The Giants, who apparently have been asleep for the last month, finally showed signs of life this morning. They announced a big 'minor league w/ invitation to Spring Training' move for that big bench bat we've been looking for for a few seasons. Now, we know why they let Brett Pill go all Gangnam Style on us. Dontrelle Willis is going to be our go-to PH now, so Pill was expendable. That's right ... Dontrelle Willis, who has a higher career SLG than many hitters on our roster.
Seriously, though (well, actually, using Dontrelle as a PH isn't a totally bizarre idea), I suppose that this is a no-risk move to throw someone into the Spring Training competition for a starting spot. I was not a big fan of just handing the #5 spot to Vogelsong, who is coming off a bad & injured season. Especially not when, despite all of our collective faith & prayers, Lincecum is by no means a sure-thing. Especially not when Tim Hudson, although not having a 'pitching' injury last year, is still a year older. Especially not when Matt Cain, who we all know will be awesome again, could still struggle once-in-awhile. Sure, we have Petit as back-up, but we needed some others to at least press the established 5.
I had held out hope for Bronson Arroyo (ain't going to happen). Then, I thought about ex-Giant Jerome Williams, who actually has returned to MLB semi-effectiveness (he's now off-the-market again). Then, I thought ... well, who knows, maybe Chad Gaudin should get another chance. Didn't see this Dontrelle Willis thing coming, though.
I still have those fleeting moments every single day, when I ask "Why wouldn't a team as loaded as the Giants, whose main competitior is signing every frickin' top-level Pitcher available, be unwilling to think about Masahiro Tanaka?" Signing Tanaka would still leave us tens of millions of dollars behind LA, NYY, LAA, Texas, Seattle, the Cubs, & a few others in the combo stat of salary/off-season aspirations. So, remind me ... why wouldn't we at least give it a try?
I suppose that, when Dontrelle Willis pitches a 4-0 complete game shutout, having belted a game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the 9th, I'll have my answer!