy looking plays, which brought down the wrath of many fans who also grew frustrated with his perhaps overly patient approach at the plate which resulted in a lot of called third strikes. Of course that same approach also led to a relatively high OBP, but you tend to remember the looking K's that end a rally longer than the walks that result in a LOB. Interestingly, newer defensive metrics such as UZR rate Fred as an above average fielder. While he makes a few spectacular gaffes in the field, he also uses his speed and athleticism to make successful plays on a lot of balls that other OF's would never get close to.

While John Bowker showed that a player can dig himself out of Bochy's doghouse with a terrific spring training performance, Fred Lewis wasn't able to do that as his play was again inconsistent and he came up with an minor injury late which forced a trip to the DL and a rehab stint in Fresno. While you could certainly make a case for the Giants to keep Fred Lewis around and give him more chances, the roster is crowded with playes in similar boats. In the end, Fred was not able to build a compelling reason why he should be given a chance over several others including Nate Schierholtz, John Bowker, Eugenio Velez and Andres Torres. Torres probably has the least future of all those names, but he has proven himself to be a useful bench player who can help in more ways than Fred including batting righthanded against LHP's.

Fred Lewis was one of my favorite Giants prospects for several years. I am sad that he ultimately failed to be in impact player for the Giants. While I feel that he could have become that with more patience from Giants management, I can't say that he would have gotten more of an opportunity with anther organization. He will clearly be a backup in Toronto, although typical of Fred's career, he would have been starting tonight except he arrived too late and will start the first game of his Blue Jays career sitting on the bench.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Down on the Farm: 04-15-2010

AAA Fresno Grizzlies topped the Las Vegas 51's 7-3:

Brock Bond- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .353.
Brett Pill- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .286.
Matt Downs- 2 for 5, 3B. BA= .250.
Eric Hacker- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 0.79.

Bond has hit in the mid .300's at every stop. So far he hasn't drawn as many walks as at previous levels. I envision him as a switch-hitting version of David Eckstein.

AA Richmond Flying Squirrels shutout the Reading Phillies 3-0:

Brandon Crawford- 1 for 4, 2B. BA= .360.
Conor Gillaspie- 1 for 4, HR(3). BA= .212.
Nick Noonan- 1 for 2, 2B, BB, SB(2). BA= .226.
Jackson Williams- 1 for 2, HR(1), BB. BA= .444!
Daryl Maday- 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 10/3. ERA= 1.69.
Rafael Cova- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, Save(2).

Conor Gillaspie has shown surprising power this spring. I had read that he went on a very strenuous conditioning program mainly to get more nimble on defense, but maybe it also made him stronger?
A busy night for Nick Noonan who is once again quite young for the level of play.
Maday looks like a fairly standard groundball pitcher who will have to prove he can do it at higher levels.
If Jackson Williams has found his hitting stroke, he could make things interesting in the organization as he is probably their best defensive catcher and that's no knock on Buster Posey's defense.

San Jose Giants came back to score a run in the bottom of the 9'th inning after the Bakersfield Blaze had scored two runs to tie in the top of the inning. Final score: 5-4:

Ehire Adrianza- 0 for 3, 2 BB, 2 SB(4). BA= .179.
Francisco Peguero- 2 for 4, BB, 3 SB's(8). BA= .370.
Brandon Belt- 1 for 3, BB, HBP, SB(5). BA= .350.
Craig Westcott- 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K's, GO/AO= 7/2.

The little Giants ran wild with Peguero leading the way. Peguero also threw out a runner at home plate from CF. Belt seems to have a busy line every night. Nice start for Westcott.

Low A Savannah Sand Gnats bit the Augusta Greenjackets 4-1:

Evan Crawford- 2 for 4, 3B. BA= .212.
Ryan Cavan- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .313.
Jorge Bucardo- 5 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 8/1. ERA= 4.00.
Brian Irving- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.

Not much to comment on here. Cavan continues to be the best hitter on the team.

Fantasy Impact: Savvy Vets Punting Saves

Perhaps nothing in fantasy baseball produces more debate, frustration and obssessive-compulsive behavior than how to manage relief pitchers(RP), specifically, a certain type of RP, closers.

Here's the setup: Many fantasy leagues are scored on points accumulated in 10 basic categories, 5 offensive and 5 pitching(5X5). The offensive categories are generally Runs, HR's, RBI's, SB's and Batting Average. The pitching categories are Wins, Saves, K's, ERA, WHIP(Walks plus Hits/IP). If you look at those categories carefully, one is not like the others. Closers accumulate about 90% of all the Saves in baseball, but do not pitch enough innings to make a major impact on K's, W's, ERA and WHIP. In fact, you don't want closers to get W's because, well, closers are supposed to get Saves! There is no other category where each MLB team has one player whose job is to score in one category, but multiple openings on a fantasy team. But wait, you say, if there are 30 MLB teams and 10 or 12 fantasy teams in your league, there should be plenty of closers to go around, right? The problem is that there are usually multiple slots for RP's on each fantasy team, but the only scoring category you want from a closer is Saves. Yes, RP's can help you with W's, K's, ERA and WHIP, but given a choice between a good SP and a good RP, the SP will give you a lot more innings of good pitching than the RP, so to have an impact, you really want to fill any available RP slots with closers.

In my fantasy league, there are 10 teams with 3 RP positions and 2 P positions that can swing either way. Potentially, you can keep 5 closers active on your roster at all times. Since there are only 30 closers in MLB at any given time, filling those 5 slots with all closers can be a cutthroat competition. If you can accumulate 5 or more closers on your team, some other team is going to have less than 3. If 2 or 3 teams horde closers, then the remaining teams are going to be bidding on a rapidly shrinking pool of closers. In the draft, this leads to overdrafting, and after the season starts, it leads to gross overpayments in trades. It also leads to entire weekly columns on fantasy websites devoted to nothing but speculation about what closers might be in danger of losing their jobs, getting injured or traded, and to what pitchers might be in line to take over if a team decides to change closers.

This year, my team, the Savvy Vets got stuck out of position on draft day after my buddy, the Windrookie, started a run by drafting two closers back to back at the second turn of a snake draft. Whether this was an overdraft is debatable, but it started a frenzy of other owners drafting closer, sometimes ridiculously high. I decided I had to jump in. I grabbed Jose Valverde and Frank Francisco on my next two picks. Later I managed to pick up Jason Frasor who had been named closer for Toronto, but that was it. I was always beaten to the punch by someone else before I could take the next available closer at a reasonable draft slot. Still, I had 3 decent closers which made me competitive at the position, and there is always a chance of picking up more as the season goes along.

Alas! We are only half way through the second week of the season. Frank Francisco and Jason Frasor have already been replaced rendering them virtually useless on my roster and leaving me with only one viable closer. I can't compete with teams with even 2 good closers let alone 5! So, I made one of the more momentous decisions a fantasy owner can make, punt the category! When you punt a category, you concede that you will not win said category, ever, all season, in order to give yourself a theoretically better chance of winning the other 4 pitching categories. It's a risky strategy. When you punt one category, you have to win at least 3 of the remaining 4 pitching categories to split. If you win 5 of the remaining 9 total categories all you get is a tie for the head-to-head. You have to win 6 of the remaining 9 categories to win the H2H outright.

So what moves did I make for Savvy Vets in "punting" the Saves category? I dropped Frank Francisco and Jason Frasor while picking up Justin Masterson of Cleveland and Colby Lewis of Texas. Both are young pitchers who are being widely talked about as "sleepers" and have put up good numbers with plenty of K's in their starts so far this season. I have also put Jose Valverde on the Trading Block hoping another owner who isn't punting Saves will overpay to add another closer to his roster. I have made a trade offer to another owner, Valverde for Scott Kazmir of the Angels. We'll see if that produces anything.

In a related development, I accepted a trade this morning offered by another owner. I give Prince Fielder and receive Kendry Morales, Scott Baker and Kevin Millwood. I will drop Colby Rasmus and Masterson to make room on the roster for the 3 players I receive. Baker often gets off to slow starts but pitches consistently well as the season goes along and is a reliable source of W's and quality starts helping to pile up K's without ruining your ERA and WHIP categories. Millwood has had an up and down career but put up a sub 4 ERA with Texas last year. He should be able to do at least that well with Baltimore. Meanwhile Kendry Morales is only a slight downgrade from Prince Fielder on offense, and may well put up a better Batting Average. I also dropped Drew Stubbs who is off to a slow start and is losing playing time to Chris Dickerson with Cincinnati. I picked up Jose Guillen who seems to be recovered from a bout with Deep Vein Thrombosis and is as productive as any hitter in baseball when healthy. He's off to a great start with KC.

Here's how the roster will shake out:

C Brian McCann
1B Kendry Morales
2B Ben Zobrist
3B Jorge Cantu
SS Stephen Drew
IF Todd Helton
OF Justin Upton
OF BJ Upton
OF Jose Guillen
UT Hunter Pence
UT Conor Jackson
SP CC Sabathia
SP Tommy Hanson
SP Matt Cain
SP Jonathan Sanchez
RP Francisco Liriano(duel eligibility)
RP Colby Lewis(duel eligibility)
RP Jaime Garcia(eligible as a RP, but functioning as a starter with St Louis)
BN Kevin Millwood
BN Scott Baker
BN Brad Penny
BN Mat Latos
BN Ben Sheets

I have also offered Matt Cain in trade for Torii Hunter who is on another owners trading block. I would drop Pence, Jackson or Guillen to make room for Hunter, then find a FA pitcher to add or I might go with one offensive player on my bench.

What do you think? Any suggestions?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Down on the Farm: 04-14-2010

AAA The Las Vegas Aces held on to edge the Fresno Grizzlies 8-7:

Brock Bond- 2 for 5. BA= .345.
Buster Posey- 2 for 5, SB(1). BA= .367.
Joe Borchard- 3 for 5, HR(1).
Madison Bumgarner- 4 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 0 BB, 4 K's.

Bumgarner was possibly left in too long as he allowed 2 runs in the first inning then 3 more innings of shutout ball until the 5'th inning when he allowed two 2 run HR's and 5 runs without retiring a batter. No word yet on velocity.

AA The Altoona Curve doubled the score on the Richmond Flying Squirrels 4-2:

Darren Ford- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .219.
Brandon Crawford- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(1). BA= .381.
Conor Gillaspie- 1 for 5, HR(2).
Thomas Neal- 0 for 5, 3 K's, GIDP. BA= .172.
Clayton Tanner- 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K's, GO/AO= 9/1.

Maybe the half-year of AA experience is helping Crawford? Nice to see the power from Conor Gillaspie. I'm not really worried about him hitting for average, power is the big ? Thomas Neal, ouch! Just ouch! Good peripheral numbers from Tanner.

High A San Jose Giants topped the Visalia Rawhide 6-4:

Francisco Peguero- 2 for 3, 2 2B, BB, SB(5). BA= .348.
Brandon Belt- 2 for 3, BB. BA= .353.
Charlie Culberson- 1 for 4, HR(1). BA= .190.
Eric Surkamp- 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.
Jason Stoffel- 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K's.

Peguero looks like he's just continuing his hot hitting from last year. Belt sure seems like a player. Nice start for Surkamp.

Low A The Augusta Greenjackets made 1 run stand up for a 1-0 victory over the Savannah Sand Gnats:

Hector Sanchez- 1 for 3, 2B. BA= .273.
Christopher Heston- 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 0.00.
Jose Casilla- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.
Jason Jarvis- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's, Save(2).

Sanchez scored the only run of the game. There were no RBI's. Heston has not allowed a run in 11 IP.

GAme Wrap 04-14-2010: Giants 6 Pirates 0

This wasn't the best game Jonathan Sanchez has ever pitched. That would be the no-hitter from last season. This was, however, the most confident and in command that I've ever seen him. The key moment in the game, for me, was in Pittsburgh's half of the 6'th inning when Sanchez walked Garrett Jones on a 3-2 curveball to load the bases with 2 out. The Pittsburgh TV announcers were clucking away about how he should have thrown a fastball and his teammates were losing confidence in him for walking the bases loaded with a curveball. In the past, Sanchez might have come unglued, lost the strike zone or tried to blow fastballs down the pipe. Instead, he calmly faced down Ryan Doumit while inducing a routine flyball to CF. Sanchez' calm demeanor throughout this game leads me to believe that he's turned a corner and is ready to be the dominant pitcher he can be. Key lines:

Aaron Rowand- 2 for 4. BA= .318.

Aubrey Huff- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(1). BA= .273. The HR was an inside-the-park job that took a funny carom away from RF Garrett Jones when it hit against the brick trimming of a window in the RF wall near the 421 foot sign. The double was also smoked up Triples Alley.

Eli Whiteside- 2 for 3, 2B, HR(1). I was ready to send Whiteside packing after his last start, but he was the hitting hero of this game. Buster can unpack his bags for now!

Jonathan Sanchez- 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 11 K's. Maybe still needs to cut down on the BB's but this was a dominant start, not just in stuff, but in the feeling that he was in complete control the whole game. Nothing was ruffling Durty today!

Brian Wilson- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's. With an off day tomorrow, Wilson needed the work, I guess.

Big series coming up in LA!

Around the League:

BJ Upton hit 2 dingers today. If he is well, look out. He has 40/40 potential if not more.

Sleeper Alert: Jose Guillen is tearing it up for KC, hitting his 5'th HR today. Guillen has been wandering in the wilderness since his infamous run-in with Mike Scioscia. If he's healthy and has his head on right, he can be as productive as any player in baseball.

The Houston Astros sank to 0-8 today with a 2-1 loss to Brad Penny and the St Louis Cardinals.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Down on the Farm: 04-13-2010

AAA Las Vegas 51's edged the Fresno Grizzlies 2-1:

Brock Bond- 3 for 5. BA= .333.
Eddy Martinez-Esteve- 2 for 2.
Kevin Pucetas- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K.
Steve Edlefsen- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.

Pucetas was a bit better than his first start. Las Vegas is a tough place to pitch too.
Brock Bond picking up where he left off last year in AA.

The Altoona Curve outlasted the Richmond Flying Squirrels 1-0 in 14 innings:

Thomas Neal- 1 for 5, 2B.
Michael MacDonald- 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K's.
Tony Pena-3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.
Dan Turpen- 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.

MacDonald is probably not a prospect. Pena putting up some interesting numbers so far.

San Jose Giants beat the Visalia Rawhide 7-2:

Juan Perez- 2 for 4, HR(1).
Brandon Belt- 1 for 2, 2B, BB, HBP, 2 SB(4).
Aaron King- 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K's

Busy night for Belt who is not flinching at starting his pro career in High A. King is young for the level and might be the best pitching prospect on the team.

Augusta Greenjackets made it two in a row over the Savannah Sand Gnats 8-3:

Evan Crawford= 0 for 5. BA= .160.
Ryan Cavan- 3 for 5, 2 2B, SB(5). BA= .333.
Luke Anders- 2 for 4, 2 2B. BA- .391.
Chris Dominguez 2 for 4, SB(2), 0 K's. BA= .360.
Jeremy Toole- 3.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K's.
Jose Valdez- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K's.
Chris Gloor- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K's.

Crawford didn't have such a good night. Cavan has been the offensive star so far. Dominguez is having an encouraging start to his season. Watch out for Jose Valdez! He could have a Dan Runzler type season! I think Gloor is going to dominate too.

Game Wrap 04-13-2010: Pirates 6 Giants 5

The Giants winning formula of tight pitching and timely hitting almost worked again tonight, but almost doesn't count, at least as a W. Pirates hang on to edge the Giants 6-5. Key lines:

Aaron Rowand- 2 for 5. BA= .300.

Bengie Molina- 2 for 3, 2B, BB. I think Bengie might have already walked more than he did all last year.

Nate Schierholtz- 1 for 1. .333. I still think Nate should be the starting RF.

Eugenio Velez- 1 for 2, HR(1). 2 run dinger in the bottom of the 9'th to draw the Giants to within 1 run. Unfortunately Rowand, Renteria and Pablo all made subsequent outs. Velez ain't going to be the one who makes room for Fred Lewis.

Matt Cain- 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 3 K's. A gritty performance by Cain who quite obviously didn't have his best stuff tonight.

Jeremy Affeldt- 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K's. Affeldt should have been out of the inning, but Renteria dropped an easy DP ball after a comebacker to Affeldt.

Brandon Medders- 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Medders didn't get the job done tonight.

Around the League:

The Dodgers won their home opener over Arizona 9-5. Colorado trounced the Mets 11-3.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Down on the Farm: 04-12-2010

AAA Matt Kinney showed up once again to throw batting practice for the other team as the Las Vegas 51's aced the Grizzlies 7-1:

Fred Lewis- 2 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .500.
Brett Pill- 2 for 4.
Matt Kinney- 3.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.

Not sure why the Giants keep Kinney around, unless they are grooming him to be a coach or something.
It will be interesting to see what becomes of Fred after he comes off the DL.

AA Altoona Curve baffled the Richmond Flying Squirrels 4-1:

Darren Ford- 1 for 3, BB.
Brandon Crawford- 1 for 3, 2B, HBP.
Nick Noonan- 1 for 4, 2B.
Craig Clark- 4 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 0 K's.

Not much to say here. A pretty flat effort all the way around.

High A Visalia Rawhide chapped the San Jose Giants 9-7:

Francisco Peguero- 2 for 5, 3B, SB(4). BA= .313.
Brandon Belt- 3 for 4, HR(1), BB, SB(1).
Charlie Culberson- 2 for 5, 2B.
Wendell Fairley- 3 for 5, 2B. BA= .308.
Kyle Nicholson- 2 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.

The sinker must not have been sinking for Nicholson. Belt should see a lot of action with Mazzola out. Encouraging start for Fairley who looked good in limited opportunities in Spring Training.

Low A The Greenjackets smothered the Savannah Sand Gnats 2-0:

Evan Crawford- 1 for 3, BB, SB(2).
Ryan Cavan- 1 for 3, BB, SB(4).
Luke Anders- 2 for 4, 2B.
Chris Dominguez- 1 for 4, HR(1).
Kyle Vazquez- 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K's.

Vazquez was a 15'th round draft choice out of Franklin Pierce U last summer. He had a good debut with Salem-Keizer going 3-1, 3.66, 39.1 IP, 15 BB, 38 K's. He's got nice size at 6'3", 175 lbs with some projectability. He's a power/flyball pitcher. No word on velocity.

Game Wrap 04-12-2010: Giants 9 Pirates 3

Barry Zito wasn't quite as sharp as in his first start, but he didn't have to be. Former Giants prospect Brian Burres got the last minute call as the Pirates's starter when Ross Ohlendorf came up with back spasms. Burres showed some nice pitches and a lot of heart, but was no match for a Giants lineup that will never be mistaken for Murderer's Row. Key lines:

Pablo Sandoval- 3 for 4, 2B, BB. Second 3 hit game in a row for Pablo after somewhat of a slow start. He's now hitting .414. Looks like he's given up trying to hit everything into the Bay with much better results.

Aubrey Huff- 2 for 2, 3B, BB, 2 HBP. A perfect night for Huff as he reached base 5 times 5 PA's. He made some nifty plays at first base and ran the bases well for the second night in a row. Huff is looking like a strong addition to the team.

Bengie Molina- 4 for 4, 2B, HR(1), BB. BA= .421. The Giants took 6 walks this game including this one and Pablo's. Maybe Hensley "Bam Bam" Meulens is getting a message across that Lansford wassn't able to?

Barry Zito- 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 1 K. ERA= 2.25.

Sergio Romo, Dan Runzler, Guillermo Mota- 1 scoreless IP each. Sergio Romo has the most awesome pitch movement I've ever seen. That he can control it is even more incredible!

Around the League:

The San Diego Padres unleashed a shocking attack on Atlanta SP Jair Jurrjens and routed the Braves 17-2. Blanks and Venable had 3 hits including a HR each. Watch out for this team if both of those guys break out!

The rest of the NL West was idle.

The Minnesota Twins opened their new stadium with a 5-2 win over the Boston Red Sox. The Park reminds me a lot of Petco. I wonder if it will play anything like Petco?

The Oakland A's ran their record to 6-2 with a 4-0 win over Seattle who slipped to 2-6.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Down on the Farm: 04-11-2010

Buster Posey continued his hot hitting and Zack Wheeler had a disappointing pro debut in Giants minor league action today. Key lines:

AAA Fresno Grizzlies mauled the Reno Aces 14-2:

Buster Posey- 2 for 5, HR(1), BB. BA= .500.
Fred Lewis- 2 for 3, 3B, 2 BB, SB(2).
Ryan Rohlinger- 2 for 4, 2 2B.
Joe Martinez- 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's, GO/AO= 10/1.
Horacio Ramirez- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.

One has to wonder how long the Giants will have the stomach to keep Buster down on the farm if Whiteside doesn't pick up his game soon.

Fred played CF. Maybe the Giants are trying to make him more attractive as trade bait?

AA Bowie BaySox downed the Flying Squirrels 4-1:

Thomas Neal- 2 for 4, 2B. BA= .250.
Jackson Williams- 2 for 3, 2B. BA= .556. Williams has been working hard on his hitting. Maybe this is the year it pays off?
Tony Pena- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K's, GO/AO= 6/0.

The Eastern League is proving to be tough on hitters even with the move to Richmond. Neal's .250 BA is the second highest among the regulars after Williams.

High A: Game suspended with San Jose leading the Nuts 7-2 after 2 innings. Ehire Adrianza has 2 hits with a double so far.

Drew Biery is reportedly already on the DL with a hand injury and Mazzola is hurting too.

Low A: Greensboro Grasshoppers chewed up the Augusta Greenjackets 6-3.

Evan Crawford- 1 for 4, BB. BA= .176.
Dan Cook- 2 for 5, 3B. BA= .375.
Luke Anders- 2 for 3, 2 2B, BB. BA= .333.
Zack Wheeler- 0.1 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 1 K.
Brian Irving- 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K's. ERA= 6.23.

Wheeler was reportedly had way too much run and rise to the fastball and couldn't keep it in the 'zone. Pretty typical mechanical flaw that tends to happen when a young power pitcher gets amped up and opens up too fast. Matt Cain used to do that a lot and still does occasionally.

Nice bounce back from a terrible first appearance for Irving.

Around the Minors:

Stephen Strasburg made his pro debut: 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K's. Strasburg had an RBI double to boot!

Aroldis Chapman was even better in his U.S pro debut for the Reds AAA affilate Louisville while repeatedly hitting 100-101 MPH on the radar gun: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K's. Only 1 Toledo hit left the infield.

Game Wrap 04-11-2010: Giants 6 Braves 3

The Giants celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the opening of PacBell/AT&T Park(it had another name in between, but I don't remember it) with an all-afternoon rain delay, and finally a win over the Atlanta Braves 6-3. The win won the series 2-1 and kept the Giants in sole possession of first place in the NL West. The win also featured the Giants winning formula of tight pitching and timely hitting, this time from the familiar names of Tim Lincecum and Pablo Sandoval. Key lines:

Pablo Sandoval- 3 for 4, 3B, HR(1). Good to see Pablo's bat come alive. Maybe his new contact lenses are the answer to his vision woes? He absolutely scorched two balls, a triple up, well, Triples Alley, and a HR OVER Triples Alley!

Aubrey Huff- 1 for 3, BB. Drove Pablo in from 3B with 2 outs for the first Giants run of the game. The only Giant other than Panda to get on base twice.

Tim Lincecum- 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 10 K's. Lincecum really settled down after giving up a first inning HR to Brian McCann. Timmy's record after two starts is 2-0, 1.29, 14 IP, 1 BB, 17 K's. Yeah, I'd say that's a Cy Young pace! He may have competition from Roy Halladay this year, but if you are the defending champ, you have to lose it, right?

Around the League:

Arizona used a 13 run 4th inning to beat the Pirates and stay one game off the Giants pace in the NL West. The Choking Dogs blew another late inning lead to fall to 2-4 while Colorado topped San Diego 4-2 to even their record at 3-3 while San Diego is in the cellar with the Dogs at 2-4.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Down on the Farm: 04-10-2010

Brian Salsbury of the Augusta Greenjackets gained national attention with 6 innings of no-hit ball tonight to highlight a good night down on the farm. Key lines:

AAA Fresno beat Reno 6-2:

Buster Posey- 2 for 4, 3B, BB. BA= .538. Hopefully Buster will soon be drawing the same type of envy from fans of other teams that Jason Heyward is for the Braves right now.

Fred Lewis- 1 for 3, HR(1), BB, SB(1). BA= .429.

Eric Hacker- 5.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K's. 27 year old journeyman. Could get a cup of coffee in the bigs with an injury or two.

AA Bowie Bay Sox edged the Richmond Flying Squirrels 5-4:

Darren Ford- 2 for 6, 2B.

Brandon Crawford- 1 for 2, 3 BB, SB(1). Apparently Brandon is taking plate discipline seriously.

Conor Gillaspie- 2 for 4, HR(1), SF. BA= .333. It's good to see the long ball from Conor.

NIck Noonan- 2 for 5, 2B. BA= .364. So far, so good for Nick at the new level.

High A San Jose Giants polished off the Nuts 3-1:

Ryan Lormand- 2 for 3, 2B, BB.

Juan Perez- 2 for 4, 2B.

James Simmons- 2 for 4, 3B. BA= .429. Simmons is a guy who, if he breaks out, would be a high ceiling prospect with his size and athleticism. He just needs to find the hit tool.

Ari Ronick- 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 3 K's, GO/AO= 6/1. Too many walks.

Low A Augusta Greenjackets squashed the Greensboro Grasshoppers 8-2:

Evan Crawford- 1 for 5, HR(1), BB.

Ryan Cavan- 2 for 4, 2B, BB. Cavan continues to rake.

Chris Dominguez- 3 for 5. BA= .385. Good to see Chris get off to a good start. He just might have the highest ceiling of any Giants prospect if he can just make consistent contact.

Dan Cook- 2 for 4, 2B, BB. BA= .364.

Brian Salsbury- 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K's. Salsbury is just 20 years old. Drafted out of JC ball in round 14 of last summer's draft. Pitched well for the AZL Giants. I probably should have included him in my Giants Top 50 Prospects.

Chris Gloor- 2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K's. The secondary stats sure look good! He continued the no-no into the 9'th inning before faltering.

Around the Minors:

Jacob Turner, Detroit's first round draft pick made a sparkling debut in the Low A Midwest League: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K's.

Steven Strasburg and Aroldis Chapman make their pro debuts tomorrow as does Zack Wheeler for the Giants.