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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Is Shea Hillenbrand Enough?

The Giants definetley addressed a huge need Friday when they dealt for 1st/3rd baseman Shea Hillenbrand. Toronto had already cut ties with Hillenbrand and had 10 days to deal him. For that reason, the Giants got a solid deal for Hillenbrand. I'm pretty sure Sabean was planning on parting with more than just one pitcher this July. It is to bad they had to part with Jeremy Accardo who some think was going to be the next closer for this franchise, but it takes quality to get quality. Not only do the Giants now have the best line-up in the NL West, they may have the deepest overall line-up in all of the NL. Ray Durham who has been on fire will now likely drop to the 6th spot and Pedro Feliz down to the 7th. The dominoe effect by adding Hillenbrand to the middle of the order now makes the bottom half that much stronger. I don't know of many teams who's 7th hitter has 16 home runs and 66 RBI's at this point. It's going to be interesting to see what Alou does with Durham if he keeps on hitting the way he is. Going into Saturday nights game, I think Shea Hillenbrand will hit 3rd, but it may be his and Durham's spot to share. Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling Shea Hillenbrand the savior for this club, heck I'd rather have had Nick Johnson, but for what they gave up I'm not complaining.

The Giants also aquired right-hander Vinny Chulk in the deal to make up for the loss of Accardo in the Pen. Chulk was decent last season posting a 3.88 era in 72 innings pitched, but this season he's been getting roughed up a bit. The Giants are now going to lean on Brian Wilson even more for late inning work with Accardo out of the mix. Wilson has shown some shades of belonging, but his 6.59 era does say something. Right now, I think Sabean should and will be focusing on a way to deepen the bullpen without giving up any more young arms. Joe Borowski has had a sensational year so far with the Florida Marlins, that's the type of guy who the Giants should have interest in and go after. They need another veteran righty, Mike Timlin type, who can come in late and help shorten the game. Armondo Benetiz has been ok lately, but they are going to need someone else to help him out down the stretch. I don't want to see Benitez start being called on to pitch 2 innings. Bullpen arms are usually the most plentiful thing on the market at the deadline, so I'd put my money on another addition there. With the Hillenbrand trade, I think the Giants did take a step ahead of the rest of the pack in the West, but I still don't think the team is strong enough to run away with any division or make huge noise in the postseason.
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