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Monday, December 15, 2008

2009 Roster Projection Part 2

Towards the end of November, I gave my first line-up prediction of the off-season and now it's going to be a little bit easier as things look like they are rounding into shape, at least as far as the Giants management is concerned. I still see this team with a major hole at whatever corner position Pablo Sandoval doesn't fill. They also have a hole in their starting staff where it looks like Noah Lowry cannot be counted on to be ready for the season, thus has prompted talks of Randy Johnson joining the squad for a year. I still think the Giants, although they say they are pretty much set, have a few things up their sleeve (for better or worse) and I could now see a Giants' roster lining up like this come April.

Signings: 3B Joe Crede (1 year, $6.5 million w/incentives and option year), IF Ty Wigginton (2 years, $12 million), LHP Randy Johnson (1 year, $8.5 million+incentives)

LF Fred Lewis
2B Ty Wigginton (I could see Sabean having interest in Wigg's power: 23 hr' in 386 AB's, and versatility)
RF Randy Winn
3B Joe Crede (Giants have had interest for almost a year now, I bet now it happens)
C Bengie Molina
1B Pablo Sandoval
CF Aaron Rowand
SS Edgar Renteria

RH Tim Lincecum
LH Randy Johnson (Added as insurace, could end up being the #2, for match-up reasons)
RH Matt Cain
LH Jonathon Sanchez
LH Barry Zito (He should be better in '09, but I said that last year too)

DL?- Noah Lowry (2 forearm surgeries. Could be ready to start the season, but the team obviously isn't counting on it and/or doesn't know what to expect from him when he does return)

CL Brian Wilson
SU Bob Howry
SU Jeremy Affeldt
RH Sergio Romo
LH Alex Hinshaw
LH Jack Taschner
RH Keeichi Yabu/Luis Perdomo (rule 5 pick)

DL? Merkin Valdez (Forearm surgery also. Too bad to because a healthy Valdez and Sanchez may have gotten the Giants J.J. Hardy. Supposedly should be ready around the start of the year though.)

IF Frandsen/Burriss (If Manny isn't starting, they may want him playing everyday in AAA)
IF/OF Eugenio Velez
1B/RF Travis Ishikawa
OF Dave Roberts
OF Nate Schierholtz

This roster is taking into the account that Randy Johnson (who could sign at any moment), Joe Crede and Ty Wigginton (both of whom would fit the bill of power hitting infielder in Sabes' mind) were all signed to 1-2 year deals. The actual proposed lineup I put up would be pretty solid, 1-8, though they won't run as well as if they had Manny at second. Defensively they'd be good and only Joe Crede would be someone with health questions. Also, Wigginton would be a very nice add in my opinion. He wouldn't necessarily need to be guaranteed a starting spot, so Burris and Frandsen would still be very much in the mix. Wigginton would play the outfield (sub for F-Lew vs. tough lefties) and could provide insurance for Crede (if both were added of course) at third base not to mention his ability to play all over the diamond. I definitely am getting a strong Crede and Wigginton vibe though and I really do think that Sabean strikes for one of, if not both. As I said, they both fit needs the Giants have and although they aren't the ideal types of players they should be targeting, signing them to 1-2 year deals beats the heck out of trading Jon Sanchez for a Jorge Cantu or someone along those lines. Anyhow, after Taschner was tendered, I think their bullpen officially became set and if Big Ugly/Unit comes aboard as insurance for Noah (who is looking more and more likely to need TJ surgery) which seems more of a probability than a possibility, the whole staff would be set (not counting possible spring training invitees).

Now, If I were running the team, I'd still have my eye on the relief market and even consider bringing Mark Prior aboard as a reliever while convincing him to follow the path of Kerry Wood. I also would keep any eye on guys like Luis Ayala who, before being tried at closer last season was rounding into one of the leagues more consistent set-up men (combined 2.86 era from 2003-2007). Takashi Saito also just became available and he's been the top closers in the league over the last 3 seasons. Saito, if healthy would look very nice in the 8th inning as the set-up man to Wilson.

As far as position players go, I really like Jerry Hairston Jr. as a possibly utility guy as he plays everywhere besides first and catcher and brings speed, defense and last year he really found his bat (.326 last, .871 OPS last season). Hairston actually put up better numbers than Orlando Hudson in '08, and if Hairston didn't get hurt, his season would have actually blown Hudson's out of the water, and Hudson is considered far and away the top second basemen on the free agent market. He'd be ideal insurance for Burris at second in the Giants do indeed start the year with him as their starting second basemen. Juan Rivera is another interesting option I'd consider offering 1 year deal too and maybe playing at first base. He had 9 HR and 34 RBI in 170 AB's after the break which translates into about 33 Home Runs and 110 RBI in 600 AB's. He looks fully recovered and back to his 2006 form (.310, 23 HR, 85 RBI). I really would consider him a potential starting 1st basemen, with Sandoval shifting to third, if nobody else were added. Also, Michael Barret and Greg Zaun as a possible back-up catcher's are light years ahead of Steve Holm in all capacities of the game (especially in handling the pitchers and calling games), so if the Giants are going to carry a catcher on the bench in addition to having Sandoval and Molina on the roster (which I don't as necessary, but they do), I'd like it to be a veteran.

There are also always some steals on the fa market that come as spring training invitees and end up key contributors for their teams during the season. As far as guys I'd look into sending out a spring training invitee to (no guaranteed contract, basically a tryout), here is a list of a few I wouldn't mind targeting, again, with nothing guaranteed besides the slim chance of making the Opening Day roster. The one guy who just got non-tendered who I really want the Giants to go after is RHP Daniel Cabrera. He had a nice first half in '08 then fell flat on his face in the second. Can you say RH version of Jonathon Sanchez? That's exactly who he reminds me of although he throws harder and doesn't have as much control. I'd love to see him get a chance to fill out his potential pitching at AT&T Park.

Ben Broussard 1B/RF- 2 years ago, the Giants would have loved him at 1B.
Alex Cintron IF- Could make team as a utility guy. He's underrated as a utility guy.
Juan Rincoln RHP- Still relatively young, for a reliever, and looking for career re-birth.
Odalis Perez LHP- Just comparing his numbers to Zito's and he's actually better, just saying.
Brad Wilkerson 1B/OF- Was solid in the NL, could provide depth at first and the OF.
Gabe Kaplar OF- Absolutely smashes LHP, and could be a big RH bat off the bench.
Jonny Gomes OF- Another big RH bat w/Bay Area roots: '05-'07 averaged 19 HR's in 360 AB's but a ton of K's. A poor mans Adam Dunn)
Chris Burke UT- Had 1 decent year ('06) that garnered expectations, then fell off. Though he could be this years' Jorge Cantu and plays positions this team needs depth at.
Daniel Cabrera RHP- As mentioned above, he's a little bit of a project, but has un-hittable stuff when he's in control (which is about %50 of the time). He just needs to harness it and I can't help but think of his potential in this yard and in the NL. I think he will eventually figure it out and even if the Giants land the Unit, I want Cabrera too. Imagine the pitching depth: TL-Johnson-Cain-Sanchez-Zito-Cabrera-Lowry(if healthy). With the youngsters on their way Wow!
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 6:53 PM, Anonymous H&H Sports said…

    I would like to see Burris get a chance at second, but that potential lineup does have a lot of power.

    Good post and I actually like that projected roster to tell you the truth. Look at that starting rotation. The Big Unit can still bring it and I bet he would be great in Willie Mays Field.

    Too bad Lowry isn't healthy though. That's a sad story going on with him. I really hope he gets back to good health and can pitch next season. My fingers are crossed for you Noah Lowry.

  • At 2:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Unit, even though he hasn't been the same pitcher he was throughout his career since 2004, is still way above league average like you guys said, in ATT PARK or WIllie Mays Field or Pac Bell Ball Park or my personal fave, The Booth, or whatever friggen name you want to call it, he'd be wicked good. I like that idea, even though Randy is like 65, lol. He'd be fun to watch and would help the team win and that's all I want out of my Giants.

  • At 10:22 PM, Anonymous HowBoutDemCowboys said…

    I'm an Astros Fan and I will tell you, Wigginton is way better than he gets credit for. He literally carried the 'Stros on his back in August for the month he hit .379, 12 home runs, 26 RBI and had a ridiculous 1.200 OPS! He really wasn't playing everyday until then, but then he got hurt and wasn't really the same in September.

    Anyway, whatever team ends up with him will be getting a bargain and I'm kind ticked that Ed Wade didn't tender him a contract and let him walk for free. If he starts and gets the full amount of at-bats he can easily hit 30 home runs.

  • At 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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  • At 1:29 PM, Anonymous xlpharmacy said…

    the numbers sounds good for this season, all the players are in perfect state, and finally with the game and practice, we will enjoy a real spectacle.


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