Wednesday, December 16, 2020

All righties

If the Giants opened the baseball season tomorrow their starting pitchers would all be right-handed. Is this a problem? Probably. But there is plenty of time to scrape up some scrappy southpaws before Spring Training, am I right? I am.

The word is that lefty starter Andrew Suarez is signing with a KBO club and that opened up a spot on the 40-man. The Giants promptly filled it with a right-hander, 30-year old Anthony DeSclafani, most recently of the Cincinnati Reds. The accent is on the "De" as in "DEE-scla-faw-nee" and he's been a 2.5+ WAR pitcher in the past. If he joins Shaun Anderson, Logan Webb, Johnny Cueto, and Kevin Gausman in the rotation that's five right-handers. That's a big "if" as Spring Training is a long way away!

The Giants also added righty reliever Matt Wisler, a 28-year old with big strikeout stuff. They also picked up an intriguing Rule V player from the Mets, RHP Dedniel Nunez. His A-ball numbers are 33 K in 22 IP (85 TBF) with only 3 BB.

Pitching, pitching, pitching. The Giants need lots of it, so let's keep the arms a-comin'!


Saturday, December 12, 2020

The New Minor Leagues

When you and I say "baseball" we mean the game. The sport. The players. The parks. The lines on the field. The pitching, the fielding, the hitting. That sort of thing.

When MLB says "baseball" they mean "MLB." The © ™ $ sort of thing.

MLB, its monopoly status reinforced by the powers-that-be over the last 100 years, will now absorb the minor leagues, downsizing them in the process. Is that still a thing, "downsizing"? It sounds so 80s, I don't think they call it that anymore. "Slash-and-burn" seems better. Anyway, each of the 30 MLB clubs will get four minor league affiliates, one each at AAA, AA, Advanced-A, and A-level, meaning 120 total. Several dozen minor league franchises and some leagues will evaporate. MLB is the only game in town and you either join up or get left behind.

There really ought to be independent baseball. It would be good for the game. Imagine if a plucky startup league featured briskly played games with lots of balls in play, and contrasted that with the lumbering MLB pace and over-reliance on the long ball. It would be good for fans and the competition would force MLB to improve their product. But MLB is a protected monopoly, and it will do its very best to cease-and-desist your ass into submission if you do your own thing.

Frankly, that's un-American. Much of MLB is un-American, and it ought not to be. The draft is the most blatant insult to the basic liberty of citizens seeking to ply their trade. From that follows all the contractual nonsense that is nothing more than vestiges of the odious reserve clause. And the stifling of competition, when "the free market" is so fundamental to the American Mythos, goes beyond hypocrisy to apostasy. The business of sports in America is disturbingly at odds with its nauseous self-promotion.

One has to put on one's big-boy pants to stay sane. Contradiction is the adult state of life!

So, back to the news. The Giants, it seems, will retain their links to Sacramento at the AAA level and also to Richmond (VA) at the AA-level. The San Jose club will become A-level, dropping a notch, and the new Advanced-A team will be the Eugene Emeralds. There are no AA-leagues west of Texas, by the way. I'm sure everyone will say they are excited and look forward to the future and in the meantime there will be lawsuits and other wrangling going on but in the end the juggernaut will prevail.

Now if we can get MLB and MLBPA to hammer out a new agreement so we have the possibility of baseball in 2021 that would be a hopeful start. The pandemic will of course decide how things play out this spring, but I remain oddly optimistic. I'm not sure why I can rant about the ravenous excesses of capitalism in one paragraph and feel upbeat in another, I've no rational explanation. Perhaps I'm figuring 2021 will, just by the fact it is not 2020, be better!

Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 3, 2020


The Giants had some interesting decisions to make at yesterday's arbitration deadline and they decided to let go of starter Tyler Anderson and infielder Daniel Robertson. Catcher Chadwick Tromp and pitchers Rico Garcia and Melvin Adon, who are all pre-arb, were also let go.

The Giants offered contracts to outfielders Austin Slater, Darin Ruf, and Alex Dickerson. Pitchers Wandy Peralta, Jarlin Garcia, and Trevor Gott were also signed.

Arbitration-eligible infielder Donovan Solano and pitcher Reyes Moronta were both tendered contracts but have yet to sign.

I thought they might give Anderson another shot but with Tyler Beede returning from surgery I think they want to keep a spot open for him. I thought they'd hang on to Tromp as well and perhaps he will return on a minor-league deal. Buster Posey is expected to play in 2021 so that changes the backup catcher formula a bit.

The Giants 40-man roster is now at 35 players. Yaz, Dick, Solano, Buster, Belt, Longo, BCraw, Dubon, Bart, Ruf, Flores, Slater, FNG Jason Vosler, Gausman, Cueto, Webb, Suarez, Shaun Anderson, Rogers, Coonrod, Garcia, Moronta, Baragar, Peralta, Selman, Gott, and Beede make up the major-league portion so far (that's 27 players). Pitchers Kervin Castro, Conner Menez, Camilo Duval and Gregory Santos bring the list to 31, and the final four are outfielders Jaylin Davis, Luis Alexander Basabe, Steven Duggar, and Alexander Canario.

The Winter Meetings take place December 6-10. Originally scheduled for Dallas, they will be held remotely.