Sunday, March 27, 2011

The 2011 25

Andrew Baggarly gave a rundown of his roster spots on his blog yesterday. Here they are:

Rotation (5): Lincecum, Sanchez, Cain, Zito, Bumgarner
Bullpen (7) Affeldt, Casilla, Ramirez, Romo, Lopez, Mota, Runzler
Catchers (2) Posey, Whiteside
Infielders (7) Huff, Sanchez, Tejada, Sandoval, Fontenot, Ishikawa, DeRosa
Outfielders (4) Torres, Burrell, Rowand, Schierholtz
Disabled list: Wilson, Ross


Here's my rundown:

Lincecum, JSanchez, Cain, Zito, Bumgarner. Well, duh. The Big Five are the Big Key to the Big Title Defense.

Affeldt, Casilla, Ramirez, Romo, Lopez, Mota, Runzler. Makes sense. I like what Dan Runzler is showing us this spring. We liked this guy last year and let's hope we get to see him do some damage. Guillermo Mota just cannot be kept down. You have to love the guy's intensity and persistence. Of course, he had to beat out Ryan Vogelsong, Marc Kroon, and Jeff Suppan for the last spot, and  I'm not sure any of those guys get more than a minor-league deal from anyone else. Mota would get picked up if let go by the Giants. You never know, though, and I love stories about guys who were given up on making good somewhere else.

 Posey, Whiteside. Uh-huh. Surprise me.

Huff, FSanchez, Tejada, Sandoval, Fontenot, Ishikawa, DeRosa. Travis Ishikawa gets an injury reprieve. Neither he nor Nate Schierholtz have options left. Ishikawa plays one position and that would make him the first to go. Let's hope Mike Fontenot can play an adequate SS if Miguel Tejada gets hurt. Mark DeRosa will see time at 3B and 1B, I think, and be the emergency SS. Pablo Sandoval needs to play everyday and be productive. I have a feeling he will put a good season together.

Torres, Burrell, Rowand, Schierholtz. Pat Burrell probably doesn't have much left. He could be great for a month or two but I expect that eventually Aubrey Huff will replace him. When Brandon Belt gets the call-up, Huff will move to left and that will be Pat the Bat's swan song in the majors. We'll see, like I said I love stories about guys who keep it going when everyone else gives up on them. Speaking of those guys, there's the continuing Aaron Rowand saga. He will fill in adequately in the outfield (I'd like to see him play the corner spots more and not move Andres Torres from center, but thats' a quibble). Chris at BCB thinks Rowand is done as a player. That means the Giants eat some serious bucks. I like Nate Schierholtz a lot. He was an excellent backup last season and he will be again this season. He can play all three spots, has a great arm, moves well on the bases, and is left-handed. Those things will keep him on the roster.

Brian Wilson won't be out for long, if at all. If he does start the season on the DL, I vote for Sergio Romo to take over closing duties. Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt could do the job, too. Santiago Casilla throws hard and strikes guys out, but also gives up a lot of walks. Walks are bad enough, but in the 9th inning they are really bad.

Cody Ross will eventually be the everyday right fielder. He's got below-average on base skills, but his speed and defense are useful, and I think he can deliver what the team needs. His Veteran Savvy Clutchness cup runneth over, and you can never have enough of that.

The team will live and die with the Big Five and the Bullpen. And Buster Posey. Buster is the glue that attaches the rest of the team to The Pitching Staff. Let's hope Buster, The Big Five, and The Bullpen stay healthy all season long.


UPDATE: Monday 0636 PDT
Andrew Baggarly's SJMN column.


Brother Bob said...

I object to the term "Big Five." The fifth guy, Zito, wasn't part of any "Big" anything. If you're trying to fix some sort of a nickname onto our rotation, fine, but that's not it. Of course how well all of them do is very important, but oh never mind. Thinking about Zito makes my brain hurt.
As for all the rest, I'm starting to get psyched. I can't wait to see what kind of a player DeRosa really is. I want to see a full season from F Sanchez. Likewise from our new catcher. Once again I have a case of irrational exuberance in regard to Pablo Sandoval. I will be shocked if he isn't an MVP candidate.

Anonymous said...

I have zero expectations for Pablo so there's no way that I'll be disappointed. [Now he can play amazing without there being any pressure!]

Ron said...

The roster decisions, as proposed by MOC, look sound. The real question is ... what happens when the DL-ers come back (assuming that no one else needs to go on the DL ... knock on wood).

We have 2 cumbersome anchor contracts on our payroll. These are 'sunk costs', a la Luis Castillo & Oliver Perez. It only makes sense to eat such costs, if the overpaid, crappy player is holding back an otherwise useful prospect.

Zito, luckily for him, is not in that boat. We really don't have a ready 5th starter of any quality to plug in for Zito. Therefore, Zito continues his miraculous survival as an occasionally-contributing Giant.

Rowand, on the other hand, is surplus to the Giants as an everyday player, probably not going to be a big contributor for anyone, & is an impediment to keeping 2 relatively useful young players who are out of options: Ishikawa & Schierholtz.

I am in the camp of believers who maintain that Schierholtz will one day flower into the Olympic force-to-be-reckoned-with in which everyone once believed. If Schierholtz does, indeed, start to hit the ball with authority, then we have a pretty solid group of 4 outfielders, recognizing that Burrell's main value is his OBP, & recognizing that Ross has probably already shown us his best sustained 3-week period ever.

I also think that there's still a slight chance that Ishikawa will suddenly start to mash the ball. Given the impending arrival of Belt, plus Huff's 2-year deal, Ishikawa's awakening would at least increase his value in some future deal.

My conclusion is that Aaron Rowand should be a mid-April DFA. I wish that I saw things differently. I really wanted to like Aaron Rowand much more than I did. But, I don't want to lose Nate Schierholtz or Travis Ishikawa because of Aaron Rowand's contract.

M.C. O'Connor said...

If Belt is indeed ready to play, there's no reason to have Ishikawa. He can only play one position. And you have to have Rowand in case Burrell goes in the tank (likely) or Torres gets hurt. Also, the Giants might be able to get something for Rowand--I'd be surprised if they just cut him loose. They got something for Bengie. They'd have to pay most of Rowand's salary, but they'd free a spot and maybe get a minor-leaguer or two. Or another reclamation reliever project.

Zito was part of The Streak. 17-2/3 IP, 15 K, 7 BB, 8 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 HR in 3 starts. I know he's the most overpaid pitcher in the game, but he is still a useful player. It is hard to find a guy who can give you 33 starts. Zito does it every year.

I'm excited by Sandoval. I see real improvement. He will always be a frustrating player to watch because he appears to be the antithesis of all things a ballplayer should be. Nonetheless, he's a great ballplayer. And he's really young. I think the game is so mentally draining and difficult that maturity and experience help a lot. Sandoval only had 44 games (184 PA) in AA ball. The rest of his minors career was A level or Rookie. He's still unfinished as a player. He may never hit a .943 OPS (2009) again, but I expect he's better than .732 (2010). Much better.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Oh, and I stole the list of the 25 roster-fellows from Andrew Baggarly. So it wasn't my analysis so much as it was my meta-analysis (the analysis of Baggs' analysis). Blogging is done in basements by nerds who don't have original thoughts.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Kevin Frandsen lands in Philly.

Ron said...

"... you have to have Rowand in case Burrell goes in the tank (likely) or Torres gets hurt."

Once Ross gets back, you have Huff moving to LF, if Burrell goes in the tank. You have Schierholtz, if Torres gets hurt. Rowand is an offensive liability &, in the balance, a mediocre defender. Yes, he can play all OF positions. But, all of them, he plays in the same mediocre manner. I see no place for him on our team. Sure, try to unload him for something.

And, Belt is probably (& should be) Fresno-bound until at least July, so that's not a factor yet. Don't get me wrong - I love the guy - just his last name adds value to future headlines. But, really, even in Spring Training, he was streaky & still has some holes in his swing to work out. No big deal - he's young.