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Monday, August 03, 2009

Giants Get Well At Home

Fans started to panic a bit when the team came out of the all-star break so stagnant, but it looks like they have righted the ship, as they so often have at home this year, with a 6-1 home stand. They've also regained their hold of the National League Wild Card spot, although the Rockies, Cubs and Marlins are breathing right down their necks.

During this recent stretch of good ball, one of the pleasant surprises, and a big reason why the team went 6-1 during the home stand was the play of Eugenio Velez. The Giants speedy utility guy got the call-up just before the Pittsburgh series, and has torn the cover off the ball over the last week (12-27, 7 RBI, 5 runs). Velez has also played all 3 outfield positions for the Giants as well as second base, furthering his value and providing the Giants much needed flexibility while their two starting middle infielders (Renteria and Sanchez) took it slow. Renteria is going to be battling a bone spur in his right-elbow for the rest of the season, so it's unclear how effective he's going to be on a day-to-day basis. Velez hasn't been used at shortstop yet, but his availability at second allows Juan Uribe to be the on-call shortstop. Uribe has been such a valuable commodity for the Giants this season, and he may end up finishing out the year at short if Renteria's health continues to limit his effectiveness. Uribe isn't the most gifted defensive shortstop, but his bat will help make up for some of his shortcomings on defense, much like it did while he filled in at second base for the team for much of July. With Sanchez and Velez now in tow, the Giants depth up the middle has doubled over the last week!

Speaking of Sanchez, he started his Giants' tenure off in style, with a 2-4 afternoon, including a double and couple of RBI's. There's no question as to Sanchez's effectiveness when healthy, it's just going to be a matter of keeping him that way. He reported everything as OK after the game Sunday, so hopefully he can go forward with everyday duties for the rest of the year, because the team definitely needs it. The other new addition to the Giants, Ryan Garko, hasn't been quite as prosperous as Sanchez yet. Garko has struggled through his first five games in the National League, going just 2 for his first 16 without driving in a run while hitting fifth in the order. I said when they acquired him that the league switch and new team may take a little while to get used too, and I still expect Garko to have a positive effect on the team down the stretch. The thing is though, is that Travis Ishikawa is hitting over .300 since the all-star break, and shouldn't just be cut from the Giants plans now that Garko is aboard.

Notes: Just because the non-waiver trade deadline has passed, it doesn't mean the Giants can't make any more additions to their team for the stretch run. They could still do a deal before August 31st, but any players involved would have to go through waivers first, exposing him to other teams in the league as well. There a typically a lot of pitchers that get dealt around this time, although Adam Dunn was one significant bat who got dealt in August last year. With Randy Johnson not expected back until September at the earliest, I fully expect Sabean to explore deals that could land the team another starter in August.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 5:35 PM, Anonymous bronxbomber4life said…

    Tim Lincecum takes Ritalin.

  • At 7:48 PM, Blogger Schruender said…

    There is a reason that even while Travis Hafner was hurt, Garko never really became a fixture in the Indians lineup. I'm not that optimistic.

  • At 7:50 PM, Blogger Schruender said…

    In terms of pitchers available, I guess the DBacks would be willing to deal either Davis or Garland - either one of those guys excite you? At least relative to what you can get in the waiver trade deadline season anyway...

  • At 8:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What about Bronson Arroyo, I heard the Reds were shopping him around the deadline, he'd be pretty nice behind Cain and Lincecum if you ask me.

  • At 12:17 AM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    "There is a reason that even while Travis Hafner was hurt, Garko never really became a fixture in the Indians lineup. I'm not that optimistic."

    I don't think anyone is expecting him to come in and be an offensive force, but his .285 avg. with 11 home runs and 39 RBI in a little over 200 at-bats in Cleveland wasn't too shabby, nor where his 90 RBI last year. At least it's much better than what the Giants were getting out of their first basemen for the most part (Ishi has heated up a bit, but overall hasn't had the best offensive year). I don't believe he's going to be hitting .125 throughout his stay with the Giants. So yes, I am expecting him to do better, not great, but much better.

    Also, Garko has pretty much been the starting first basemen for the last 3 years in Cleveland, not sure how that doesn't qualify as a "fixture" in the lineup. Again, not trying to claim this guy as a great hitter or anything, but I don't think he's quite as bad as his play as a Giant has shown, or your making him out to be.

  • At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Bleacher Bum 138 said…

    Garko had a 2-2 game yesterday, maybe that will get him going, the Giants could sure use it!

  • At 3:14 PM, Blogger The Thrill said…

    It's so great that we have the best home record in all of baseball. Reminds me of the 2000-2004 stretch where we dominated opposition at home.

    I'm not super excited about Garko, but I like what Sanchez has done recently, Freddy that is. Although I hate the fact that we gave up Tim Alderson!

    Check out our boy Lincecum on this baseball market thing:

    Tim Lincecum


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