Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Resurrecting Matt Cain

The Fresno Grizzlies have a third baseman named Matt Duffy, who hit a mammoth HR off Cain last night on the first pitch he saw. The Giants should trade McG for this guy so we can have both Matt Duffys, just for the heck of it.
Cain seemed okay. His fastball hit 90 consistently and maxed out at 92 once. A few guys hit the ball hard but I'm sure nobody's too concerned about that. In the 4th inning as he approached his 75 pitch limit he seemed a little antsy, slapping his right hand on his thigh a couple of times after a pitch went astray. He began looking into the dugout and I could tell he wanted to be taken out, which happened after pitch 74 and the count 2-0.
Here's a link to the River Cats' web site for details.
Also this from the Bee.


M.C. O'Connor said...

Yeah, the Giants could use a starter, eh? Get better soon, Matty, and get back with the big club!

JC Parsons said...

At the moment the Giants could use a bit of everything. This is a very disheartening turn of events. Just when I thought we were settling in to a winning grind, we now are the worst team in baseball. We regularly turn struggling pitchers in to gods among men.

We need to get an everyday third baseman. Duffy is a very good utility guy but not a good enough glove or bat to be the one yet. Can we get Beltre?

We need Tim to be a savior today. Unfortunately, those days are pretty much over. Maybe we wake up and win 7-6. Sound good?

Zo said...

Sounds good. From the radio last night, the Giants are the worst club in MLB in runs per game at home and the 2nd best club in runs per game on the road. Bizarre much? The team is still over .500, but has a losing record for 2015 at home. We are 16 - 18.

campanari said...

Since Duffy is in the top ten third basemen in MLB, in BA and OPS, and (I believe) in fWAR, while additionally learning a relatively new position, the notion that he's not good enough to be our regular third baseman seems prima facie bizarre. The team might do still better with Duffy as the super-utility guy, a Zobrist or Mark de la Rosa, if we had a strong third baseman to replace him. But since at his current rate of production, with the sustainable BABIP of .328, he's headed for a 4.5 fWAR season, removing him from the regular lineup at some position seems foolish. No Duffy is daffy.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Yeah, Duff is delivering the goods, esp when you consider his paucity of ML experience. We have a keeper there, I think.

JC Parsons said...

I agree that Duffy stays as a utility guy. He can hit some, for sure. But think about which position we can make a big improvement in by a trade. There is only one: third base. Everything else is set. So if you guys think we make absolutely NO MOVES except some more pitching, then Duffy has the job forever. I am willing to bet we try to make some move to improve the offense, so that is why Duffy is the one that gets changed. I like the guy but the chances of him staying at above average production is unlikely. Also his defense at third is clearly not above average. We can certainly afford some one like Beltre, so why not? There is literally no other move available is there? Dump Belt? Or do we just stay put?

campanari said...

Beltre is better in the field than Duffy at third base, but has been performing worse at the plate. In about 10% more playing time, as measured by PA, he is at 1.2 fWAR to Duffy's 1.4. Because Beltre is in his later 30s, there's a reasonable chance that his fall-off in performance is not simply an artifact of SSS and such factors as injury. It's very unclear that we'd be better with him as our third baseman for the rest of this year and all of next, unless we were to have Duffy regularly spelling him, Panik, and Crawford so as to give them rest. I'd be happy to see this.

However, I don't know if we can "afford some one like Beltre," because I don't know whom we would lose to the Rangers in a trade for him. The allegation that Duffy's defense at third is clearly not above average runs counter to the 2.9 defensive fWAR he has so far this year, That is lower than Nolan Arenado's by a very large margin, lower than Beltre's, and lower than Aramis Ramirez's. But it's in fact clearly above average, and one would think would increasingly be better than average as Duffy more fully learns the position. Finally, there's no evidence presented for the claim that it's unlikely he'll keep up above average production, and I don't see why one should believe this. Absent any evidence it's of course impossible to argue the point.

JC Parsons said...

So this is the lineup for the rest of the year? All positions are set and this is the lineup (with Pence soon) that takes us to the post season?
Ok, you may be right. But if it is not set and we decide on some offensive upgrade, you guys have still not told me what other choice we have. Is there anything else we can do except move Duffy to the Arias role ( all though he should be used more often) and try to get an offensive 3b?

M.C. O'Connor said...

I guess I don't understand the urgency for change. And I can't think of a player out there that (1) is available for a reasonable cost and (2) is who the Giants need. I do not want to part with the youngsters like Susac and Duffy any more now than I did at the start of the season. And I hope all our potential starters in the minors are untouchable at this point. Clearly the Giants biggest hole so far is in the rotation, I could only accept trading one of those prospects for a starting pitcher who could help the team immediately.

Right now Duffy ranks 11th of ML 3B in WAR according to FanGraphs at 1.6 and is better than half of that list with a .342 wOBA and 123 wRC+. B-R lists his OPS+ at 121 or 21% better than league average (park-adjusted). This kid hit .332 in the damn Eastern League (where hitters go to die)! At age 24 we are getting a talented young buck with a great college pedigree (Long Beach State 49ers aka "Dirtbags") and post-season experience. Joe Panik has set the bar high, but he was a 1st-rounder and it's not all that surprising. I think Duffy has elevated his game because he is surrounded by talent like BCraw, Belt, etc.

I just can't see any reason to part with him. Of course he could tank, anyone can, just ask McGehee. But if we are going to gamble on the roster (and any trade would be just as much of a gamble), I'm "all-in" with the guys we've got.