Tuesday, May 30, 2017

3rd inning: 10-8

1st inning: 6-12
2nd inning: 6-12
3rd inning: 10-8 
The Nationals are a better team than the Giants, that much is clear. So are the Cubs. And the Rockies. And the Dodgers, although the Giants seem to play well against LA. Diamondbacks, Mets, and Reds are better, too. I'll stop now. We all know the 2017 Giants are stinking it up. 22-32 is a .407 win percentage. Let's imagine they go 10-8 in the remaining six innings or 2/3 of the season, 108 games. That's 60-48 or .556 ball and they'd finish 82-80, respectable but hardly in the post-season running. The question is: is this team capable of playing .556 ball for 108 games? At this point, after 54 games or 1/3 of the season, I'd have to say "no."

What would it take to get to 90 wins? Well, 68-40 of course, or .630 ball. That's not going to happen. The Giants need to have 12-6 innings. 10-8 is certainly an improvement but it's not enough. It won't cut it. The hole they've dug is too deep and they don't have the talent to compete. Everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong and the next question we have to face is: what now?

What to play for? They aren't going to make the playoffs with this roster. It's not in the organizational DNA to throw in the towel and have a fire sale. They will make every effort to look like they are fighting for a spot in the tournament. Perhaps they will be able to trade Johnny Cueto for some shiny minor-league bauble to a playoff-bound team that loses a starter to injury or needs to beef up the rotation. But that won't net much, I hate to say. Most likely he'll finish out the year on an up note and take his opt-out and get $30M/yr from the Yankees, Red Sox, or Indians. (I'll say sayonara JC it was grand thanks for all the great pitching sorry we couldn't get you the ball in Game 5.)

And what's also most likely is that we'll see a lot of Christian Arroyo and Orlando Calixte and Mac Williamson whether they hit .220 or  not. And we'll have our infield intact for 2018: Belt at first, Panik at second, Crawford at short, Arroyo at third, and Buster at catcher. And MadBum, Moore, Samardzija, and Blach will be starting. Denard Span and Hunter Pence will still be on the payroll but the jury's out on whether they'll be on the roster. Mark Melancon will be the closer. Closers are useless on bad teams. Maybe some pennant-hungry team will need a closer and the Giants will trade him at the deadline for some exciting 22-year old. Hmm, does that sound like the Giants? (Hint: no.)

So, life is handing us lemons and it's up to us to make lemonade.

Matt Cain tomorrow night. At 13-15 the Giants are guaranteed a losing month, no matter the outcome. I'm sure you saw that Mike Morse hit the DL with concussion symptoms. Each day I find a new thing that "epitomizes" the 2017 Giants!



Ron said...

Brandon Belt has a blind phase every Season, & he now seems to be in the midst of it. The pattern is this: early in the count, he's flailing away at breaking balls; then, he stands there watching fast balls called for Strike 3. This happens for a few weeks every Season. It's even more dangerous, when it coincides with the annual period, when Pence swings at any pitch above his head, so we have 2 big bats contributing nothing. This year, it's coinciding w/ Pence's DL stay, so, again, we have 2 big bats effectively out of the lineup. Our hitting is pathetic.

Orlando Calixte looks interesting, though. I flipped over to the Game late in the 1st Inning & wondered why Santiago Casilla had his back to the camera, racing away to chase a fly ball way out in left-center.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Yeah a good team can survive slumps because someone else can pick up the slack. The Giants don't have someone else. Belt and Posey ARE the offense.

Mac Williamson goes back down to AAA. Let's hope Calixte can do more than Hernandez or Ruggiano. Man, that's a scary bunch, not a real major-leaguer amongst them! Calixte showed a little pop this year in the minors, maybe he can keep that going. Otherwise I think he might be a super-utility guy and occasional leadoff man, sort of what I hoped Eduardo Nunez could do. Maybe if he's got a good glove he can take over centerfield. It's a black hole out there. Here's the list of free agents for 2018. Find an outfielder or two that you like!

M.C. O'Connor said...

Here's a sobering bit of analysis from Carson Cistulli at FanGraphs:

More than anything, perhaps, what one finds is this: the probability of becoming a productive major leaguer just a season after having become a minor-league free agent is quite low. It’s probably fair to say that front offices — some more than others, perhaps — receive a fair amount in the way of criticism from their respective fanbases/media personnel regarding their offseason signings. Perhaps in some cases such reactions are warranted.

What appears to be the case, however, is that major-league clubs are rather adept at sorting out the figurative wheat from its equally figurative chaff, in terms of talent. Consider: of the 1600-plus players to enter free agency as a minor leaguer between 2010 and -12, only 18* of them (about 1%) produced a WAR of 0.5 or better the following season at the major-league level. That’s a lot more difficult than getting into Brown — or even a different school that requires grades, for example.

It should be noted that Gregor Blanco and Ryan Vogelsong were among that 1% group who became effective major-leaguers. So perhaps the Giants are better than most at finding value on the scrap heap.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Cistulli (that is, his projection system) kind of likes Calixte:

6) Orlando Calixte, UTIL, 1.7 WAR

The parade of light-hitting middle infielders continues. Calixte debuted in 2015 for the World Series champion Royals, but spent all of last year in the minors. The 24-year-old slashed .274/.324/.420 between Double-A and Triple-A, while playing all over the diamond: second, third, shortstop, center and right. As a 24-year-old who can play premium positions and can hit a little, Calixte has a glimmer of potential.

nomisnala said...

Once again when the good fielders do not make their usual play or make an error, it ends up in a bad result without recover. Lead off man hits grounder to short. Crawford can't make a play. Cain Brilliantly strikes out the number two guy with some beautiful pitches. Then he gets the 3rd batter, to hit a grounder right to Crawford, by the Craw man prematurely went to cover second, and could not make the play. Cain of course then, gives up the dinger to Zimmerman. Cannot seem to get out of the errors or bad plays when made by the usual defensive pillars. Yesterday, Posey made a wild throw to second where he should have had him easily, then the runner advanced. Could not get the out before the run scored. Only a later melt down stopped that from being the game winning run. The team seams to fall apart in spurts and this year those spurts are often.