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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

2009 Roster in the Making

Yes, there are still a handful of games to be played before the 2008 regular season officially comes to an end, but the Giants have used this year to access some of their younger talent which has allowed them to begin to shape their 2009 squad before we enter the winter. Pablo Sandoval and Travis Ishikawa are two guys who have proved over the last 6 weeks that they will need regular playing time next season, the only question is how to work them into the lineup. I wouldn't look for the Giants to trade Bengie Molina this off-season, so a full on platoon of Sandoval and Ishikawa could be what's in store in 2009. First base has been a revolving door for the team since J.T. Snow left and the two rookies could finally solidify that spot. With the Giants' track record, or lack there of, it's tough to get too excited over their young talent, but these guys look the part. So far, in 215 at-bats between them, Ishikawa and Sandoval are hitting a combined .320 with 6 home runs and 36 RBI. Again, not the biggest sample, but they have been doing it against some of the best pitching in baseball during the pennant race so you have to take that into consideration as well. At this point I would feel completely confident with that platoon starting off in 2009.

With a crowded outfield, a few solid catchers and a few options at first, the only spots that are yet to be determined heading into the winter are second base, third base, and shortstop. Emmanuel Burris looked to have been gaining the Giants trust as an everyday shortstop, but he hurt himself a couple weeks back and that may have thrown a wrench into the plans of handing him that job. He should still be very much in the mix to start their next year, but it isn't as much of a sure thing now than it was when he was healthy and playing well. Second and third base are much more of a mystery. Kevin Frandsen, Travis Denker, Eugenio Velez and Ryan Rohlinger should all be in the mix for the two spots if nobody is added from outside the organization, but I would have a hard time handing any one of these guys a full time job until they earned it and so far none of them have looked like MLB caliber starters. Frandsen didn't play this year so it remains to be seen what kind of player he'll return as after destroying his ankle in the spring. The other guys just haven't been that good and don't have very high ceilings.

With the holes in the infield, I can't help but think that Sabean will dip into the free agent market, even as thin as it is. If that's the case, one guy to steer clear from is Rafael Furcal. Sabean seems to like to make a splash if he can and he may think Furcal would make sense for this team but I could see something like that ending up like the Edgardo Alfonzo fiasco. Please, no more players in their thirties with injury history, Sabes. The same can be said for third base. I would hate to see them throw big money into Joe Crede or Hank Blalock. Yes, they are all-star players when healthy, but they aren't healthy enough to warrant that. The Giants appear to have options at second and short, but third base is still their one gaping hole and we will have to wait until the winter to find out who fills it.
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11 Comments:

  • At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm a Frandsen fan and would love to see him come back strong in 2009. That second base spot belongs to him. If he didn't hurt himself this year he would have had a breakout season.

     
  • At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Kelsdad said…

    The Giants seem committed to keeping Sandoval behind the plate; Velez and Denker both failed miserably in their brief auditions that it appears they are no longer in the Giants plans, unless as reserves, and Emmanuel Burris will report to Instructional League following the season and begin the transition to second base. Why is it you seem to overlook Dan Ortmeier? I know he's not exactly a prospect anymore, but in a platoon with Ishikawa the Giants should do fine.

     
  • At 6:57 PM, Blogger Trevor said…

    How could you say Velez and Denker failed miserably and your asking for more Ortmeier who's had more time than both and been a diasaster, he hit .190 with 2 hr in the minors this season. He's not even on their 40 man roster so I think Ort's days in SF may be up. And no the Giants won't play Sandoval full time back there with Molina on the roster. He'll be their backup catcher and platoon 1bman unless Molina is dealt.

    Denker's had 37 ML at bats and just turned 23, so it amazes me you call him a failure and are wanting more Ortmeier.

    Velez has failed this year, but has been very good since his recall (.335 in 100 ab's) so I still have hope in him becoming some sort of utility guy.

    And finally, no, the Giants are not transforming Burris into a second basemen. He was entrenching himself as their everyday ss before he got hurt and he may still come back for a game or 2 before the season ends. He still is very much in their plans as a shortstop. Not sure were your coming up with your info there.
    And

     
  • At 10:08 PM, Anonymous Manny Stiles said…

    The Giants need to commit to the youth movement. Clear out the pricey vets who aren't difference makers!

    Velez is destined for utilityman anonymity, but he'll always have a place in my heart as a Scottsdale Scorpion. Manny Burriss is by far a much better all-around player than Exxon Velez.

    Long Live Nate Schierholtz!
    And just for giggles and because I love his name - a shot out to Merkin Valdez... (snicker, snicker... Merkin!)

     
  • At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Kelsdad said…

    "We think he can be one of the best defensive second baseman in the league, it's something we're going to take a look at. He'll spend time transitioning in Arizona and working with Carney Lansford on overhauling his lefthanded stroke."

    The quote is from Bruce Bochy.

    "...for now, Sandoval will remain as a full time catcher. Depending on how quickly Buster Posey develops we may find the need to push him back to third or first, but for now, he is our catcher for the immediate future."

    Fred Stanley, Director of Player Development

    "The Giants were disappointed in the performance of Travis Denker, he was clearly overmatched during his time in San Francisco and didn't endear himself to the organization or to his teammates with his attitude."

    beat writer Andy Baggarly


    Seen enough?

     
  • At 9:15 PM, Blogger Trevor said…

    "Also, rookie infielder Emmanuel Burriss has recovered quickly from the strained left side he sustained on Sept. 8, which was expected to sideline him for at least two weeks. Bochy said that Burriss could pinch-run or even serve as a defensive replacement.

    Shortly before being injured, Burriss established himself as the Giants' primary shortstop, hitting .371 in a 22-game stretch. He's batting .283 overall."

    From Bochy like 2 days ago.

    And I didn't disagree with you about Denker, I said he's had 37 at bats and he's 23 years old. I wouldn't quite give up on him yet.

    Not sure when that quote about Sandoval you have was dated. Check the box scores and it will prove that Sandoval is not the everyday catcher. Molina has started every game for the last week there so exactly how is Sandoval the everyday catcher. he's had more ab's at first or 3rd than 2nd this season in SF. And again, Unless Molina is dealt this offseason, there is noway they he will be a backup catcher.

     
  • At 9:16 PM, Blogger Trevor said…

    Not saying burris hasn't been a great defensive second baseman though. He's better there then he is at short right now and that's why that was discussed. But that was probably dated a while ago.

     
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  • At 1:38 PM, Anonymous generic viagra said…

    I don't think that Pablo Sandoval and Travis Ishikawa need more time the next season, because they should be prepared to play in whatever moment.m10m

     
  • At 1:32 PM, Anonymous xlpharmacy said…

    I have been fan of San Francisco Giants since ever, but I feel I quite sad due to the fact during last years the team left to be a reference to the other teams and now, nobody respect it.

     

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