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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Giants Need More out of Morris

Throughout most of the winter and into the early spring, most of the talk about the Giants pitching has been about the signing of Barry Zito, and how he will become the new ace and mentor to the Giants younger pitchers like Matt Cain and Noah Lowry. Lost in all the talk was Matt Morris. He didn't quite have the season he or the Giants' wanted in 2006 and I think people are kind of writing him off. He signed a big deal before the '06 season and I think many fans are already marking this as another bad move by Sabean. After all, 15 losses in a season to go along with a 5 era isn't quite what you expect when you give a guy 3 years and 24 million dollars. I know he didn't perform up to expectations, but I am not ready to call the Morris singing a bust quite yet. I know he has some things to work out, but this guy has always been a winner, and I have more reason to believe he will rebound than not. Whether Morris' ribs and back where an issue, as he expressed after the season, or not, the Giants need him throwing well if their starting pitching is going to be the "strength" that most people (including myself) think it will be. A lot is lying on Barry Zito and Matt Cain to carry the staff. It's up to Morris and Noah Lowry to help them out. If both Morris and Lowry are getting knocked out of games in the 5th inning and continue their inconsistencies from a year ago, it won't matter how good Cain and Zito are. Not saying Morris needs to return to the 17 game winner he was in his St. Louis Cardinal days, but 14-15 wins and an era lower in the 4's should be attainable.

The Giants have always seemed to have a solid defensive first basemen from the days of Willie McCovey to Will Clark and J.T. Snow. This year, they will be transplanting a former shortstop to first, and the gold glove memories at first base are now a thing of the past. However, Aurilia is learning to play first base from one of the best. He has been working out with J.T. Snow over the past couple days. Aurilia will be in battle with Ryan Klesko for at-bats at first base. I am very interested to see how the Aurilia to first experience plays out. I know he has had some work there with the Reds, but I he's never have 1st base be his main position, so there will be some kind of transitional period. Nomar Garciapara did a very nice job for the Dodgers transitioning from shortstop to first base last season and kept up his offense. If Aurilia's offense doesn't suffer as he concentrates on learning a new position, the Giants may have themselves Nomar at 1/2 the price.
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1 Comments:

  • At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Kelsdad said…

    Great point, most people have forgotten about Morris. Very well done.

     

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