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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Giants add Greene.

The Giants signed Todd Greene to a minor league deal wednesday in effort to shore up the back-up catching spot. I really like this move. Greene couldn't throw out most peoples' grandmothers if they where trying to steal a base, but he can hit and is very solid in every other aspect of catching. Greene has hit about 10 home runs a year pretty consistantly over the past few seasons in limited at bats, so he will definetly give the Giants a much needed right-handed bat off the bench. You might look at those 10 home runs in 126 at bats and say "he hit them all at Coors," but I actually checked out some reels of his home runs last season, and the dude hit some long fly balls. One into the second deck at Petco Park. This is better than having Justin Knoedler or Yamid Haad backing up Matheny. Elizier Alfonzo looks like he may be solid, but the Giants want to see him in Fresno for a year before they count on him.

So the Giants have filled their back-up catcher vacancy. There are still some players out there who are waiting for an invitation, and if they are healthy, they could end up being steals for the Giants. One is Richard Hidalgo. Now, he hasn't done much since 2003 in Houston, but I think working with Felipe, and Moises once again, he may turn it back around. He is another guy like Finley who was injured last season and his numbers suffered a lot because of it. Hidalgo and Finley would be a nice 4th and 5th outfield combo who could play very solid defense. Another guy is someone I've mentioned here before and really a player I'd like Sabean to take a long look at, Erubial Durazo. I am really surprised he hasn't landed with some AL team yet and I think it's only a matter of days before he gets signed. I'm sure Durazo would be willing to stay in the Bay Area. He has never been a great first basemen, but he is servicable and would be worth it to get his bat in the line-up vs. righties. If healthy, this guy could realistically be a solid number 3 hitter in front of Bonds, much like Snow was in '04, but with more power. I am probably over hyping him a little bit, but I just think there would be so much to gain there with so little to lose.

Pitchers and Catchers report in 3 days exactly and I am stoked. There will finally be some things to talk about unlike the last 2 quiet months. I am really looking forward to see how Benitez looks. The Giants need that guys fastball at 95 not 90-91. I'm also looking forward to see how Schmidt and Morris look. Schmidt had his worst season as a Giant last year with a loss in velocity and control. Morris is now in his second season off surgery and he should be primed for a big year. As far as the young arms go, I'd like to see Merkin Valdez start making some noise. The prize piece of the Russ Ortiz trade has been stuck in Double A most of his tenure with the Giants. I have not lost hope for Valdez who is still only 24, but I'd like to see him in the bigs at some point this year and contributing. The one bright spot about Valdez's year last season was he only allowed 7 hr's in 108 innings pitched, which is great for the minor leagues. Keep and eye on Alfredo Simon. The 24 year-old rightie had a roller coaster year last season in Norwich but ended well and should be the closer in Fresno, depending on where Jeremy Accardo ends up.
The Giants Baseball Blog


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