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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ortiz Stars in First Spring Outing

Russ Ortiz made his first appearance back with the Giants a good one as he not only pitched very well in his perfect 3 innings of work, but he also came up with a 2 rbi double in the 4th inning. He struck out 3, and although it's only the spring, this is very good news. Barry Zito also pitched a scoreless inning in his only frame of work to start the game. The offensive star so far (posted in 5th inning) besides Ortiz has been Tomas De La Rosa who hit a solo jack. I never once questioned taking a flier on Ortiz, and if things pan out, the Giants are getting a steal for $380K this season. Ortiz is fighting for the 5th spot in the rotation, but unless he gets injured or something drastic happens, the spot will be his, and Jonathen Sanchez will start the year off in the bullpen. I was glad to hear Bochy say that he plans to use Sanchez in only one role this season, and that role likely being late relief. I think it's crucial to have some continuity within the pitching staff and the everyday lineup, something Felipe Alou didn't stick to, but it appears Bochy will.

Before the Cactus league games started, the Giants' announced that they had signed Matt Cain to a 4 year contract which allows him to avoid arbitration until the day he becomes a free agent. I didn't see the exact financial terms of the deal, but I think he'll get an annual payment of about 1.5 million dollars which is peanuts compared to what even mediocre starters are now commanding on the open market. They did the same type deal with Noah Lowry prior to last season, and probably will do the same thing with Jonathen Sanchez after this year if he performs well in '07. I don't think anybody at this point is doubting Cain's ability or work ethic, so I'm sure it would be tough to find anybody who would disagree with this deal in anyway. This kid is well on his way to becoming one of the premiere pitchers in the game, if he's not there already. The only thing you always worry about with young power pitchers is the chance for injury. Even with Barry Zito on the staff, Matt Cain is still the best pitcher the Giants have and he's only 22. I can't wait to see how this guy has built on his rookie season.
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The Giants Baseball Blog
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