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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Offseason Review

With the Giants' pitchers and catchers ready to break for spring training in 9 short days and no Giant news to report on (besides the steroid debacle), I figured now would be a decent time to recap the offseason, although there wasn't much movement on the Giants' front:

Who's Here: CF Aaron Rowand (Phillies)

Who's Gone: Barry Bonds (FA), Pedro Feliz (Phillies), Ryan Klesko (FA)

Aaron Rowand takes Bonds spot in the lineup and in the outfield which helps this team's defense significantly, but losing Bonds' bat and not adequately replacing it will have this team struggling to score runs, even more so than last year. As for Feliz and Klesko, both are very replaceable and neither were high priorities for the club at the end of the year. Feliz was in talks with the Giants for most of the winter, but the sides never seemed to get to close on anything. Losing Feliz and Klesko means a lot more ab's for Rich Aurilia, Kevin Frandsen and Dan Ortmeier which is a good thing. The loss of Bonds and Feliz will probably lead to the Giants being one of the worst offensive teams in baseball but having them on this team wouldn't have made much of a difference anyway. The team still could add Joe Crede, a proven 3rd base commodity, before opening day, but Crede is best suited to hit 6th or 7th in a lineup so expecting him to be the cleanup hitter this team lacks wouldn't be accurate. That said, I still think Crede would make sense for the Giants but not if they have to part with any promising pitchers. Crede for Dave Roberts or Ray Durham? Yes. Crede for Jonathon Sanchez, Kevin Corriea, Brad Hennessey or any other quality young arm? No way. I'd hate to see Sanchez sent to Chicago and become the next Francisco Liriano or Jeremy Accardo while Joe Crede becomes a one year rental in SF (Shea Hillenbrand, AJ Pierzynski).

The Giants didn't do much to address their abysmal offense from a year ago, but there weren't many opportunities to do so. There were however, a surplus of free agent relievers that would have instantly helped this team. Masahide Kobayashi (2 yr. $6.5) , David Riske (3 yr. $13), Luis Vizcaino (2 yr. $7.5) and Scott Linebrink (4 yr. $19) would have all fit in well as late inning relievers with the Giants, and all signed very reasonable contracts. It continues to amaze me at just how much Sabean ignores the bullpen. They have been below the league average for about 3 years now, and Sabean continues to try and build the bullpen from within. Brad Hennessey, Brian Wilson and possibly Tyler Walker are the only guys who I would have confidence in handing the ball to late in a close game. The pen as a whole finished strong last season after Brian Wilson took over closing duties and Tyler Walker returned from surgery, but they still could use some reinforcement. As much as I like how Bruce Bochy wants to infuse this team with a warrior mentality, they still need talent to win. Right now they don't have much of it in their bullpen and even less in their everyday lineup.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 3:59 PM, Anonymous SpringinScottsdale said…

    I think Hennessey is underrated. I hope the Giants sign him up longterm.

  • At 7:10 PM, Blogger Mr. Snackmissioner said…

    I don't call those contracts reasonable. You want to sign Scott Linebrink for almost $5 million per for 4 years when he is already in decline phase? Riske's peripherals don't support a 2.45 ERA. Vizcaino and Kobayashi might be an improvement, but certainly not enough to make any meaningful difference. I'd rather have Wilson and Walker for a lot less money.

  • At 8:11 PM, Blogger Trevor said…

    Actually, Riske has been improving each year for a while now. His deal was very reasonable. No, I wouldn't want to sign Linebrink for 4 yrs either, but I do think he would have been a valuable addition under a 2 or 3 year deal for maybe a little more money annually...

    My main point is that the Giants are building around their starting pitching and in order to help them grow, they should be strengthening the bullpen if possible and it was possible this year.

  • At 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I woulda rather had Andruw Jones for less years and dollars than Rowand. And I think they shoulda signed Riske and Vizcaino to help the young bullpen.

  • At 7:52 PM, Blogger allfrank said…

    I think the pen is better than it is given credit for. The 5 top guys *Wilson, Walker, Henn, Correia, Chulk) all had ERAs below 4.0 (actually, the highest ERA from this group was Chulk's 3.57). That leaves only 2 spots, 1 likely going to Capellan and the other for Messenger, Sanchez, Taschner, Kline, and Misch to fight over. I think that is pretty decent depth.

  • At 8:03 PM, Blogger Trevor said…

    Yeah, Chulk's era was decent, but hitters hit for a very high average off of him, and he was used mostly in mop up situations, not tight games. Corriea will be in the rotation and wilson and walker compiled those stats in a month, not over the whole season. Messenger, Taschner and Kline would all struggle to make any other bullpen in the majors. I like Misch though.

    Not trying to kill your optimism Frank, but I think this pen could use another quality arm or two and I wouldn't go as far as to call this pen "deep".

  • At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Kline and Taschner are garbage. The 2 lefties carried in the bullpen should be Misch and Sanchez. Go Young!

  • At 12:07 PM, Blogger allfrank said…

    Trevor, you are absolutely correct, Correia is likely a starter. Still, we have 4 very solid RPs, for the 7, 8, & 9 innings. Capellan is likely the 5th RP, leaving only 2 spots to be fought over. I think that is a pretty good situation to be in going into ST. While Kline, Messenger and Taschner all had above average ERAs, they would, in fact make most other bull pens in the MLBs.
    And the comment from anonymous regarding KLine is asinine. Kline has a career 3.50 ERA and he posted an ERA of 3.76 in the first half last year. Sure he blew up in Aug and Sep. He is almost certain to make the team out of ST, as the # 5 guy in the pen - and he might well be dealt at the deadline. It is hard to tell what went wrong in Aug and Sep, but it is more likely than not he will be sub 4.0 in the first half of '08.
    Sanchez is most likely going to be in Fresno as a SP, where he should be. So, you have Misch, TAschner, Messenger, the other guys who got an introduction last September and all of the ST invitees fighting for the last spot. I would much rather go into ST just as we are than to pay the kinds of monies that were paid for big years and big risk guys. All we need is for one guy to 'find it,' whether it be Misch or Threets, Valdez, Sadler, Matos. That is getting younger

  • At 11:28 PM, Blogger Trevor said…

    Gotta agree with annonoymous. Kline shouldn't make the team. He's had a 1.53 and a 1.65 WHIP rating the last 2 years and his k/bb ratio was horrible last year. Whats worse, is that he's a lefty specialist, and lefties hit .320 off him last year. Not saying he hasn't had a decent career as a middle reliever, but his best days are way behind him and giving someone like Cappelan or Misch his spot would make a lot more sense with this team.

  • At 11:32 PM, Blogger Trevor said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 11:34 PM, Blogger Trevor said…

    Also, like you said Frank, Kline was throwing very well around the deadline last year and you have to figure his value was at its highest then. Nobody bit. It's hard to believe that even if he lasts with the Giants until the deadline, anyone would have much interest there.


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