Saturday, September 10, 2011

Kershawed Tim

Clayton Kershaw continued his mastery of the Giants with another make-them-look-silly start. Once again Tim Lincecum was the victim. Giants get Cained in back-to-back games and manage to sandwich in an off-day as well. It makes for a real downer stretch. I really want to see the club hold on to second place, finish strong, and hang on to a bit of pride. Giants are making it tough on me. Kershaw deserves serious Cy Young Award consideration. I expect Roy Halladay will be the overwhelming favorite--you could make a case for him as MVP--but the Dodger lefty is as good as they get. I keep thinking the Giants will get to him at some point, but it looks like they'll have to do it in 2012. I told my lovely bride during dinner before the game that the Giants would be "lucky to avoid getting no-hit." Not only is Kershaw doing everything right this season, Giants hitters are the worst in baseball. It's not a combination that encourages confidence. The Jeremy Affeldt injury is just another karmic consequence of winning the World Series. The baseball gods have made the Giants, their fans, and my friends and loved ones pay a stiff price for all that pent-up joy and blissful celebrating. I know, I know, it is post hoc ergo propter hoc to assume such a connection, but I'm looking for meaning, even logically fallacious meaning, in the heaping pile of rotten luck that's come our way. OK, that's enough whingeing from this lad. After all, they are still sporting those lovely shoulder patches and I've got multiple photos of me standing next to that lovely trophy. 2012 seems like it ought to be a Giants kind of season, what with The Apocalypse and all on the agenda.

p.s. I'm typing this on an iPad, sitting on the couch in the living room (listening to the SF Opera). Cute gizmo. Very slick. Not exactly suited to this task, but a neat little device anyway.


Ron said...

Like Zo, I thought that last night's game was, perhaps, the most disturbing effort in a season chockful of disturbing efforts. The predictability of it all - scoring in the 1st, then absolutely nothing; the great starting performance, ruined by garbage like the Kemp 'hit' & the Whiteside misplay ... total yuck. It made me annoyed that I wasted several potentially wonderful, productive hours watching those late innings unfold. Susana was sympathetic, but, eventually got ready for bed & drifted off to sleep. The Kids weren't home to witness my outbursts.

Thank you, Zo, for putting our Free Agents & Arbitration-Eligibles in one place. Here is my take:

Beltran is a Boras client. He is 34 & has a slightly higher-than-appropriate opinion of his skills during the remainder of his career. Therefore, for those 2 reasons, despite the fact that he would be an ideal player to hit & play LF in our ballpark, I doubt that we'll be able to sign him. Perhaps his injury history (including his recent hand thing) will limit interest in him, which could help our cause. I am not disturbed that we gave up Zack Wheeler for a couple of months of him. We may never hear about Zack Wheeler again, or we might. But, Wheeler was never a 'can't miss' prospect. You have to do those kinds of things.

Despite the ridiculous expectations of the Giants' fans, the 2011 Cody Ross was pretty much the Cody Ross of every recent season. This is a player who will always get a lot of love from all of us due to a few weeks in 2010, but his baseline is how he played this year. I always thought that it was dangerous to expect more. He is not worth spending a lot of money to keep, but, if a relatively short-term, cheap deal emerges, & we don't expect anything more than his consistent record of semi-success, then, fine.

DeRosa, Burrell, & Cabrera aren't worth a thought - no offers.

Affeldt can be very effective for stretches. He should receive a decent offer. Same with Lopez. While I have grown to appreciate what Mota brings, he's pretty old, & we have a lot of younger long relief material. No offer for Mota, other than a non-roster invite.

Ron said...


As far as these arbitration-eligible guys go, obviously Sandoval, Lincecum, Romo, & Vogelsong get offers. I would prefer to see them try to sign Sandoval, Lincecum, & Romo to longer deals. The Giants are a very rich team, & now is the time to act. Cain should get a nice, long deal, too.

I wouldn't waste any time with Fontenot, Whiteside, or Burriss. These guys all made some great money for being a part of the 2010 team (Fontenot even hit a 3B off of Tim Hudson in a big NLDS moment), but none of them have given us much. Whiteside, especially, has been a huge disappointment - totally failing with both bat & glove, when given the opportunity to play on a regular basis.

I am in the 'Schierholtz may never amount to much' camp right now. He sustained some competent hitting for a few weeks, but really never looked good against lefties. We still offer him arbitration.

Keppinger is OK as a back-up. He is even OK as a part-time starter, except when the Manager has a fixation about batting his 2B second in the order, no matter what reason suggests. We can offer him arbitration, but I don't want him in the lineup that much.

Casilla is young & could turn into a legitimate solid relief pitcher, ala Romo, so definitely offer him arbitration. R. Ramirez is 100% relief pitcher flaky journeyman. He can throw together decent appearances & decent seasons just as easily as not. That's a tough call.

And, then there's J. Sanchez. Now may be the time to try trade him, although his value has diminished. He is the endless enigma, but I still look at a few of his mental implosions & wonder whether that will be a more regular occurrence. His appearances are exercises in anxiety & frustration, even on his good days. I say try to make a deal.

Who hurt the Giants the most this year? One could make a solid argument that the dynamic between Ned Coletti & Brian Sabean was a huge factor. First, we were suckered into a ridiculous deal to prevent Aubrey Huff from joining LA. Even if we thought that the 2010 Aubrey Huff would appear this year, $11M/yr for 2 years was way too much money to pay an aging, bethonged semi-slugger. Coletti almost got us to over-pay to keep Juan Uribe, too - look at his 2011 numbers & wonder just how horrid that would have been.

After those 2 episodes, we wouldn't give Edgar Renteria much of anything, &, of the 3 players, one could say that he has had the best year at the best price. Sabean is a sucker, when it comes to over-paying over-the-hill veterans (Roberts, Tejada, any of a dozen of so names come to mind). Stop it.

Failure to address the Catching situation this year was inexcusable. I've said it before, & I'll continue to say it. And, I'm tired of starting Pitchers getting to decide who is going to catch - I've been tired of it since Carlton/McCarver. Like it or not, the Manager is getting paid to decide what the strongest team is.

Now, Brandon Belt. Never a 'can't miss prospect', but high expectations nonetheless. He has 12 RBI's. He's not that good yet. Now is when we should be giving him playing time, but we're not. I don't know how they expect this guy to figure it out, but, so far, the plan isn't working. The Pill/Belt platoon may be our 2012 solution.

Brandon Crawford is a nice defensive talent who, despite his abysmal average, has more RBI's than Brandon Belt. He also looks better at the plate in clutch situations than Brandon Belt. I have high hopes for him, after some more seasoning. He's not our immediate starting SS.

Ron said...


Which brings me to my final point of this post. Open up the wallet, but for someone legitimate (not another Miguel Tejada-type bit player - that type of poor-boy move made some sense, when we weren't a super-rich team - not now). Assuming that we have our starting pitching intact & Posey mended & back & F. Sanchez a reliable fixture, splash out some real cash for a difference-maker. Not Pujols. Not Prince Fielder. I like Zo's idea about Jimmy Rollins ... something like that. Jose Reyes would be a suitable alternative. There are probably a few OF's who we might be interested in, as well.

Anonymous said...

I do think that Brandon Belt is a can't miss prospect, as Jason Heyward was a can't miss prospect. I think minus injury, Wheeler is a can't miss prospect. Two real questions about one player are: Can Brett Pill hit major league pitching with any kind of consistency, and secondly can he play a legit second base? Can Keppinger play short? I do agree that failure to address the catching situation for this year was a major mistake. Many hitters on this team had anti-career years. I wonder if we could platoon Torres and Christian as a cheap centerfield option? What is Muelen's plan to get these guys to hit? My plan is to make some roster changes and get a new hitting coach. I think Schierholtz is fine if he can stay healthy. I think we should have Pablo go on another workout winter to keep him in shape. He has turned into an excellent young player. We need several guys in the lineup who are not afraid to take a walk. I am in the Brett Pill camp until he proves otherwise. Burriss has been a disappointment and I hate to lose speed. I do not know if he has been mishandled or if he really is that bad. Rollins could be a nice one or two year stop gap at shortstop. If the giants ever have to face Aaron Rowand they need to give him a steady diet of tantalilzing but sharp breaking sliders off of the plate. I would like to keep Jonathan Sanchez, and check into see what Lowry is doing.