Friday, March 27, 2015

It's Almost Opening Day

OMG!  Opening day is right around the corner.  There are still some managerial decisions to be made.  As Andrew Baggarly explains, it may come down to whom has minor league options.

What do you do?  Adrianza or Duffy?  Sanchez or Susac?  Machi or Kontos?  What about the line up?  And, if you think that the starters will be those that have seemingly been slated all along, Madison, Matt, Tim, Tim and Jake, will that still be the starting rotation in July?


JC Parsons said...

What a spring! Isn't it swell that loses don't matter? Cuz we sure suck so far. I know, they are saving it for later.

Duffy will go down. I'm not crazy about Adrianza ( seems like all glove no bat is not too hard to find ) but they are convinced he will get claimed.

Sanchez over Susac but one of these guys will get moved pretty soon. They are about the only trade able people we have.

My biggest concern about the line up is the same one I had in the off season. I'm not sure that Panik is ready to be such a key component. He had a great post season and all but we act like he is a sure thing, a veteran that is entrenched in his role. When did that happen? Don't get me wrong, I love the guy. I just think expectations are crazy high. Otherwise, I like what I see and I figure on great years from Belt and Buster. Also think the new guys (Aoki and McGeHee) will be fabulous. The big alleys of the NL West suit those guys well. I fear subpar years from Pagan, Pence and Panik. Maybe I have something against p's.

No way will the rotation be the same in July! Something will give, probably Lincecum. The Daddy Fix is starting to look like a bunch of crap. I guess that KoolAid I drank is wearing off

Zo said...

You are in mid-season form with the observations, Jon. Actually, I am wondering if the guy who doesn't last in the rotation is Peavy. I know he pitched darn well for us down the stretch, but that was after a sub-par most of the season in Boston. He hasn't looked fabulous this spring.

Brother Bob said...

I agree, everyone needs to give Panik some slack. Many good players have had "sophomore slumps" as the league shows them more respect than they're ready for.
Let's shift away from the P's and look at the B's, the Brandons and Buster (who goes both ways) who need to be rock solid for us to contend, on the offense-side of the equation.
McGehee seems to be avoiding much scrutiny so far. He's our 3B, come what may.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I think the point of having seven starters is to have replacement parts. My guess is that Hudson will break down first. He's the oldest after all. And I'm OK with another cup o'kool-aid. Hell, I'll drink yours if you want.

I like that we have two good backup catchers. I'll be impressed if Hanchez gets the job after his injuries. That shows some mettle. The wunderkind at second base does indeed have some pressure on his young shoulders, but I love the faith the organization is showing in him. Sometimes you have to take a chance on a kid and I'm looking forward to the ride.

I was getting bothered by the poor play so far this spring until I thought about last season. They went 10-22 at one point and yet things worked out OK.

I like the new guys, too. Savvy Sabes does it again.

Enough exhibitions already. Let's play ball for real, fer chrissakes!

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Adrianza. He showed good discipline in the minors when facing similar aged players, so I see him as a late bloomer, much like Scutaro. I love Duffman but he has options, and more importantly, we don't have a 3B for 2016, so I want to see him start in AAA at 3B and maybe win a starting spot. He and Adrianza can be the bench in 2016, Arias will probably be gone.

Sanchez. Susac still have some things to learn defensively but he's probably good as it is. I want him ready to start at catcher in 2016. I also want him to learn to play 1B so that he and Posey can share the starting positions in 2016.

Can't decide between Machi and Kontos. Both are competent relievers. I lost faith in Machi due to his playoffs. But looking at his stats, he's been good. But Kontos have been good too and is a few years younger too. Oy! My best idea is to use Pence's spot to keep both in April, and deal with it later. Oy!

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Lineup: Aoki, Panik, Pagan, Posey, Belt, McGehee, Blanco, Crawford. When Pence comes back, he and Belt can share 5/6, McGehee can bat 7th.

Yes, they will still be there in July, and I think that this will be the rotation: Madison, Hudson, Cain, Peavy, Lincecum. I feel pretty good that Bumgarner and Cain will be aces. I still think Lincecum can be a third ace.

Hudson and Peavy I think can deliver mid-3 ERA. One site made the good point that Peavy had not pitched a full season like he did in 2014 for a while, that he was injured before. And Hudson had hip problems last season.

So this is where Vogelsong and Petit comes in. Bochy hinted at their thinking, discussing how they can skip a pitcher's start with a substitute starter, without putting him on DL. So if either Huddy or Peavy need a breather, one skipped start or some down time to recoup, Vogelsong or Petit can step in and keep the rotation going in order.

I am also hoping the Giants will implement a 6-man rotation in August. There generally is only two off days all month. It's a tough grind. One of Vogelsong or Petit (or they can split) could take a start in order to keep the starters on a 5 day rest pattern by pitching during the long stretches in the spot that normally would be the off day.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

It's not Kool-aid with Lincecum.

He had an 18 start stretch where he compiled a 3.11 ERA. He's still good. His problem is when he loses it (it being his good mechanics) he didn't have his dad around to help him out of it.

Now, not only is dad around, but Lincecum is learning his proper mechanics, instead of relying on dad's memory. He is learning to fish instead of getting the fish. This means he can fix himself mid-game, mid-batter, instead of waiting until after games to hear from his dad what went wrong. He could work out the kinks in the bullpen before starts.

This is like what happened with Bumgarner. He didn't know his proper mechanics to pitch well, and so when he was lost, he couldn't get right quickly. That was why he had that poor start in 2009, lowered velocity, everything thought he had arm problems, but Dr Tidrow swooped in, taught him what his mechanics look like when he's doing well, and the rest is Bumstory.

I believe that is why he's been so thankful for the big contract he got, and not resentful that he didn't get more. He's the honest athlete who appreciated that he wouldn't be where he was without the help of the team.

So I think Lincecum should at least be mid-3's ERA, and would not surprise me if he joins Bumgarner and Cain somewhere around 3 ERA. He kept it up for 18 starts last season, so why not a full one?

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Peavy was having problems in Boston. Not sure why, but since he credited both Posey and Susac, by extension and implications, he blamed Boston's catchers.

Baseball Between the Box Score looked at his stats and found out that he changed his pitch pattern with SF, scrapping one pitch and going more with another (can't remember the exact ones). That supports his statement that it was his catchers. Also, lots of catcher framing studies are coming out showing that Posey is one of the best at doing this.

In addition, Peavy's PQS in recent seasons were pretty good, but in Boston 2014, he was down a lot, almost 50% down. However, with us, his PQS was back to where it was before, pretty much at elite levels. Pitchers with elite levels of PQS generally have good ERA.

So I'm more worried about his health history than his Boston blip. But if the Giants can skip a start every once in a while, I think he should be OK. Rags seems pretty good at monitoring his pitchers for things.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Don't panic over Panik. That's the beauty of picking up Aoki. He's used to batting 1st or 2nd. If Panik has any offensive issues, we then bat Pagan and Aoki up top, and let Panik figure things out batting 7th or 8th, he can swap with Crawford there.

And if he really screws up for some reason, we still have Adrianza and now Duffy to try out there. Ehire hit pretty well for a month before his injuries took him out.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Another reason I want Hanchez kept is that I hope to keep him as backup catcher while Posey and Susac shares C and 1B. Hanchez is a pretty good PH, can count on him in RBI situations, hard talent to find, and he switch hits. If he don't have to catch as much, he might be able to develop his offense more and be a better bat off the bench, plus still take some catching starts and 1B starts, and where ever else, he has been taking grounders, I think, at 2B as well as some OF during BP.

El said...

He's still good.

Always dangerous to go against OGC, but Timmy is not good. In fact, he's been one of the worst starters in MLB for three years.
No difference this Spring - plenty of Ks as usual, but hits allowed, meltdowns, and ugly ERA say nothing's changed.
Best thing about Timmy right now is the 17.5 mil that gets freed up next year.

Ron said...

So, as of today, what is our rotation? I'm particularly interested in who our #3 Starter is, because he will start the Home Opener.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I'm guessing Hudson. If they go Bum no. 1 and Cain no. 2 then they have both those guys for the second and third games of the LA series on the 22nd and 23rd. Hudson is the grand old man of the ro' and he's retiring so I'm guessing he's named no. 3 and gets the honor of the first home start.

But if OGC is right then it will be Cain. I don't really care. Just get Bum as many starts as he can handle and the rest will sort itself out. I'm excited about getting Matt back!

I like the team depth. Guys like Susac and Perez are a phone call away. Maxwell is going to be interesting. Not sure what to expect but it's always fun to see a new guy (even if he is an old guy). Very happy for Hanchez--I like that guy!

I was ready to hand Duffy the 3B job this off-season but I'd be OK with Adrianza getting the last spot. That way Duffy can play every day and be ready for next year when McGehee is gone. Ehire has been in pro ball (with the Giants) since he was 16! I think he can be a decent contact hitter in a backup role. And I think his glove will be valuable to spell BCraw and Panik.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

El, never dangerous to go against me. To me, there are two types of bads (or at least in this case).

There are the players who are truly bad, and most times, are bad. They rarely have good starts.

Then there are players who can be good but are just inconsistent, for whatever reasons, and that is Timmy's situation the way I see it. You don't have 18 starts at 3.11 ERA if you aren't still good. Nobody lucks into that.

But, if you are inconsistent with your mechanics, not knowing when you are using the right ones or not, whether Bumgarner in 2009 when he had no idea or Lincecum 2012-2014 when he would be Timmy Good and Timmy Bad, losing velocity, throwing bad games, don't matter what skills and talent you have.

But that's just my opinion. We'll see what happens this season. I would note that even when he was going well, he had bad springs. And both his dad and Krukow like what they are seeing from him this spring. That's good enough for me to think this is the return of Timmy Good for a season, if not seasons.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

My take on the rotation is based only on what the beats have said about the rotation.

Obviously, Madison is the undisputed ace. Have you seen his commercial chopping down the tree? The interview with him about that is even better!

The beats and apparently Giants FO regard Hudson and Peavy as similar types of pitcher, so the thought is to separate them with Cain so that the other team can't get used to one and pound the other. That settles 2, 3, 4.

Then, that leaves Lincecum #5.

That also just makes sense to me, given recent track records.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Sorry everyone, but I had it reversed, it should be Peavy #2 and Hudson #4, probably because of Hudson's slow spring due to surgery recovery. My apologies.

M.C. O'Connor said...

So by that scheme Cainer is no. 3 which means he pitches Game #8 which is the Home Opener. So we'll see Matty that day.

So, Aoki in RF and Blanco in LF? Wouldn't you rather it be the other way around? Ah well, I have learned to trust Boch and whatever he says will work for me.

One more week of this nonsense and we can get to some real ballgames! Last year the Giants first game was the 31st of March. How is it the season's start is a week later this year?

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Bochy calls an audible:

Looks like Giants are still working on order of rotation, beyond Bumgarner going first afterall.

Bochy noted: "We haven't set it yet," Bochy said. "We always talk to the players first, the pitchers, but we'll have it down. There are a few variables -- where we think [each pitcher] is stamina-wise. We may mix it up. If we have two guys we think won't get us deep in the game, we might not throw them back to back so we don't have to go deep in the 'pen as much. And of course matchups, we're talking about it all now."

Sorry guys, the beats wrote about things like it was set in stone and coming from Bochy. My judgement on things seem to be off since started my long jury duty service (7 weeks!). But even as recent as the past week, I recall reading about Cain as the #3 starter.

Still, some things do seem likely. Sounds like Bochy would like to split Hudson and Peavy with Cain. He wants to keep the short outings apart, and Hudson and Lincecum were the low men in that regard. That's presuming Cain reverts to his prior long outings, and not his recent shorter ones, which I attribute his poorer performances. This would all suggest Bumgarner, Hudson, Cain, Peavy, Lincecum.

But we shall see...

Zo said...

The Chronic today reports that Justin Maxwell, on the heels of a 3 hit outing, was told that he would make the 25 man roster. The 31 year old was quoted as saying, "I'm pretty excited."

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Yeah, Maxwell grew up as a Giants fan, even though I don't think he ever lived in our area, because his father is a long-time Giants fan. So his dad is pretty excited too. I'll bet Maxwell will try to fit in meeting with Willie Mays for his dad sometime while he's on the MLB team, which could be short, as Pence, whose spot he won, should return by the end of April.

campanaril said...

Let me note belatedly that last weekend's New York Times Magazine (March 29, p. 62) has an interview with Bruce Bochy, about hat size, managerial career, bow hunting, and wine. NYT says "you're probably going to the Hall of Fame. How is life different?" To which B replies that his wife still tells him to take the trash out.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Attention RMCers:

I have an extra ticket for Opening Day (Mon 13th v. COL 1:35 pm)!!

We have a party of seven and I have a block of eight tickets so there is an extra. This was a StubHub buy so it will cost you ($236.33!).

Let me know ASAP if you are interested (

I will be on the road starting this Monday but I expect to have email access. Once we are in contact I'll figure out a scheme to get you the ticket.