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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Rumors Surface As Deadline Approaches.

The pre-waiver trade deadline is only 4 days away and rumors are starting to fly like crazy. Of course, the Giants are not being mentioned in any of the huge Miguel Tejada and Alex Rodriguiz rumors, but it does look like they will make another addition or two before the July 31'st deadline. KNBR reported earlier Wednesday that Brian Sabean was in discussion with Pittsburgh Pirate general manager Dave Littlefield. The Pirates have somewhat of an abundance of relief pitching and apparently the Giants have inquired about Roberto Hernandez and Salmon Torres. I think Giants fans have seen enough of Salmon Torres in San Francisco, but a Roberto Hernandez type late reliever is just what this team needs. Hernandez is having a solid year for Pittsburgh with an era right at 3.00 in 42 innings pitched. Dasmaso Marte is another guy who has been rumored available, but Sabean seems to be confident in Jonathen Sanchez and Steve Kline to hold down the left-handed duties. The one thing that this Giant bullpen lacks is a true set-up guy. Brian Wilson, Steve Kline and Jonathen Sanchez have done an ok job sharing the duty, but the Giants need more than that. Sanchez and Wilson are a couple of the most important arms on the staff, and those guys haven't even played 1/2 a big league season yet. The Bully needs experience big time and I think Sabean will find it. Sabean had already had talks with the Pirates earlier about Sean Casey and will have plenty of time to talk with Littlefield personally as the Giants visit the Pirates for a 3 game set starting Friday. Something tells me there is a good chance the Giants and Pirates will be swapping some players this weekend.

Shea Hillenbrand has yet to get going since his arrival in San Francisco, but it should be only a matter of time before he starts gets it going. He's feeling comfortable in San Francisco and he should definitely start reaping the benefits of hitting in front of Barry Bonds sooner rather than later. Plus he has shown some nice flashes with the leather and looks like he's a much better defender than Lance Niekro. Speaking defense, I wouldn't totally count out the Giants adding another positional player. They may quietly be going after a catcher. Mike Matheny is still in St. Louis recovering from multiple concussions and his return for this season is looking more and more doubtful. Elizer Alfonzo has done a tremendous job in filling in for Matheny, especially offensivley. Alfonzo hasn't been a terrible defender either, but neither him or Todd Greene throw particularly well. I wouldn't call it a huge need, but adding a defensive minded catcher with a strong arm wouldn't hurt. Maybe even a guy they could send to Fresno until the rosters expand to 40 players on September 1st. Every time a runner with above average speed gets on first vs. Armondo Benetiz, it's almost a sure bet he'll end up at second a few pitches later.
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