Tuesday, November 10, 2020

News

The Giants signed a lefty-hitting third baseman named Jason Vosler to a one-year deal and added him to the 40-man roster. He's projected to platoon with Evan Longoria and can also play first base. Vosler is 27 and has never played in the bigs but had a breakout year at AAA for the El Paso Chihuahuas and was in the Padres player pool for 2020. Welcome, FNG!

Former Giants player Mac Williamson is suing the team (actually China Basin LLC) over his concussion injury in 2018. The bullpen mounds were still on the field then and he--I'm sure we all remember--hurt himself when he tripped on the left field-side mound chasing a fly ball. It was an unfortunate event and we all wished it never happened. The Giants and MLB, I expect, have a process for such claims and grievances, so I'm surprised by the suit, but I really don't understand that stuff. I feel bad for Mac and hope they can work things out.

--M.C.

update: Kevin Gausman will accept the Giants QO so he will be in orange-and-black next season, which is good news. The two sides are supposedly still talking about a multi-year deal. I think he's a reasonable risk for a 3-year contract, or a two-year extension on the current deal, something along those lines.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Back to business

The Giants issued a Qualifying Offer to Kevin Gausman. This year a QO is supposedly $18.9M. If Gausman accepts the QO, then the Giants have him for 2021 at that salary. If he rejects it he becomes a free agent and the Giants will receive draft-pick compensation if he signs elsewhere. The Giants have said they hope to work out a multi-year deal with Gausman and he has publicly expressed interest in a reunion.

The Giants need pitching in general and they need starting pitching in particular. Kevin Gausman pitched really well (1.3 bWAR, 1.5 fWAR, 3.09 FIP) in the abbreviated season and in fact had career-bests in H/9 (7.5) and K/9 (11.9) while keeping his walks and homers in line. He turns 30 in January. I'd like to see the Giants keep Gausman around. I'd like to see them bring back Drew Smyly as well.

The Giants outrighted Tyler Heineman, Joey Rickard, and Anthony Banda. Banda, a lefty reliever, had already signed a minor-league deal and will stay in the organization. Rickard and Heineman become free agents. Tyler Beede, Aramis Garcia, and Reyes Moronta were moved off the injured list and returned to the 40-man roster. Let's hope those guys are healthy for 2021.

--M.C.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Finis

The 2020 baseball season ended last night with the Los Angeles Dodgers beating the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 3-1 in Game Six of the World Series. LA takes the crown, four games to two. Manager Kevin Cash of the Rays will be answering the "why did you pull Blake Snell?" question for the rest of his baseball life, I suppose. The Dodgers celebration was tainted by a positive COVID-19 test on Justin Turner who had to be removed from the game. MLB had gone almost two months without incident, and the playoff bubble had appeared to work beautifully, so the news was a bit of a shock. The virus has a way of defeating the best laid plans, it seems.

The Rays were a spirited and determined opponent and their bunch of "no-names" made some noise on the big stage. Game Four was one of the most fun and interesting post-season games I've ever watched. In fact, it was a good, competitive contest overall and showcased some great baseball. This is a Giants site and I've no enthusiasm for a Dodgers win but I will say that is a very familiar team. I feel like I know every player on the roster! Not just from the regular-season games these last several years but from all the playoff exposure, too. Anyway, I have a lot of friends who root for the blue and I am happy for them. Watching your favorite team win the World Series is a great thing.

I'm not one to put an asterisk on a record or a season. MLB and the MLBPA sat down and figured out the rules for a 60-game season. The Dodgers and Rays dominated that format. MLB and MLBPA sat down again and hammered out a post-season schedule. The Dodgers and Rays dominated that format as well, with LA coming out on top. All a team can do is navigate with the road map they are given regardless if it looks like last year's map or not. The Dodgers are the legitimate champions of baseball.

--M.C.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Odds

The Dodgers are favorites, to no one's surprise. The moneyline at Vegas Insider says -200 on LA (bet $200 to win $100) and +175 on TB (bet $100 to win $175). In fractional odds that's 1/2 on the Dodgers and 7/4 on the Rays.

I think it will be a close contest. The Dodgers have the depth and star power and I think that gives them a slight edge. They are also the home team (they bat last in Games One, Two, Six, and Seven) and that is also a slight edge. The Rays will have to summon their inner David to beat the LA Goliath. Sometimes, when two teams are even on paper, one will get hot and blow out the other. I think it is more likely LA can do that to TB than the other way around. Then again, the Rays have defied everyone's expectations this year, perhaps they will be the ones with the big performances and pull off an upset.

Tyler Glasnow and Clayton Kershaw face off in Game One tonight at 5:11 Pacific.

--M.C.

Monday, October 19, 2020

116th World Series

The Dodgers edged the Braves 4-3 to take Game Seven of the NLCS and advance to the World Series to face the Rays. Check this out: Cody Bellinger, he of the game-winning homer, "popped" his shoulder celebrating! You really don't want to get injured that way, do you?

The games begin on Tuesday, 5:09 p.m. Pacific. The Dodgers will be the home team. The schedule will include the usual off-days between Games Two and Three and Games Five and Six. All the games will be played in Texas, at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

--M.C.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Rays prevail

The Tampa Bay Rays won the first three games in the American League Championship Series only to watch their opponents--the Houston Astros--win the next three contests and force a Game Seven. The Rays prevailed 4-2 tonight in San Diego to punch their ticket to the World Series. Meanwhile in Arlington the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had fallen behind two games to none and three games to one against the Atlanta Braves, eked out a 3-1 win this afternoon in Game Six (after a 7-3 win Friday in Game Five). They will play the deciding Game Seven of the National League Championship Series tomorrow at 5:15 Pacific. I figured both LCS matchups would be close so I'm not surprised that both went to seven games. I'm happy for the Rays as I like the way they run that team and I like to see a good process rewarded. I'm not a fan of either the Dodgers or the Braves so all I really want tomorrow is a good game. Game One of the World Series is scheduled for Tuesday.

--M.C.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

5-0

The Rays pitching and fielding have stymied the Astros so far and they take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven ALCS. Game Four is at 5:40 PT. The vaunted Dodgers have looked quite ordinary and they find themselves trailing the sizzling Atlanta Braves 2-0 in the NLCS. Game Three is at 3:05 PT. I thought both series would be more evened-up at this point.

Schedule is here.

--M.C.