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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

3 Giants Headed For WBC

Three Giants will have the honor of playing in the WBC for their respective countries. Both Bengie Molina and Jonathon Sanchez will be battery mates for the Puerto Rican squad, and young Pablo Sandoval will be behind the plate for the Venezuelan squad. NL Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum was asked to play for the USA, but apparently has declined and will train with the Giants all spring. The WBC has gotten a lot of mixed reactions, but I am actually looking forward to it this time around. I am anxious to see what kind of talent is surfacing around the world. The big prize that came out of the WBC in '06 was Japan's former ace, Daisuke Matsuzaka and every team in baseball has a glimmer of hope at finding the next international sensation. To me, I see the WBC as a chance for the different parts of the world to display their talents and for this reason I have no problem with the tourney. Sure, It would make some more sense if it were held later on in the spring, but I think it's better for the players to have it in February/March than October/November which would seem like the only other logical option. I think it as a solid experience for the players, especially younger ones like Sanchez and Sandoval who haven't necessarily played under the bright-lights in that type of atmosphere yet.

The only problem thing that has me slightly worried about the Giants' bunch is that Pablo Sandoval will be catching for Venezuela instead of getting reps at first/third base which is were he'll be playing when the season opens. Sandoval isn't a polished infielder and he needs those extra spring reps in order to be ready to rock when the games start really counting. I'm hoping it won't be too big of an issue, but it is something to keep an eye on, especially if the strong Venezuelan team keeps advancing like they most likely will. Sure, Sandoval will still take grounders before games and work on it then, but there is nothing like in-game experience, especially for a guy who's moving out from behind the plate on a full-time basis, for the first time in his life. That said, I'm not overly concerned about it and the experience the youngster will get will likely trump the extra reps lost in the infield.

Note: The Giants agreed to terms with Jack Taschner on a 1-year deal, avoiding arbitration. After the signing of Jeremy Affeldt and the emergence of Alex Hinshaw last season, I thought that Taschner would be on his way out. Still, he will need to have a good spring to assure himself a spot as the Giants have an abundance of young arms that are moving closer and closer to the big leagues. I will go out on a limb and say that Tasch does not make the opening day roster.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 4:13 PM, Anonymous Giants Fan Sec. 137 said…

    That has to be an honor for Pablito to get invited to team Venezuela. The Giants may finally have themselves an all-star caliber position player.... that they actually developed. I am really rooting for this kid.

  • At 12:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sabean just can't let go of some players. Why on earth is Jack Taschner still on this team? His era in the last 3 seasons are 8.38, 5.40 and 4.88. Garbage!!!


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