Sunday, December 15, 2013

12 and 13

If the Giants go with 12 pitchers, that means 13 position players. Ten are easy: Brandon Belt (1B), Marco Scutaro (2B), Brandon Crawford (SS), Pablo Sandoval (3B), Buster Posey (C), Mike Morse (LF), Angel Pagan (CF), Hunter Pence (RF), Gregor Blanco (OF), and Hector Sanchez (C). That means three spots for the backups. Veterans Joaquin Arias and Tony Abreu seem the most likely to be picked and that suggests to me a fifth outfielder (like Juan Perez*) for the final spot. Ehire Adrianza, Nick Noonan, and Roger Kieschnick will wait in the wings under this scheme. Brett Pill looks like the odd man out. I suppose Adrianza, being a true shortstop, might have an inside track to displace either of the older utility guys. He'll turn 25 in August, and has eight seasons and 708 minor-league games under his belt. If not 2014, then when?

Twelve pitchers also means only three spots up for grabs. The starting rotation (Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, Tim Hudson, and Ryan Vogelsong) is set, and the lefty-lefty righty-righty four-headed beast (Javier Lopez, Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, and Sergio Romo) is in place as well. Jean Machi, George Kontos, Yusmeiro Petit, Eric Surkamp, Heath Hembree, Edwin Escobar, Jake Dunning, and Mike Kickham are all on the 40-man roster along with Erik Cordier, Jose De Paula, Kendry Flores, and Hunter Strickland. The Giants are supposedly still looking for bullpen help, so it will be a battle royal for a seat at the table.

I think the Giants need another lefty. Last year it was Jose Mijares, but he's been cut loose. Escobar, De Paula, Surkamp, and Kickham are all southpaws, but all have been starters in their careers. Escobar and De Paula are too young, and Surkamp and Kickham have yet to impress in their short stints. I don't think a reliever is coming from that bunch. Perhaps that's what the Giants will pick up between now and Spring Training. For the other spots, the experienced Petit is hard to ignore for long relief and occasional starts. Machi had much better results last year than Kontos--both were in similar roles and faced about the same number of hitters. If two of those three are named and the Giants scoop up a lefty that leaves the much-hyped Hembree and the promising Dunning still on the outside looking in. Should be interesting. Considering how much of the team is set, there's still a lot that needs to be figured out.

What does your 25-man roster look like?


*that's Juan Carlos Perez not Juan Pablo Perez


Zo said...

I'm not sure I would leave Brett Pill out. He has a lot of power, something we still don't have enough of, and don't get from Blanco/Arias/Perez/Abreu. The down side is that he looks like a first baseman and not much else. They may play the yo-yo game with Perez and Abreu and Pill depending how things unfold.

Ron said...

We need to sign a veteran w/ some pop to pinch hit - some guy who's not going to whine about starting or getting tons of playing time. A guy who'll crush the odd game-winning HR (because he's done it before), but also provide a steady stream of clutch hits along the way. So, I'm saying that the Brett Pill train has run its course. He's had his chances, but come up short. I wish that Raul Ibanez didn't expect to start, because he'd be perfect. But, I'm sure that there a few other cheaper options.

I am a big Arias fan - he has given us everything we could have ever expected & more, & I believe that he will continue to do so. Tony Abreu, on the other hand, is a bit underwhelming. I'd like to see them pick up a veteran for that other infield spot (like St. Louis did w/ Mark Ellis).

nomisnala said...

I do not think Pill has been given a decent chance. When he first starts to hit, he looks great, and the giants sit him on the bench, and he comes up again in a week and looks bad. Big surprise? I think not. I would have been happy starting this season with Pill at first and the athletic Belt at first, It seems to me, Morse is a proven Pill.
but at several million more dollars. I would think with Pills minor league dominance, he should have some trade value for a team without a first baseman. If we don't play him, trade him to the right team and get something back. If some of today's posters saw Willie Mays in his first 11 major league AB's they would say, he can't hit, designate him. Trade him. Thank god the giants stayed with him.

nomisnala said...

I think Hembree should make the relief staff hands down. If Gaudin is healthy and over his carpal tunnel, I think he would be a good acquisition, and I am surprised they are not going after him. (that is if healthy). His career numbers as a starter are impressive. As a side by side long reliever with Petit, both of whom could go short relief and start, would give the team nice flexibility and good depth. Kickham? Are you kidding? His ball flattens out directly in the oppositions home run stroke.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Three bench spots with 12 pitchers. I think Arias gets one--he can play all three infield positions. So that leaves two spots. Are you going to give one to Wilson Betemit, Brian Roberts, or Placido Polanco? Because that's who's out there--guys like that. I don't see the Giants chasing any of them. Maybe get a guy like that in a late-season push. They have Pill, after all, and he could take a spot just for PH HRs, but I think Morse makes Pill obsolete. At best, Morse starts and does OK. At worse, he's Brett Pill with ML HRs on his resume. And this is not a knock on Pill, just reading the tea leaves.

And it's hard for me to leave Perez out of the mix.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Looks like Pill is on the block.

ogc obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

I think the Giants will go with 13/12, as they have for years now under Bochy. That works for his way of managing the game situation and substitutions.

I think most spots are taken. The starting lineup and rotation are set. The bench should have Hanchez, Arias, Blanco, and Abreu/Adrianza plus a 5th spot that probably is fought over by our young prospects. The bullpen already has Romo, Affeldt, Lopez, Casilla, Petit, leaving two spots open for Kontos, Machi, Hembree, Dunning, Kickham, and any dark horse candidates. There has been FO talk about picking up a reliever upgrade, as well, but nothing said since the Morse signing.

ogc obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Oh, and about lefties, I agree that Bochy will want one, a good one however was signed recently, decent contract, Boone Logan.

That would suggest a bifurcated competition for the two spots, one for RHP, one for LHP, though one who could handle RHB and LHB equally well would have the best chance period.

I forgot to include Osich as a competitor for a spot in the bullpen as well, I really like his skill set and demeanor, he could make the jump, I think.

But Hembree, being a closer-in-training, could grab the spot I had designated above for LHP, leaving the rest of the RHP battling for the last spot.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Hembree would be fun. I hope he has a good spring and they give him a spot.

ogc obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Yeah, me too, I expect Hembree to win a spot, I think he's in the same position Wilson was in his first spring training where he basically had a spot and he blew it with a poor spring.

I think it is Hembree's to lose, but with the Wilson experience, the Giants are not handing it to Hembree, as it will be a competition no matter what in spring if he don't perform.

And I think he is the who the Giants are referring to when they say that they need to upgrade their bullpen. A lot of RHP rotated in and out last season, Hembree pitching well would help slow that up a lot, as that would leave only one spot for the others fighting for a spot, Kontos, Machi, Dunning, Kickham, Osich.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Surkamp DFA'd. Pill, rumor has it, is off to Korea. That clears the spots on the 40-man for Vogelsong and Morse.

Adios, amigos. Neither really had a shot with the big club. Surkamp's a lefty, but so are Kickham, Escobar, and De Paula, and Belt's emergence pushed Pill down the depth chart, and the Morse signing was the final blow.

Hope they both find success somewhere else, just not against the Giants!