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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Giants Roughed Up In Spring Opener

It was only the first game of the spring, and you can't take anything too seriously at this point, but there weren't many positives going on for the Giants Thursday afternoon in Scottsdale. In fact, it was so ugly by the 3rd inning that Jon Miller and Duane Kuiper started discussing the Academy Awards. The offense, the area of the team that everyone is wondering about, looked stale and went down quickly and quietly through the first 4 innings. They were, however, without 3/8 of their projected opening day lineup missing Ray Durham (hamstring), Omar Vizquel (knee) and Bengie Molina (back). Randy Winn hit a bomb in the first inning and Aaron Rowand had a couple solid singles in his first un-official at bats as a Giant, but that was about it for the starters. The young hitters did a little better later on in the game. Eugenio Velez flashed some of his speed and offensive ability with an RBI triple in the sixth, something he had a knack for doing with the Giants late last year. Freddie Lewis also tripled, scored a run and reached base 3 times.

The pitching struggled throughout most of the day. Noah Lowry and Kevin Corriea did not pitch well at all. Lowry didn't last his 2 scheduled innings as he struggled with his control, and Corriea gave up 5 runs and also had to leave without getting in 2 innings of work. The first four pitchers together gave up 9 runs on 12 hits through the first 4 innings, but then the pitching settled down as Jack Taschner threw a pair of scoreless innings and Brian Wilson set down the Cubs in order in the 9th. The defense made a few errors that led to some runs. Scott McClain booted a ball at 3rd base, Josh Leone made a throwing error and Kevin Frandsen wasn't able to get to a playable ball up the middle which also led to a run.

The Giants announced Tuesday that Omar Vizquel would be out between 4-6 weeks after undergoing knee surgery on Wednesday. Kevin Frandsen is expected to assume most of the duties at short (started there Thursday) until Vizquel returns, but Frandsen is a below average defensive shortstop. Vizquel is 41 years old and plays a position that is very demanding, a knee surgery at this point may take him a little longer to recover from than it would have 10 years ago, so I'd say a return by the opening week of the season would be a little doubtful. If that's the case, the Giants may want to consider finding someone else to handle shortstop, at least part time. One thought may be allowing one of the other shortstops on the 40-man roster Brian Bocock, Manny Burris or Alex Ochoa to start the year with the team. Another possibility could be to add someone from outside the organization. The team is actively pursuing the White Sox's Joe Crede and they may be able to obtain Juan Uribe as well. That could make some sense for the Giants if they could unload Ray Durham onto the White Sox, allowing Frandsen to move to second, Crede to start at third and Uribe to handle short until Vizquel is ready. Once Vizquel returns, Uribe could obtain a utility role as he's experienced at both shortstop and second base and can play 3rd in a pinch.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Tmil42 said…

    Nice article. I have one question, however. The question is, besides Durham and Lowry, who else would the Giants be willing to part with to get Crede? Shouldn't they be stockpiling young talent at this point? Why does Brian Sabean still have a job?

    Ok, that's three questions. I'll shut up now.

  • At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ugly loss today, but it was good to see some of the young players (Velez, Lewis, Matos) have good games, so it wasn't all bad.

  • At 9:56 PM, Blogger Matty C. said…

    I agree with the Brian Sabean comment. His decisions make little sense to me. I'm also curious how the Giants expect to get through a season with these older guys when they're playing 162games. They're hurt in the preseason. The Giants can't keep employing these guys. At some point they need to go to the younger guys and build a team. I guess it's the Sabean trademark. I love the SF Giants but the front office has to change before these guys are gonna have a team.

  • At 10:07 PM, Blogger Trevor said…

    The Giants won't part with Lowry for Crede. Maybe someone like Misch or Merkin Valdez. Why Sabean still has his job at this point is beyond me. Not only does he still have his job, but he isn't going anywhere for a while as he's under contract through the 2009 season.

  • At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Niteowl049 said…

    Very good point about Vizquel because of his age may not recover from knee surgery at the 41 as a younger player. Vizquel may join some other shortstops that have less than 3000 hits in the Hall of Fame. Vizquel has 2598 hits which is more than 14 shortstops in the Hall of Fame and even has more hits than Ernie Banks.

  • At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 12:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Cool Site. Huge Giants fan. Things have been looking pretty bad so far this spring though.


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