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Sunday, April 01, 2007

25 Man Roster Set

The Giants had some tough choices to make by the 25-man roster submission deadline on Sunday. After figuring out the bullpen situation on Saturday, all they had left was to figure out who to take north between Lance Niekro, Jason Ellison and Mark Sweeney. They dealt Jason Ellison to the Seattle Mariners for minor league left-hander Travis Blackey, and placed Mark Sweeney on the 15-day DL with a "sore right foot," the old fake injury to open up a roster spot. I am very surprised Neikro got the nod over Ellison. Both had been having good springs, but the Giants already have 2 first basemen on the roster so Niekro seems kind of useless. Ellison has the ability to pinch run which the Giants are going to need a lot of with players like Barry Bonds, Bengie Molina and Rich Aurllia in the lineup. I think the reason the Giants let Ellison go was because of Freddy Lewis' progress this spring. Lewis now moves up on the organizations depth chart and will likely be the first position player called up from Fresno when one is needed. One guy who has to be pretty happy right now is Todd Linden. He comes into the year as the teams 4th outfielder, but with this outfield and him being the only backup, this guy is in line for some serious at-bats this season. Joining Linden and Niekro and making up the rest of the Giants bench are catcher Elizier Alfonzo, first basemen Ryan Klesko and utility man Kevin Frandsen.

There are a lot more concerns for the Giants bullpen than the bench at this point. They announced Saturday that they will start with a 12 man staff consisting of the 5 starters, Armondo Benitez, Vinny Chulk, Steve Kline, Jack Taschner, Kevin Corriea, Jonathon Sanchez and Brad Hennessey. The only move I was surprised by here was the choice to keep Taschner over "closer in the making" Brain Wilson. Many people wanted to hand Wilson the closers job this spring and give Benitez away for anything they could possibly get for him, you know who you guys' are. I am sure those people are now thinking twice about that wish. Imagine if Benitez was indeed shipped out for some low lever prospect, we would be looking at the worst bullpen in the league. Wilson got roughed up this spring and besides showing a good arm and good velocity, he has done nothing to prove he is even close to being ready to close at the major league level. The Giants don't think he is ready to hold a bullpen spot in the bigs yet let alone close. One guy who I still am not sure why the Giants let go is David Cortes. Outside of Benitez, Cortes was arguably the teams' best reliever this spring. He gave up hits, but he got out of innings without allowing damage. His track record isn't that bad either. He held his own relieving in Colorado the past few years' and I bet he would have been a solid middle reliever for the Giants.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 12:21 AM, Blogger allfrank said…

    They didn't let Cortes go; they "lent" his contract to a Mixican league team, but could still get him if he does really, really well and they need him.
    I think they dealt Ellison for exactly the reason you point out: Lewis. Lewis has all the same skills as Ellison, plus he has plenty op options, giving the Gs lots of flexibility. In addition, they really don't need another OF - For OF emergencies, they have Feliz, Klesko, Frandsen. And if someone goes on the DL, Lewis is close by.

  • At 1:27 AM, Blogger TC said…

    Yeah, I know they still have rights to him, but the chances are likely that he won't be back. I just don't understand why they let him go that early, seems like he could have made this team over Jack Taschner. Frandsen looked good in left field over the weekend.


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