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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Giants Add Relievers

In the last few days, the Giants have come to agreements on minor league deals with 3 different relief pitchers and will have all three in camp battling to make their opening day roster.

First, the Giants took on a project, a guy who hasn't thrown in the major leagues in a couple of years, Byung-Hyun Kim. The 31 year-old, submarine throwing right-hander was successful in the early 2000's with the Diamondbacks, and is most famous for blowing consecutive saves in the 2001 World Series, games that could have sealed the series for Arizona, although the D-Backs still managed to win it that year. For some reason, Arizona decided to move Kim into the rotation in '03 (after he saved 36 games with a 2.04 era the year before) and he was never the same pitcher after that. Kim's last appearance in the MLB came in 2007, when he made three different stops with the Rockies, D-Backs and Marlins, carrying an era of 6.08 in 118 innings, also sporting a WHIP of 1.68. He was a starter for most of that season with the Florida, and surprisingly had a winning record (9-5) and really wasn't all that bad. He had a high WHIP due to a lot of walks, but he k'd nearly a batter per inning. The Giants will likely give him a shot to make their bullpen as a long-man, but I think the odds will likely be against him. The Giants look like they have about 5 bullpen roles that are basically guaranteed, and those are Brian Wilson, Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Romo, Brandon Medders and Dan Runzler. That leaves 2 likely spots for a plethora of arms to battle for. If he doesn't make the team out of spring, he'd provide the Giant some depth in AAA as a guy who could come up and start a game for them, or move into the bullpen if needed.

A couple other arms that will join the battle for those final bullpen slots are right-hander Guillermo Mota and lefty Horacio Ramirez. The 30 year-old Ramirez will have a much tougher trail ahead of him than Mota will to make the club. He's coming off a down year with Kansas City (5.96 era in 22 innings) and really hasn't been all that good since leaving the Braves after the 2006 season. Between '03-'06 with the Braves, he went 30-21 with a 4.37 era as a starter, but since leaving Atlanta, he's had an era of 6.74 and has won just 9 ballgames. Ramirez has had big-time injury problems over the last 3 seasons though and has thrown a combined 60 innings in that span. The Giants will give him a chance to make the bullpen out of spring, but I think he was brought in with the thought that he'll provide some depth at AAA and could be an emergency starter or a part-time bullpen-filler if the Giants need it during the season. Brian Sabean had said he would be on the lookout for possible options to start for the Giants, but I hope signing Ramirez is more for depth and insurance compared to being a legit option to start for the Giants.

The guy I'm expecting the most out of from this trio in 2010 though is Guillermo Mota. I'm expecting Mota to actually earn a spot out of Spring Training, as he's got the track record that Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy are seeking, and he's actually coming off a decent year with the Dodgers. The 36 year-old right-hander won 3 and lost 4 for the Dodgers in '09, but carried a respectable 3.44 era and 1.18 WHIP while opposing hitters hit just .224 against him. The one area that his game lacked a bit last year was the strikeout totals, which is a little concerning. He K'd just 39 batters in 65.1 innings of work after averaging over 8+ k's/9 innings throughout his career. If he has a good spring though, I'm definitely expecting him to break north with the team and quite possibly carry a prominent role in this bullpen. The only full-time bullpen guys from last year who posted an era below Mota's 3.44 mark was Brian Wilson (2.74), Jeremy Affeldt (1.73) and Brandon Medders (3.01).
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I like the Mota signing. Comparing him to Chan Ho Park in 2009, they were very similar actually Mota had the better year, just not the strikeout numbers. And last I heard was that Ho Park wanted over 3 million to pitch in 2010. Good job by Sabean getting a guy of equal or better value at about 1/8 of the price.

  • At 10:32 PM, Anonymous Hitnrun said…

    Hopefully the Giants can squeeze a decent year out of Mota like you said, I am not really counting on Kim and Ramirez for anything. Sort of unexciting additions. Trevor, are the non-roster pitching invitees anything to look for? I think they signed Santiago Casilla from the A's and Tony Pena Jr.from the Royals.

  • At 3:49 PM, Blogger Trevor said…

    The only non-roster invitee that I think has a legit shot at making the team is Guillermo Mota. All the others would need to be lights out, and guys like Romo, Rumzler and Medders would have to completely blow it. I think most of these guys were added for insurance and will likely end up in Fresno once the season starts.

  • At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Kenny said…

    Wow, just checked the free agents and didn't know that Eric bedard was a free agent. Imagine if the Giants could add him to the mix! Lincecum-Cain-Bedard-Sanchez-Zito. THat would be ridiculous. Any chances of that? I haven't heard Bedards name mentioned at all this off season and I wonder why that is, is he hurt or something? Somebody let me know...

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